Gary & Carol Crees eNEWS JUNE 2016

Welcome to our winter eNEWS
With a federal election nearing, what a good time to look at candidates and party attitudes to education and,
in particular, education of our young children, in care and preschool. In the “jobs and growth” type speeches,
little seems to be said about the type of future we build for the next generation. For a peaceful, thoughtful,
intelligent,  and caring foundation to communities and societies, (and wellbeing for individuals) surely we
need equitable opportunities, and effective resourcing at all levels of education.
So off my soapbox and back to music!

Services we can offer include:
Professional development workshops for staff
Presentations at staff or parent meetings
Team building for staff
Keynote presentations at conferences
Performances for children 2 – 6 years

Our CDs, DVD and books provide easy, fun, teaching activities, using multicultural songs and dances,
rhymes, lullabies and action songs as well as yoga and relaxation ideas.

In this Newsletter
Article: Using Music to Support Social and Emotional Skills
Music Ideas to Try
Education in Finland
Workshop topic suggestions for staff inservice
Country travels


Using Music to Support Social and Emotional Skills

Music has a power and meaning beyond words. In all cultures it is a way that love and learning is
shared with babies and young children.
Music promotes development simultaneously in many domains. We often suggest thinking of touch, sound
and movement as best for optimum learning.

Music supports:
1. attachment and social and emotional intelligence
2. language development
3. spacial awareness and gross motor skills.

Let’s focus on the social skills aspect.
Because it is so often a shared experience, as we sing, dance, touch, tickle or play instruments with children,
music offers many opportunities to….
Learn and practice self-regulation
If we define self regulation as the ability to manage one’s emotional state and physical needs, we can see that
using a lullaby to soothe a baby will help them learn to soothe themselves. For a preschooler, participating in a
group music activity or sharing and taking turns on an instrument can help growing behavioural self regulation.
Learn about emotions
Songs can describe feelings using words (e.g. “if you’re happy and you know it ..”) but music also evokes feelings.
Music can suggest playtime as we bounce a baby to a dance tune, or loud and quiet music can suggest drama play
moods and actions for preschoolers.
Cooperate and build friendships
Music is often a team effort, offering lots of opportunities for social skills and building early friendships.
Toddlers can parade and play instruments together. Preschoolers can dance in circles, sing together and play in
a band, fostering positive peer interactions.
Support self esteem
So many music opportunities offer babies and children a chance to succeed and gain positive feedback. From a
baby delighting in the sounds a shaker can make in a tiny fist, to a preschooler playing on an instrument in a
satisfying way, children gain competency through music.
Develop cultural awareness
Hearing songs and playing the music from a child’s home culture, creates continuity between home and a care and
education setting. Children’s feelings of safety and security are nurtured and the importance of their home culture is validated.
In summary: music can play a powerful learning role for young children. They can better understand themselves
and their feelings as well as develop growing cooperative skills and friendships. Importantly, sharing music experiences
with the people they love, make young children and babies feel cherished and important. Music truly can be an enriching
experience for our children.
Reference; Beyond Twinkle Twinkle. in Young Children Magazine

Ringa Ringa Rosy
Traditional movement rhymes and songs are easy to sing for teachers, parents and children, and offer a lot for
musical learning opportunities.

Ringa ringa rosy a pocket full of posies,
A tissue, a tissue, we all fall down.

Cows are in the meadow, eating buttercups,
A tissue, a tissue we all jump up!

The robins in the steeple are singing to the people
A tissue, a tissue, we all fall down.

Fishes in the water, fishes in the sea,
We all jump up with a 123!

For babies – bounce them to the rhyme as you sing and dip them down or up at the end of each verse.
For toddlers  (already walking) – take them by the hands and dance them around, modelling falling down or
jumping up with them, to encourage balance and gross motor skills.
For preschoolers – use this rhyme to practice circle making, to encourage co-operative skills and enjoyable dancing fun.


I was inspired by an article, by William Doyle in the Herald (March 26th) on Finnish Education, written after some time
working there, and seeing the education experience for his child. He talks of the school experience for children as
stress free, well resourced, with well trained and trusted teachers who assess children daily, by observation, so no
time and money is wasted on standardised testing.
The mantras he heard repeatedly in education circles were, “let children be children”, “the work of a child is play”
and “children learn best through play”. Fresh air. physical activity and nature are seen as the engines of learning.
The aim for the classroom environment is to be warm, safe, respectful and supportive, he says. Perhaps what really
helps is that teachers are trusted and admired professionals required to have a masters degree.
It seems we could learn valuable insights from this model rather than the model that seems to be flourishing here.
Rather than insisting on high standards of training and then trusting well educated and resourced teachers to lead
children in meaningful learning, we seem to be insisting more and more that teachers in EC centres are continually
documenting and photographing, rather than having uninterrupted time to focus on best activities in relationship with the children.

Country Travels
Our country escapades are slowing with age, but we have a few trips planned and currently, some space to add
more training or children’s performances along the way. We are still teaching regularly in the Sydney area, leading
teachers inservice and some performances for 2 – 6 year olds.
We will be in the Hunter region and Coffs Harbour area first week in Aug.
We also have 2 trips to Wollongong/ Shellharbour Area  in late June and late Aug.
Currently we are also discussing sessions on the Central Coast.

We’ve got a facebook page! www.facebook.com/garyandcarolcrees

Workshop topics for 2016
MUSIC and the SMART BRAIN for 0 – 3 years
YOGAPLAY and RELAXATION for  2 – 8 Years
MUSIC,  MASSAGE and RELAXATION for 0 – 5 years
MUSIC and SELF-REGULATION for 2 –  6 years

For more info and outlines see our website.  www.adventuresinmusic.com.au

Like to host an inservice workshop at your centre?
Looking for new music and movement activities to use with your children or relaxing activities to finish a busy day?
Carol or Gary are happy to discuss leading a session for staff at your centre. We suggest a session charge of
$450 in Sydney, or $550 plus travel costs, negotiated for country areas.

Happy singing and dancing
Carol and Gary

Early Childhood Resources • Workshops • Performances
(02) 9948 8802

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