The Dream .... Creating Harmony's Music Club
In December 2018, with a reputation for passionately believing in the importance of music for children and having a hands-on attitude, I was asked to provide music classes for a local nursery school.
The brief was 'to do music with the children' which was the perfect blank canvas. What I wanted to create was an academic year's worth of musical material presented in such a way that anyone could deliver it to children at the early years level so that all children could start singing and playing instruments while still little. However, I also saw the need for older children up to 6 to have something to enjoy too.
While the UK has a wonderful children's musical repertoire, I wanted to add to this and stretch their imaginations through using a variety of genres of music from across the ages and around the world. On top of this I wanted them to be able to take the lead on how to play and sing and to hide in amongst this basic musical principles and musicianship. In short, I wanted the children to learn through play!
It seemed to me that the best way to do this was to theme each class as an adventure, and the concept of weekly adventures with Harmony the Hedgehog was conceived.
Who is Harmony's Music Club for?
Anyone wanting to go on a musical adventure with children from the professional musician to my non-musical husband!
The material has been written for an audience ranging from 2-6. This is a big age range but works because of the activities involved, the craft, and the big range of music choices. Indeed, the musical concepts addressed apply to all-aged children and indeed my husband has learned a lot too! Older and younger children can both enjoy it and get different things out of the same material. Some of the craft requires help for the really little ones, but the older ones can do it themselves. It all balances out.
From the adult perspective, you just need to be willing to give it a go. The narrative style talks you through everything. As has already been said, a huge part of the dream was to make music accessible to all children unrestricted by the availability of specialist musicians to deliver it.
While originally written for roll-out in nursery schools and reception year, in light of current affairs some material is being adapted for home use. The material is split between the Home Adventures and Nursery/School Adventures tabs.
How is Harmony's Music Club different ?
Harmony's Music Club just is different. Some of the main differences are:
It encourages children to be inventive, coming up with their own ideas about how to play the instruments and express themselves.
Each Adventure has its own craft activity.
There is no need for a cupboard full of instruments to take part.
It exposes children to non-Western music which is so important in a global world.
The themed Adventures teach about the wider world not just Music.
It encourages children to explore expressing themselves.
It encourages active listening.
It is about children leading the fun and experimenting with instruments.
Every Adventure comes with a publicly available playlist and full explanations as to how to play the games included and ideas for playing along..