ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Music and Movement: Large muscle coordination and Music Memory

Monday, November 28, 2011

Music and Movement: Large muscle coordination and Music Memory

Hellow again!  I'm Jedda from This Little ProjectI love it when a song comes on at our house and my kids say, "Hey, I know what song this is!"  One of the best ways to teach kids songs is by getting their large muscle movements involved.  And the bonus is that it's waaaaay more fun that way too!

We did an activity like this last month when I was writing about skeletons and the the song, "In the Hall of the Mountain King."  These kinds of activities are very memorable for the children and make learning and recognizing tunes and classical music easy and fun.

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies is one of my daughter's favorites.  We get our "wands" out (which could be a finger or a pencil or whatever) and we tap our wands "123" every time the music does the bell sound 3 times.   We skip, walk, fly, or dance around the room. 

 It gets her to really listen to the music and get ready for that part of the song where she gets to sprinkle "magic fairy dust" with her wand. Be sure to tell the children the name of the song.  You could tell them about magic sugar plums that they are gathering to help them remember the name.

 Here is the music:

Russian Dance
 Russian Dance from the Nutcracker is a fun song to jump to.  There are some great crescendos (where the music grows louder) that tells you it is almost time to jump!  My little boy loves this one.  To increase the difficulty put something on the floor to jump over or try to jump farther to a certain place on the floor.  You could also wave a scarf or ribbon in the air (like my daughter likes to do) on each jump.
Be sure to tell the children what song it is.  You could say, "Russian" for the first jump and "Dance" for the second jump.  And "Tchaikovsky" for the third jump.  He's the composer who wrote this piece.

Here's the song:

Waltz of the Snowflakes
This is a fun song to pretend you are a snowflake and move around like a snowflake does.  You could also make a paper snowflakes and put it on string to help it float around.  I have the kids listen for the "da da da" tune (at the beginning and again at about 4 minutes) that the flutes play and shake their paper snowflake to the rhythm.
You can also sing along along with the chorus of "ah ahs" at about 3 minutes into the song and again at 6:50 when the snowflakes fall on the stage.
Be sure to tell the children the name of the song.

Here is the song:

 Dressing up always makes it more fun too!

Silver Bells
This is a fun song to "see" because the lights are timed to the music of Silver Bells-which my kids love!
Get out any kind of bells and ring them each time you hear "Silver Bells."
Here is the song:

You can do all kinds of things with bells to explore different movements.  
Here my little daughter was balancing the bells as she walked:

Feliz Navidad
This Feliz Navidad movie is with lights again- it's fun to see the music "come to life."
For this song, right after you hear, "Feliz Navidad" you do this large motor skill: clap clap clap, clap clap clap (or stomp stomp stomp).  The rhythm is 123. 123. 
So it sounds like, "Feliz Navidad" 123 123...
Tell the children that this is how you say, "Merry Christmas" in Spanish.


Thanks for joining in with me today for some great music and movement! 
I hope you enjoy learning to recognize some well-known tunes for this holiday season while gaining some great motor skills and exercise!
 If you would like more ideas on what you can do to learn and share music with kids, come visit my blog, This Little Project. The first Monday of the month is always about music!


  1. I really enjoyed this post and thank you for the links. I was just thinking the holidays are a great time to incorporate more music in our lives... so this was great timing!

    Thanks :)

  2. Very fun ideas! I am definitely going to use these thsi week!

    Thank you!