Preschoolers: practice OWN beat and EXTERNAL beats in variety of ways
This week, the students in the Imagine That! class kept a beat by using their arms and bodies to “See Saw, up and down, in the air and on the ground”.
· Play steady beat on drum, encouraging child to walk steady, then stop; then encourage other movements; running, jumping, skipping, galloping, sliding, etc.
· Walk or march to a song or poem the child knows so well that they don’t have to think as they sing or recite it – it is a part of them.
· Use hoop or rope and gently sway from side to side to the beat of song or poem.
· Draw shapes (circle, triangle, square, rectangle, figure 8 – up/down & horizontal) on cards and have them move scarves to make the shapes in the air. Encourage them to do so with a steady beat. Then try it with the other hand, or even foot.
· Use alternating (right/left) hands to clap, pat, play instruments, etc.
· While drawing, make lines, scribbles, or dots, to beat of music.
The ability to match an external beat, such as playing a steady beat, purposefully and consistently, along with recorded music, is not expected until a child is 5-7 years old. That is why it is important to adapt to their natural rhythms during the younger years.