"In this classroom, relationships are fostered, families are respected, and children are honored.
In this classroom, nature's gifts are valued and children's thoughts are captured.
In this classroom, learning is alive and aesthetic beauty is appreciated." -Unknown

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

We Like to Move It, Move It...

Music and rhythm find their way into the secret places of the soul” -Plato

I've always had an affinity for music. My mom would sing in the house, hum when she rocked the grandkids to sleep, and we were surrounded by hymns at church. One of my absolute favorite things is worship and getting lost in the experience. There's just something about music and rhythm. Plato had it right. They have the ability to touch something deep down in our souls that connects us to the rhythm around us. 

I use music constantly in my preschool class. I have mellow music playing during arrival, exploration time, during lunch, and at departure time. We sing songs during group time and during recess outside. We have instruments available at all times for children to explore and enjoy. The children and myself often burst into song during exploration time and soon the song swells as others join in. When we visit the library we often sing for Ms. Kim and the ladies in the office. We recently added a wooden xylophone to the playground, rock out to the iPod, and often take rhythm sticks and other instruments outside during recess. 

I want to expose the children to a variety of types of music. We play classical, celtic, Native American, African chants, and more. So when I was looking through the listings for this past weekend's CAEYC (California Association for the Education of Young Children) conference, I was so excited to see the workshop entitled, "Creative Expression and Rhythmic Music for the Classroom: Drumming as a Tool for Engaging Children". I energetically arrived early Saturday morning, as I wanted to make sure I was able to get a good seat.

The session began with Norm Jones warming up on his Djembe drum. I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. He began sharing his story and some of the things he said really struck me. He stated that his goals were to "develop imagination, inspiration, and motivation one beat at a time." I loved when he said, "It's not about the performer. It's about bringing something out from the children. It's about confidence." He discussed the life skills that could be learned through drumming, then led our group through an amazing drumming session.

Ready for some fun...

Everybody was ready to do some drumming.

Before we knew it we were drumming, swaying, and dancing to the beat. He encouraged us to act like the children we taught and he handled the disruptions and over-eagerness with humor and enthusiasm. We ended the session up on our feet performing with the pro. What fun!!

I visited Norm's booth, Rhythm Child, got a couple of CDs and ordered some drums to be delivered. I can't wait until they arrive. What an amazing performer with heart and passion for music and inspiring the lives of children and educators. 

Norm was gracious and posed with me for a pic.

I'm sharing his official video below. Please check out Rhythm Child's Facebook page and follow along. You can also learn more at www. rhythmchild.net He's based out of Los Angeles, but will travel to perform for events. 

“To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins.
 Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?” 


  1. What a great experience for you! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely check out his site and I can't wait to see your new drums!!!

    1. It was amazing, Shannon. Norm's enthusiasm was absolutely contagious.

  2. This is such a great way to bring culture into the classroom! Global studies for the littlest students:).

    1. I agree, Becky. It's so important to expose children to all types of music and the huge variety of instruments that are out there. There's just something about music that draws people together and connects us like a finely woven tapestry.

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