Rhythm Kids is a research-based drumming, singing and movement program designed for four to eight year olds, who are starting to grow out of early childhood music classes and are entering the next phase of their music development.
The Rhythm Kids program supports the development of steady beat and tuneful singing. At the heart of our classes, amongst all of the sneaky learning that’s quietly (and sometimes not so quietly!) going on, is humour, joy, playfulness and connectedness.
We learn rhythm patterns derived from dance and drumming traditions around the world, we sing songs in different languages, we use our bodies in different ways to understand and respond to musical form, and we engage in creative, dramatic play.
Rhythm Kids learn about music concepts like composition, lyric creation, improvisation, graphic notation and basic music literacy. This provides a solid base for more formal instrumental learning down the track, but it can also just be a wonderful way to continue building fundamental music skills that stay with a person for life.
The learning channels in our brains are most wide open when we feel happy.
Positive emotions help us remember complex things – they drive curiosity and exploration, which is how we learn about the world. So what better way to learn new and challenging things than to pair them with things that make us feel good – drumming, games, singing, movement and dramatic play.
Cooperative and non-competitive games strengthen peer connection, build empathy, and help us learn to be contributing team members and collaborative music-makers. Opportunities for solo drumming and solo singing allow children the space to nurture their expressive and improvisational skills, while the rest of us – the audience – practice being generous and responsive listeners. This is what I love about teaching Rhythm Kids. It’s so much more than just music – children are practising a range of life skills and having fun doing it. Classes develop music (and non-music) capacities, and ultimately nourish children and families to continue being awesome people in an awesome world.
Rebecca is a Registered Music Therapist and music educator, with additional qualifications in education support and Auslan.