Young Children and the Foundation Session
Barbara M. New Jersey
I have several families with children 4, 5, and 6 who are interested in starting this summer. Please tell me, do you change the Foundation Session when small children are involved? It is an appropriate stretch for kids 7 and up to listen to the Foundation Session with their parents, but my experience with 4 to 6 year olds tells me they need more activity. I would really appreciate some input.
Jane S. D., Western AU
I have recently started groups of 5 and 6 yr olds. I still do the same foundation session. I give the parents and children lots of warning about what to expect in this session. I break it up a little more with allowing the little ones to practice moving quickly around the room to keyboards, to exercise their fingers and we sing a few extra little songs that I would not do with other groups. I also demonstrate everyone’s musicality with all the little ones walking around the room. They love this.
I give them a high lighter each so they can high light on their play list the day of their lesson. This takes them quite a while and during that time I have the relationship conversation with the parents. It is a coaching session aimed at the parents of these little ones but I have found that the children are able to sit through it quite well. Even little things, like physically showing them where the toilets are as opposed to just pointing in the right direction seems to help keep them focused. The little ones cannot sit for the entire 50 minute session. If time I have them find ‘C’ on the keyboards as a game. They leave with a little exercise for their fingers and that is all and lots for the parents to think about.
It is more challenging, and requires a little more thought about how you keep the session moving, but I have found the response to be just as enthusiastic as with the others.