Every month the song/dance/activity will change. Many of the songs will be from my Recordings. Please print the page and do the activity with your child. Teachers may print the page to use with their classes. If you have questions, Contact Me.
by George M. Cohan
Listen to the whole song on H.U.M.- Highly Usable Music, or hear it here:
Let's march into MARCH. Oh heck, you can march in every month! Marching is so good for children: steady beat, feet to the floor sending those beats right up their bodies to their brains, physical activity, seratonin and adrenolin producing music-making – DO IT NOW! Studies have shown that children who can find and keep a steady beat become better readers! Fred Rogers said that children are born with the beat. Makes sense, since mom's heartbeat is so close in utero.
A few thoughts first. Many children shuffle along instead of picking up their knees and marching. Adults should be the example: model good marching posture with a smile of encouragement and children will follow your lead.
Instruments or no instruments? It's up to you! You may choose to just get the legs going first, then add clapping on the beat. If you have rhythm instruments such as a tambourine, drum, cymbals, wood blocks, rhythm sticks, shakers or bells, use them. HOWEVER, you don't have to buy expensive instruments to march. I sometimes use small plastic plates (available at many dollar stores, Solo is one brand but there are many) held flat side to flat side. They make great cymbals. I suggest the smaller dessert size, as it makes less noise, and check them frequently for splits on the edges.
There are many great tunes for marching – try your local library for J.P. Sousa marches, or use any of the suggestions below. March around the house, through the halls of the school, or outdoors! It's fun AND developmentally beneficial! NOW MARCH!
You don't have to sing while you march! Sometimes just finding and keeping the beat is enough!
Lift knees high enough that the thigh is parallel to the floor. March with energy and enthusiasm! If you start to get tired, stop and slap your hands (or plates) on your thighs, head, toes, etc.
AGE RANGE: If you can walk, you can march!
PURPOSE: Encourage children to find and keep a steady beat, physical activity, cooperative movement in space.
SUGGESTIONS FOR MARCHING MUSIC: There are many sources of good marching music. Traditional marches by John Phillips Sousa are widely available. You may also enjoy the songs on these recordings, all available from the Kimbo Catalog at www.kimboed.com:
"Simplified Rhythm Stick Activities" by Laura Johnson (tracks 8 - 14)
"Preschool Aerobic Fun" by Georgiana Stewart (tracks 10 - 12)
"Patriotic Songs and Marches" by Dennis Buck (I like tracks 5, 8, 9, 11, 16)
IF YOU HAVE FAVORITE MARCHING MUSIC, PLEASE SEND YOUR SUGGESTIONS!