How often do we expect children to tune in and listen quietly – but we aren’t following the same rules? Below is what we encourage teachers to try and follow when running music sessions in centres.
1. No talking! That includes issuing instructions – sing them – make the sessions seamless. If a child needs prompting to sit/stand let the leading teacher encourage this with a sung instruction, rather than talking over them.
2. Teachers in the room should be actively engaged and involved in the session alongside the children.
3. If a teacher is needed outside of the space, this should happen with minimal interruption and discussions. Practise a hand signal for when you are needed so you can quietly slip away.
4. Include songs that require listening and waiting and use this as a chance to demonstrate what this looks like.
5. Allow children to sit and watch rather than expecting they join in.
6. Use hand signals such as ‘thumbs up’ if required rather than talking.