Kids’ first contact with blindness

Maria teaching preschoolers. Her blindness is not an issue for the kids.Over my 20 years of teaching preschool children I have only come across a few kids who are curious about my blindness, probably because it is not something we talk about on a regular basis due to the fact that there is so much music to be learned.

On the few occasions that it was brought up though, their responses are very cute. One child thought that if I opened my eyes really really wide, I should be able to see things better. Another recommended I get glasses. Still others hold something they want you to look at about one centimeter from your face saying “Can you see it now?”

Maria and kidsSome of my classes know I have a friend who drives me to and from the preschools. This fact sparked one of them to say, “Why do you have a driver? I replied that I don’t have a car, to which he responded, “Why not?” I told him that I could not drive, to which he stated with incredulity,

“You’re old and you can’t drive?”


Colourful Autumn Fun

Musical-HarvestWell, we’re back into the autumn with all of its crispness and colour! I was teaching at Armbrae Academy this morning and, of course, the kids are well into the fall theme. 

I wanted to share a song from my Musical Harvest CD, “Frappe des mains.”  The object of the song/game is to learn 4 key French phrases – Frappe des mains, Tap des pieds, Claque la langue and Dis bonjour

After they learn to recognize these phrases you could ask them to come to the head of the class, one by one, to say one of these phrases.  Then the class must do the appropriate action – Frappe des mains, (clap your hands), tap des pieds (stomp your feet), and so on. They love doing this and learn oh so quickly! 

Here is a link to the Musical Harvest CD with song samples.  This will cover the whole of Autumn up until Christmas.

If you want downloadable lesson plans for each activity/song, please email me your request and I will give you a price on it.

Until next time,


Popsicle Stick Rhythms

Well, I dragged out all of the popsicle sticks I had for the kids the other day and they had fun learning the

Ta, Ta, Ti-ti Ta 

rhythms. I find that is a great way to teach them the beginnings of notation. They each get about 10 to 15 sticks and start building combinations of the Ta’s and Ti-ti’s. Ta is one popsicle stick set vertically and the Ti-ti is made with two popsicle sticks set vertically with one across the top. You may ask each child to point and say their rhythm.

Here is a sample of the song I use. It’s in the first section of my World Music and Rhythm Talk program.

CD 1, Wee Talk Rhythm and Song, Song 18. “I Am A Fine Musician”