It was hard to try and capture the essence of yesterday's visit. I am still reflecting on what I saw, heard and experienced. The main bits that stay with me, apart from the amazing sense of calm in the kindergarten and the high levels of well-being, were the musical aspects.
The children were 'musically comfortable' as were the nonspecialist teachers. It certainly blew out of the water 'you have to be a music specialist to teach music' and likewise that some children are musical and others are not.
All children were engaged and participating although there were no expectations that they 'had to'. The teacher just started singing and the children 'gathered'. The volume with which the children sang often drowned out the teacher's voice. Music takes place daily, mainly taught through singing and movement, with the children 'catching' new songs rather than being taught. It was all very natural, organic and embedded.
The way the session progressed allowed for individual children to be developed, although again subtle and natural. There was no pressure. So although the lesson was packed with musical learning the overriding priority was enjoyment. The children were having HUGE amounts of fun (reflected in the amount of laughter).
The Teacher made all this look simple, and the session flowed. It was a delight and privilege to watch and importantly 'normal' in these kindergartens. It is daily bread and butter in their musical diet. I hope that the 'bread and butter' we are giving our children at do re mi is just as sustaining for them.