Today I’m sharing with you a list of five albums from my own class music collection. I have put these to use and would recommend them for classes with young children. Enjoy!
Designed specifically for creative dance, this set works well with curriculum ideas offered in Anne Green Gilbert’s Creative Dance for All Ages: A Conceptual Approach. However, the rich variety of styles, sound textures, and tempos offered here could be used for any creative dance curriculum. The album liner notes also offer movement ideas and uses for each track. These are also available as pdf files on the site below. As I tend to mix and match tracks depending on what I am teaching, I cannot make an “if you can only buy one” recommendation. You can sample the music and decide for yourself or purchase the whole set at Ravennaventures.com.
by Hap Palmer
This collection of songs are beneficial for teaching rhythm. The songs are designed for use with musical props like rhythm sticks, shakers, bells, or tambourines – great additions to preschool movement classes. However, most could be adapted for movement-only classes by encouraging children to put the rhythms in their body. Songs include explore tempos, meters (how many kid songs are in 5/8?), rests, and instruments. And there is even a class “transition song” that encourages children to “come up and choose an instrument to play.” You may also want to check out Hap Palmer’s other selections including his Holiday Magic album.
by Rosemary Boross with Bruce Stephen Foster
This truly sweet collection of candy-coated songs is great for covering tap fundamentals like cramp rolls, shuffles, heel drops, and more. The vocals provide combination choreography and rhythms that are geared toward older preschool and young elementary/primary students (CD notes recommend its use for children 4-8). However instrumentals are provided. My only complaint is that these are not separate tracks as on Boross’s Fantasy Garden Ballet Class series, also found at Kimbo Educational.
by Little Monsters
Sometimes even the little ones just want to rock. Little Monsters covers classic soul tunes like ABC, Dancing in the Street, and Mustang Sally on this album. Adults provide lead vocals while children provide back-up. Unlike big-name compilations that similarly cover pop songs, the production is slick and the vocals don’t have that nails on a chalkboard affect! I’ve used these in class for a fun free dance, across-the-floor, and recital music. You can purchase the CD at Amazon by clicking on the image or at the very cool Little Monsters Records web site where you can keep an eye out for new music.
This CD’s short tracks and clear and even tempos have proven helpful in pre-ballet classes. All of the 29 music selections are classical favorites, providing plenty of music for introductory barre work, center, jumps, and traveling movements. Whitefeather has a number of ballet CDs for various levels. These can be purchased on iTunes® or at their website www.whitefeatherproductions.com.
Not long after this post was published I reviewed some CD’s by composer Richard Maddock. After using his Music for Movement & Imaginations CD for some children’s classes, I have to mention, I’ve added this to my list of favorites for the little ones. Click the photo to check out the music at his site.
What are your favorite albums for children’s dance classes?
Nichelle Suzanne is a writer specializing in dance and online content. She is also a dance instructor with over 20 years experience teaching in dance studios, community programs, and colleges. She began Dance Advantage in 2008, equipped with a passion for movement education and an intuitive sense that a blog could bring dancers together. As a Houston-based dance writer, Nichelle covers dance performance for Dance Source Houston, Arts+Culture Texas, and other publications. She is a leader in social media within the dance community and has presented on blogging for dance organizations, including Dance/USA. Nichelle provides web consulting and writing services for dancers, dance schools and studios, and those beyond the dance world. Read Nichelle’s posts.