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- Arabella, Arabella, where are you?
A bunch of toddlers goes looking for her, Arabella is a dolly, then the teacher, Rachel brings her out behind her back and says “Boo”, toddlers get excited and laugh.
Alma has always been a musical child, she loves dancing, singing and does a pretty good job at acting too. So when an opportunity to write a blog post about Rhythm time music class in York and surrounding areas, came along it was no brainer. We have done a term with Rachel when Alma was a bit smaller in the past so knew her sessions were excellent, now I just needed to recap what I have already seen and take a few photographs. The class always starts and finishes the same way, so children get familiar with the routine and feel secure to explore what is to come in the middle of the session which is different each week. There is a “hello song” and every child’s name gets mentioned, which I think is a brilliant idea of getting them involved, it’s an invitation to play, it almost says “I know you’re here, yes, you, in particular, I am glad you came, now I want you to join in the class today”. I don’t know if that’s what it sounds like to children, but it adds to the personal touch which adults and children like equally. During the session children g
et to listen to a number of different sounds, including rather unusual ones, such as someone blowing their nose, meet a cheeky little bunny called Rat-a-tat who lives in a hat, it sounds very musical and rhymey doesn’t it, Rat-a-tat. This links to Early Years Foundation where it specifies that listening and repeating words like this develops children’s vocabulary and helps them with reading in the future. There are also particular beats and rhythm that children and adults play and repeat after Rachel which allows children to explore different patterns, develops their prediction skills based on anticipation of what is coming next, which then positively affects development of logic, makes them better listeners, helps developing the area of the brain responsible for reading, writing and maths. Music classes are often viewed as something very “arty” and only a small amount of people need to specialise in it, but tapping a beat with your child does so much more to them then turning them into an “arty” type. Children then allowed to play with different musical instruments, the selection is very big, I must admit apart from a drum and a triangle I didn’t know any of the names, which didn’t prevent me and Alma from making lots of noise. They took it in turns to play with all of them, after one beat finished we passed the instruments round, as you can imagine not many toddlers were happy about this, but turn taking and sharing are very important skills to learn, and this was done nicely, because they got something else in return. I was very pleasantly surprised at how well turn taking activity well with a bunch of nearly two year olds. There was also a bit of signing and dancing, and a goodbye song at the end. I don’t want to tell you anymore because that would spoil the element of a surprise, but I positively encourage you to try Rhythm time classes in York and surrounding areas with Rachel Marshall. Oh and yes, most importantly the sessions are fairly relaxed, unlike some other sessions that we have been to where two year olds are made to sit down quietly which is very against their nature at this age, if your toddler wanders off or tries to steal a musical instrument nobody will think much of it. Rachel also does baby classes and more information about the pricing and timetable can be found here
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