Don't forget Row Row Row Your Boat! This age-old nursery rhyme may be an oldie, but it is a goodie for a reason.
We sing Row Row Row in 3/4 time, which means you count three beats for each of the first two words – setting you up for the universal rocking/lullaby pattern.
This exposure to interesting time signatures is crucial for musical development in small children. Much of what is presented to children is in 4/4 time – that means 4 beats per bar, think of a straight marching type pattern.
This 3/4 timing is calming, it requires children to adjust their movement and respond in a different way (which is why holding hands and creating the boat is wonderful for this, as you guide them to hear the different pattern).
This simple wee nursery rhyme is not only regulating when sung with a slower tempo, it is regulating because children hear the change to 3/4 and need to deliberately change their response.
We’ve seen very young children able to do this, and many adults unable to.
It’s a powerful thing to be exposed to at an early age! Nursery rhymes are more than a little bit of fun.