Songs and Stories
Songs and stories are an everyday part of Cowgate life. We sing at gathering times (when a children and staff gather to chat, or share stories or get ready for a meal time) and at many different times of the day. We have musical instruments to hand and available in our garden. Stories might be told as part of children’s play, or to support children’s reflection about their day and books are available to children at all times for sharing one to one or in groups.
Staff bring their musical skills to the Centre. Emma plays her guitar or recorder and is learning the piano. Children regularly gather for a singing session in our music room (The Croilean) where the piano might be played.
We also benefit from the musical support of musician Betty Pottinger who brings her special music sessions to the nursery on Thursday mornings when children sing and explore instruments together. If you’d like your child to attend these extra sessions please contact to June to arrange and pay for a place. Betty has shared with us her knowledge of the benefits, please see the download opposite.
Froebel emphasised the importance of sharing songs and stories with young children. He created songs for families to share at home, singing about everyday activities and about the world a child of that time would be familiar with. Froebel called these ‘Mother Songs’.
The Froebel Network funded research into the use of songs and music with children aged under three, please read the report about songs and daycare for babies.
If you are looking for ideas for songs and stories to share with your child or in your setting, a good place to start is at Bookbug website.
My approach – Emma Clarkson
Froebel believed ‘that the child needs help in sharing his or her knowledge through using paint, clay, music, dance, drama, written work, conversation, mathematics and many other means’ (Bruce, 2011). It is part of my personal pedagogical endeavour to facilitate more musical opportunities for our children. I know that musical experiences can be spontaneous and happen anywhere. Composing new songs with children stimulates their imagination and promotes language skills. I believe that singing, playing instruments, dancing alone or with a group is a primal expression through which people can connect with nature, the earth, and humanity.
In her book, Sounds Like Playing (2004) Marjorie Ouvry argues that almost any aspect of children’s learning can be enhanced through music. Their knowledge of the world, of language, maths, history and each other can all be developed and expressed through music – both outdoors and in. And it doesn’t have to be complicated.
” I am more and more convinced that if practitioners promote music and movement in our early years curriculum all the other things would fall into place! It gives children pathways of successful experience to other areas of learning but most importantly, it is a unique means of expression to nourish us all our lives ” (Ouvry, 2004)
Marjorie Ouvry Is an independent consultant in early year’s education, Marjorie travels from Scotland to speak at national and international conferences on all aspects of the early year’s curriculum, always emphasising the importance of play, movement and music as the common denominators for learning.(www.babcock-education.co.uk/)
Music in the early years, by Betty Pottinger