It is no secret that we wish we could be in our cozy studio, sitting in a big circle and singing our songs together. Unfortunately, we will have to wait a little longer for that musical dream to come true. In the meantime, we are grateful to be able to connect with our students and their families online.
If you are familiar with Crescendo’s philosophy you probably know that we have never been the biggest fans of screen time for children, especially young ones. But in teaching all our lessons online since last March (where did the time go?), we’ve learned how to use the screen as a tool for meaningful learning.
The lessons are planned following the same curriculum we use for our in person teaching, but they are adapted to our new reality, where families are joining us from home. One of the adaptations we made was ask parents to join the classes of children 3 – 5 years old (that previously would attend the lessons on their own) so they have someone to sing and interact with when we play our games, movement songs, etc., but we still find creative ways for the children to interact with each other and the teacher. We even play partner dances online!
For our younger students (children 6 months to 2 years old) we suggest that the parents face their children and place the screen in a way that they can see it, but the children can’t. If you’ve heard Ariana’s first day of class “I am here to teach you, but you are the ones teaching your little ones” speech you will know this is not a big change. Of course when we are in class together children will also interact with the teacher in many of the songs, so it is somewhat different, but no less engaging and musical than before. Even though we try to avoid encouraging children to look at the screen, babies and toddlers will still have their own turns to play games, sing their favourite songs and dance.
If we can say that there is one positive effect of having our lessons online is that now we get to see the little ones in their own homes and we can bring music to the entire family as our little lessons became a big event to look forward to all week long.