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ERIC Number: ED248972
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1984-Jun
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A Balanced Program for the Young Child: Spontaneous and Structured Singing.
Gjerdingen, Kathleen
While group singing of composed songs and the singing that takes place during circle games are the commonest forms of music instruction for young children, children should also be encouraged to engage in free musical play or spontaneous singing. In spontaneous singing, the child creates a song at a moment's notice while engaged in play. Free musical play is a type of spontaneous singing that children engage in when they are using the free-improvisational stream-of-consciousness style needed for vocal inflection and copycat games, singing conversations using puppets, and improvisational singing based on stories, picture books, or cartoons. Teachers can encourage free musical play by modeling spontaneous songs during storybook time, puppet play, or normal classroom activities. After spontaneous singing is firmly established, the teacher gradually can begin to teach the structured, composed songs that children in Piaget's preoperational stage need to learn. It is important to choose songs that consider the child's vocal characteristics and that are not too sophisticated. These first songs should have limited range and pitch, simple rhythms, understandable vocabulary, obvious rhymes, and repetition. Songs should reflect common bodies of knowledge important for children and should include heritage songs such as "America." As the child matures, spontaneous singing eventually becomes a vehicle for vocal development and a means of sharing personal experiences and feelings. (CB)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A