Congratulations to Mrs. Tanya Perkins for being named the 2019 Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Tanya has been teaching in Kernersville, Winston-Salem and Thomasville with Kidstunes for almost three years! She is known by her peers and students for her enthusiastic teaching methods and has often been recognized for being the most animated and entertaining.
Mrs. Tanya is always prepared and loves to come up with new ideas for her lessons. She goes above and beyond making special props for her students to help them understand and interact with the lesson plan.
Tanya spent 25 years teaching music for preschool through high school in a private school setting. She has directed elementary, junior and high school choirs, school programs and plays, has written and published several original children's musicals and recorded a CD of her own piano arrangements. She now enjoys teaching music part-time with Kidstunes, giving her the flexibility to spend lots of quality time with her family, including her beautiful grandchildren.
low, Middle, HIGH
There are many simple ways in which you can help your child understand the difference between their low, middle and high voice, as well as increase their vocal range and listening skills. Here are some ideas:
Sing any simple two- or three-note phrase, possibly using "Hello" or "I Love You," and ask your child to sing it back to you matching your pitches/voice. Vary your voice using low tones one time, then medium, then high.
Pretend to drive a fire truck and use your voices for the siren. How high & low / fast & slow can you make it go?
Go to the park -- or just pretend you're at the park (great for cold/rainy days!) -- and play on the slide. Encourage your child to make their voice get higher, higher, higher with each step of the ladder saying, "up, up, up, up" or even counting each step, "one, two, three, four!" Then, "slide" your voices down saying "woooo" or "weeee" as you go down, down, down the slide... Then run around the back and go again!
This song begins on a mid-range note (C), moves up the scale one note at a time, and then goes back down again. Make sure your “flea” climbs all the way to the top of your head and back down to the floor where a surprise awaits!
(c) On my toe is (d) Freddie Flea
(e) Now he’s crawling (f) up on me
(g) Past my tummy, (a) Past my nose
(b) Up on top where (c) my hair grows
(c) On my head is (b) Freddie Flea
(a) Now he’s crawling (g) down off me
(f) Past my tummy, (e) Past my knee
(d) On the floor, take (c) THAT (stomp) you flea!
Fun with the Classics
One of the most versatile and fun pieces of music perfect for children is Carnival of the Animals by Camille Saint-Saens. With each short piece introducing a different animal with instruments mimicking their voices or movements, children will have fun pretending to be the animals. Add scarves to add to the adventure.
For "Aviary" pretend to fly high in the sky looking for the perfect tree. Tell them to find the perfect tree to land in and ask them what they see. Often it’s a worm or something else they like to eat. Then fly around to catch it throwing your scarves up high and catching them.
For "Elephant" you can use the scarves as your trunks and swing them low to the ground as you stomp around like elephants. Pretend to get a drink of water and swing your trunk up and back down low.
Pitch (continued from December) is the highness or lowness of a tone. Melodic Direction is the movement of pitch—either moving up, moving down, or staying the same. Once students are able to distinguish between high and low sounds, we explore the differences in musical notes that gradually get higher in pitch, lower in pitch, or simply repeat! Naturally, we explore these concepts with our voices, but Kidstunes teachers will also combine body movements that become gradually higher or lower , props (such as scarves or streamers), pictures and games involving familiar things that move, and playing instruments along with various musical selections that exemplify these extremes.
Resonator Bells (pictured here) will be introduced and explored in many ways. Students are encouraged to move the way they feel the music is moving, so their learning process may be evaluated.
There are many songs and chants that slowly move up and down the scale (the child can slowly grow or shrink), and even a few that get “stuck” on the same note (the child can then repeat movements in the same ‘place’).
During the busy month of December, and now continuing into January, we are exploring High & Low sounds - or PITCH, and distinguishing MELODIC DIRECTION - music moving up, moving down, or staying the same. Parents can easily reinforce this by helping children hear differences in pitch, not only of voices and instruments, but also of everyday sounds -- like the variations in each family member’s voice (including animals!), the low hum of the heater, or the gradual rise in the car engine’s tone as your speed increases.
Children are holistic learners, so it’s even better to move your body in a complimentary motion to the sounds you hear. Experiment with your child and ask for their ideas - keep in mind, their natural singing range is much higher than an adult’s, so sing higher than you normally would (without strain)...