A lot has changed since March 2020. For years, I had run my preschool music class within my piano studio, which is inside my home. I’ve always had the space to host the class, but we definitely pack a lot of parents and kids into a not so big space.
As I was preparing for fall 2020, I had to rethink most of the logistics about how I ran my piano studio and my preschool classes.
At that time, I wasn’t comfortable bringing large or even small groups of people into my home together. I had finished up the spring 2020 session on Zoom and while it worked well for that time, it wasn’t something I was excited about continuing for the long term.
For a while, I thought that I may have to cancel my preschool music class all together until the pandemic was over or until we had found safer ways to gather.
But, I couldn’t stand the thought of not sharing music with my preschoolers each week.
Fortunately, we have fairly mild weather in the fall and spring in my area, so I modified my preschool music classes and moved them outside.
Normally I offer a 14 week preschool music session that goes from September until Christmas break, then another 14 week session in the spring from January through April.
For my outdoor classes, I shortened them to 8 weeks to make the most of our pleasant fall and spring weather. My fall class ran from the middle of September until early November. Weather-wise, those weeks worked out perfectly. I took the winter off from preschool music, then we started our spring session just a few weeks ago a the end of March. This 8-week session will go through the middle of May.
Just outside of my studio, I have a long, spacious driveway, so we’ve been holding preschool music class on the driveway which gives families plenty of space to spread out and there’s also plenty of room for the kids to roam around while keeping space.
I asked each family to bring a picnic blanket for their family and to spread it at least 6 feet from another family when they first arrive. This has worked really well and the kids have a done a great job of observing the boundaries of their own picnic blankets and the other picnic blankets.
Instead of sharing supplies, I put together a bucket of supplies for each family. Some things stay in the bucket from week to week and some weeks I add supplies that will be needed for that class.
Being outside has had a lot of perks. It’s easy to draw elements of nature into preschool music class. In the fall, we sang songs about fall leaves and they kids could gather a handful of leaves and toss them in the air as we sang. There are all of kinds of birds and airplanes to observe and listen to. We use chalk on the driveway to include visuals and other learning elements to songs.
In case of cold or rainy weather, we have to reschedule the class, but luckily, that only happened once in the fall. Hopefully we have a stretch of great weather for this spring.
Outdoor preschool music class has been a great option for me and my studio this year. Even once it’s safe be back inside permanently, I hope to return outside when possible.
Have you had to alter you preschool music class this year? Leave a comment and tell me how it’s working out.
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