Karen Dickinson created Music For Little People classes in 1983 to provide children with a fun and well-structured approach to learning about music. She has an MA in Music Education from London University's Institute of Education. Karen's special study was a music curriculum for the under five-age group where children, parents and the teacher are all involved in creating music together. To contact Karen Dickinson personally email by Clicking Here
Children learn such a lot through the medium of song, especially when those songs are accompanied by actions as in Music For Little People classes. Some of the songs will be traditional favourites which some of the children will already be familiar with. Other songs are those especially composed for the classes by Karen Dickinson.
The classes maintain a familiar structure enjoyed by the children. This enables them to anticipate what is coming next and to feel secure in the Music For Little People environment. Classes begin with a period of free exploration of the wide range of percussion instruments. This is followed by the "hello song" and a section which I call "finding the voice". Children love to experiment with their voices and this section enables them to practice many of the vocal skills necessary for successful singing. We exercise our tongues, make sounds that raise the pitch of our voices higher and lower, practise forming consonants and vowels, and use our voices to imitate animal sounds. This is one of the most popular parts of the class with the children!
This is followed by a range of action songs that serve to name familiar objects around the room, to name body parts and also incorporate names of actions. We move "faster" and "slower", stretch "higher" and "lower" and respond to instructions such as "stop" and "go". Music For Little People covers a lot of material; in a typical 10-week term we learn over forty new songs.
The Music For Little People curriculum is a progressive one and your child will learn skills that will lay the foundations for future learning. The smallest children come to understand a feeling of beat while being moved faster and slower by their carer. From the age of two they learn to recognize the puppets used in the classes and tap the rhythm patterns that their names make. The older children learn to recognize and repeat rhythm patterns relevant to that term's topic. The children also learn about notation - they learn that music is written from left to right, can determine high and low notes, and eventually "write" and "read" music on the board using the tonic sol-fa system.
Please note that there is no registration or materials fee for Music For Little People classes. Siblings in the same age group receive a 20% discount. If you recommend a friend to Music For Little People, and they sign up for a 10-week term, you will receive a voucher for one free class to be used in a subsequent term.