Introducing Music in a New Group

In any group where there is a ‘new’ element, which may mean a lot of new young children, a totally new group just starting, or where the adult leading the group is new, it is always wise to use the familiar and well-known songs and build on this. Singing the songs and rhymes that everyone knows, then using these same songs for one or two children to act, followed by using the same tunes to clap or stamp to will cover several weeks’ progress. Once the children are confident as a group (or the new adult feels ready for the next step) and will happily join in when sitting in a circle, they can be taken on to the next stage. This has to be done carefully or some children feel threatened and opt out to the ‘don’t want to do it’ attitude. Rather than announcing that ‘Today we are going to do something different and start moving round the room’ it is much wiser to choose a song that is well known and introduce the new action quite casually. From ‘We all clap hands together’ we can go on to sing ‘ We all stand up together’ and if the adult does this the children will follow. Thus for the first time they leave the safety of their chairs without realizing it – and so on to ‘ We all walk round together’,’ We all march round together’ and ‘We all jump round together’. Once the children are happy to use more space there are plenty of songs which can be adapted for movement either for one or two children at a time, half the group taking turns, or the whole group at once if there is room.