Music is one of the best tools we have to teach children.  It’s engaging and interactive and can stay in our memories for a lifetime.  I remember songs I learned when I was very young.  I am blessed to have had a mother who sang to me.  One of my favorite childhood memories is of our nightly bedtime ritual.  Mama played the piano while we wore ourselves out romping and singing to “Dicky Ducky Duddle,” “I’m a Spinning Top,” dozens of others, and ending up with “Go to Bed Sleepyhead.” (From “Rhythm Fun for Little Folks” by Moiselle Renstrom.  Pioneer Music Press, 1944.)

I have enjoyed teaching music to children for years.  Using visual aids and actions is always helpful.  I have even learned a few signs (ASL) to teach my class and they have absorbed it like it’s a secret code just between us.  I have a file cabinet full of pictures I’ve collected to help teach children music.  I’ll share a few of my favorites here from time to time.  But you don’t have to have perfect illustrations to begin.  Just break out singing something that touches you in the moment and children will respond.

The other day I walked out into my front yard and the spindly little apple tree stick I poked into the ground a dozen years ago had magically transformed into the most beautiful popcorn tree!  I have dreamed of the day when I couldn’t count the blossoms.  Last year there were about 20!


Check out this link Popcorn Popping  to hear a chorus of children singing the song, then share it with a child you love!

Words: Georgia W. Bello, b. 1924. © 1957 IRI

Music: Georgia W. Bello, b. 1924; arr. by Betty Lou Cooney, b. 1924. © 1957, 1989 IRI

I looked out the window, and what did I see?
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
Spring had brought me such a nice surprise,
Blossoms popping right before my eyes.
I could take an armful and make a treat,
A popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn’t really so, but it seemed to be
Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.

Improvise actions as suggested by the words.