Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ideas to Steal: Music

Toured a very nice, very relaxed preschool today, and the director explained that they don't have themes or topics of study; rather, they have "an emergent curriculum," which I take to mean is "a curriculum we define after the fact." They do some stuff and put a name on it afterward. As it happens, that's exactly how I'm doing "Train Week," so rock on, man.

Anyway, the one thing they do "program" at this school is music. (The school's name is taken from a Grateful Dead lyric, if that gives you a mental picture of any kind.) They do a different genre every month (give or take) and play a song from that genre daily at circle time. The Grateful Dead and reggae take up most of the fall along with some teacher's choice theme weeks that feature the likes of Michael Jackson and Beck.

I think I might do a song of the day, since my own music knowledge is severely lacking and I want to do what I can to ameliorate the lack of tunes in the kid's life. (I played him Barry Manilow's "Copacabana" in conjunction with our reading of a book about New York City red-tailed hawk Pale Male and his girlfriend Lola, and the kid loved it. "Lola, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair...")

We have some toddler tunes albums that I play, and I can sing "Row Row Row Your Boat" until I'm hoarse, but there's a whole other world of music out there. I won't remember to do this everyday, but maybe a little daily Dave Brubeck Quartet and "Hey Jude" would be good for all parties concerned.


  1. Wow. This is freaky. I was JUST thinking that Ben's musical knowledge is sorely lacking this week. And his dad is a musician. Oh the shame. Let me know how you go about this. I need some sort of plan. Pandora or Spotify? YouTube? CDs? And will you talk about the significance or just let it sink in and enjoy and then discuss later?

  2. Pandora, I think, mostly because I know we "get that" on the iPod thing we have in the living room. I'm slow getting started in the morning, and I figure the Pandora station can drag out the "theme" and create some atmosphere for the day. I am going to have a hell of a time putting the music in context, because I know NOTHING, so I just have to hope that it sinks in, I think!