5 ways to introduce new songs

1. Sing as students enter

Use brand new songs as ways to welcome the students to the room. I always welcomed classes at the door with a “Hello, students” and a “Hello, Mrs. Smith” type start. Then, for younger grades, we walk into the room in a line and form a circle. With older students, they walk in quietly to their assigned spot on the floor. As we do this, I sing brand new songs (or maybe second exposure songs) to begin to introduce the new tune. By the time I’ve finished the song, students are usually in place in a quiet, organized manner.

2. Sing as students Leave

If you’re like me, I line the students up to leave and then have anywhere from 30 seconds -3 minutes to wait for the teacher to come collect their class. This is a great time to introduce new songs. You can sing a brand new song straight through, play a recording of the song, or use one of the “I sing, You sing” techniques listed below.

3. Sing with Images or a Book

Need something to hold the Little’s attention span while introducing a new song? Try a set of slides (or if you’re old school with me, print 8.5 x 11 image cards) and show them through the song. You can then continue to use the cards in later lessons to help students remember the words.

Want to try this with the song “I Had a Rooster?” We’re working on a set of photo slides that pair with that song. Check back soon to give it a try!

4. I Sing Motive, You Sing Motive

When I need to teach the kiddos a song quickly and haven’t been able to prep it during entry/exit, I usually follow the “I sing, you sing.” Kids pick this up with little to no instruction. Point to yourself and sing “Bell horses, Bell horses” – then point to kids so they can echo. If it sounds great, go on to “What time of day?” If it doesn’t sound great, repeat the motive again and give them another try. There’s no need to discuss or explain, just do!

5. I Sing, You Sing – Add on version

When teaching a new song that contains longer motives, I use the same technique as line 4, but start with part of a motive.

An example of this is “Hunt the Cows” where the first motive is “Wake up you sleepy heads and go and hunt the cattle” with LOTS of melodic jumping around. I would teach it like this
Teacher: Wake up you sleepy heads
Students: Wake up you sleepy heads
If students are not getting it, I would repeat. If it sounds good, I would go on to sing:
Teacher: Wake up you sleepy head and go
Students: Wake up you sleepy heads and go
Teacher: Wake up you sleepy head and go and hunt the cattle
Students: Wake up you sleepy heads and go and hunt the cattle

If you are looking for a great resource for teaching concepts with the song “Hunt the Cows”, we have one coming soon!

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