On Saturday I was lucky (???) enough to be invited to attend a girls festival concert at one of the kindergartens I teach at. While I get a bit sick of the singing and dancing I am always impressed by the music education they have at kindergartens here. There are two instruments in particular that seem to be very common at kindergartens and both teach not only rhythm, but also actual "melody". The first is hand bells. This class of 4 year olds managed to use the bells to play a pretty good rendition of a dolls festival song. Each had their own bell with its distinctive sound and they not only played them in the correct order, but also with the correct timing. The 5 year olds then played with their mouth pianos - another great way to teach kids basic music without having to have a classroom crammed full of actual pianos. I think there are about 2 octaves on each keyboard and they power it by blowing into the tube. Again they played a relatively complicated tune and all managed to do it really well.
I can remember when my children were at kindergarten and they were doing marching. I always admired how the teacher managed to get all the children to be able to play at such a high level. Having taught the children in these photos I know that they are far from angels all the time.... but somehow they always produce a great show. They seem to have a performance switch. Now if they could just turn that performance switch on for me when I teach them for the last time next week I would finish the year happy!