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Preschool Music Class: Sophisticated Learning Through Playful Music Making

January 17, 2023 | Jessica Smith

Stop by the preschool music class on any given day and you’ll hear sweet singing and see children moving to the beat in many different ways (always fun to watch!). To an outsider, it might look like students are playing games and being cute. They are actually learning sophisticated concepts and skills as they sing and play. 

Here are some of the concepts we have been working on this year.

  • Differentiating and using speaking voice, whispering voice, calling voice, and singing voice. 
  • Exploring high and low voices and sounds
  • Using a tuneful singing voice
  • Keeping a steady beat
  • Moving and singing at the same time
  • Taking turns
  • Improvising an answer

Mustard Seed is a musical school. Children sing daily in worship and in class meetings. Young children often sing spontaneously throughout the day. You may have heard your child singing songs from school or making up a song to themselves as they play with their toys. Some children will mostly observe when we are singing in school and will go home and sing all the songs by themselves. This is all normal and a beautiful part of development. We are made to be singing people. 

Wondering how to support your child’s musical development? Sing with them! Don’t worry if you have a weaker voice or struggle to match pitch sometimes. Play music in the car and sing along. Have a dance party at home and sing along. Sing a lullaby at bedtime. One of the best things you can do for your child’s musical development at this age is to sing with them.

Jessica Smith

Music Teacher, Preschool and Grades 6-8; Worship Coordinator

With more than 20 years experience teaching music in a variety of settings from elementary to college, Dr. Jessica Smith has a deep love for music education, integrated arts curriculum, world music, and worship.
In 2017, Smith traveled to Ghana to study West African drumming and dance as part of a fellowship from Fund for Teachers. In 2015, she completed four years of training to become a Guild Certified Feldenkrais™ Practitioner, a method that uses neuroscience and movement as a catalyst for potent learning. As a clinician, Smith has led workshops in vocal studies and drum circle facilitation. Before coming to Mustard Seed School in 2008, Smith was the Director of Preparatory & Continuing Studies at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where she also served as a Visiting Professor.

Dr. Smith enjoys traveling and spending too much money on plants at the Union Square Greenmarket.

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