Teaching music to young children can be a very fulfilling experience. Seeing the happiness on their faces as they learn and create music is incredibly satisfying.
However, when I first started leading preschool music classes, I ran into a number of challenges. I learned some lessons on my way to developing a smooth and effective class flow.
If you are new to teaching preschool music, be sure to avoid these five common mistakes:
1. Starting your class without a cohesive plan
Avoid “winging it”, or going off the cuff with only a vague notion of what you might do or a random playlist you will use. It doesn’t matter how naturally talented you are at leading groups or how many songs you have committed to memory, kids can tell when there’s no flow or plan. If you struggle to find the time to organize lesson plans, we have wide variety of lesson plans available for purchase at our Teachers Pay Teachers store. We also have an entire library of preschool music lesson plans available on a subscription plan.
2. Getting too involved in toddler politics
Yes, children will cry and be in a mood during your class. These things are really out of your control and usually originate elsewhere. I used to want to be able to fix drama as it developed, but I found out that doing so really disrupts the flow of the class. Sometimes the best thing to do is to give the child space with their guardian to work through their emotions and allow them to join back in when they are ready.
3. Make transitions between activities too long
If you spend too much time trying to corral your students, you’ll be more likely to lose their engagement. You almost have to start that activity before they’re even ready and usually, they’ll jump right in with you.
4. Prioritize your lesson plan over the energy of your class
While it’s important to have a lesson plan and follow through with it, it’s equally important to pay attention to your students and their responses. If you notice that they are not engaging or seem disinterested, it might be necessary to tweak your approach. Consider adapting your strategy to better suit their overall current mood, ensuring that they remain attentive and invested in the lesson.
5. Excluding parents and guardians
Parents often play a crucial role in music class, so it’s essential to keep them engaged. Excluding them from plans and communication can hinder your ability to connect with your students. If you’re leading a circle group that includes parental involvement, ensure that the activities are designed to include them. As a preschool teacher, keep parents informed about the musical activities you’re doing with their children. They may be interested in replicating some of the same activities at home!
I hope my observations were useful! For more valuable insights, check out my Teach Preschool Music course.