Larks - 45-minute well-structured weekly music class for children aged 18 months to 3 years with their parents/carers followed up by home-made cakes, coffee and chit chat.
small group of maximum 12 children
singing nursery rhymes known and lesser known. Adults are encouraged to sing along and to their children as it strengthens the emotional bond between the child and his parent/carer. By singing songs we can help children to begin to identify and respond to the sounds, pitches and patterns of language. Children may spend a year or more listening and absorbing before any singing emerges.
movement - marching, walking, running, dancing, games. From responding to musical signals with actions (jumping, bunny hops etc) children begin to be able to step to quaver and crotchet beats or to three or four time, to roll balls through the length of a phrase or pass bean bags to a beat.
playing simple percussion instruments (claves, shakers, maracas, triangle, jingle bells)
touch - body percussion is favoured over clapping as hands are peripheral, whereas feeling pulse in the feet and on the legs sends stronger messages to the brain.
listening to recorded classical and traditional music and live violin playing
pictures, puppets, scarves, ribbons, bean bags, balls
Little Songbirds music classes not only plant the seed for developing musical skills but also help intellectual development (language, memory, concentration, abstract reasoning, mathematical skills), coordination and social skills (taking turns, holding hands, giving props and books back to the teacher, cooperating with the parent/carer).
Little Songbirds nurtures the soul. It is a unique experience of being part of a group of people making music.
Synchrony is the main channel of awareness of sociality.
William Condon, Social Rhythm Researcher