Music Makers At Home - Cattail Marsh & Meadow

Welcome Parents to Musikgarten Music Makers At Home!
Music Makers: At Home in the World is the first of the series of conceptual classes – classes in which children will begin to form concepts based on the experiences they have had in previous Musikgarten classes.
Music Makers: At Home is organised into thematic units that your children will encounter throughout the year:
     At the Seashore (introduced to Flute, Viola, Harp) 
     My Home Place (introduced to Brass instruments)
     Woodlands (introduced to Percussion Instruments)
     Cattail Marsh (introduced to Woodwind Instruments)
     Meadow (Introduced to String Instruments)
These natural habitats are depicted in beautiful posters used during class and in smaller scale on the folders that your children receive as part of their family materials.The posters and folders help to raise your children’s awareness of the world of nature that surrounds us, and hopefully will encourage you to join your child in exploring nature as it is readily available to all of us. These natural habitats and all of their inhabitants give us glorious opportunities for much exploration, both vocal and movement exploration.  

Take birds as an example – singing like a bird helps many children access their singing voice; flying like a bird renders the graceful sustained movement that is often difficult for young children to achieve; becoming a woodpecker and alternating between flying and pecking gives children the physical experience of staccato and legato articulation – a musical concept that can be a challenge for some to master.  

There are countless children’s songs, stories, and poems about bugs, birds and animals. Add to that the fact that most children are fascinated by nature and their curiosity makes it a perfect context in which to teach as well as introduce the instruments of the orchestra and more.

At home: Be sure to take time to study the folder with your child when they first bring it home.  Let your child talk about what s/he notices on the folder. Another time, sit down with the folder and the CD and do some of the listening activities.  See if your child can identify the sound source. Can s/he do it by pointing to the picture or has s/he acquired the vocabulary to do it by name? The drawings are done in such detail that you could spend quite a bit of time with it.  Or perhaps you would rather display it somewhere prominent in your child’s play space and ask him/her to point out something new each day!



The Cattail Marsh, our thematic point of departure for this unit, is home for a large variety of wildlife. Marshes are richly productive habitats for both terrestrial and aquatic wildlife. The Game Pieces in your packet include two birds: a Great Blue Heron and a Red-winged Blackbird; two mammals: a Muskrat and a Weasel; an amphibian: a Bullfrog; and a reptile: a Painted Turtle. Take time to learn a little about each animal 

Suggested Home Activities
Listen to the recording.
Sing and dance to I See You with the whole family.
Visit a watery place in your area to observe wildlife. Listen to the animal voices there.
Videos of creatures in the Cattail:
Mallard duck: ,
Red Winged Blackbird

The Oboe, Clarinet and Bassoon are the members of the woodwind family of instruments which are featured in this unit. These instruments always have a special appeal to children. Look for opportunities to see, touch and hear these instruments ‘live.’ Visit your local music store to see what instruments are available and the owners are willing to let you explore. Your child is gathering lasting impressions during this period of his/her life; if we, parents and teachers—work to provide a rich variety of experiences, your child will have many options in making his/her choices.

Listen to the recording, especially to the woodwind instruments, CD No. 7 – 11.
• Enjoy playing the beat with A Frog Went a-Courtin’ (CD No. 13). Try dramatizing the story

• Sing and dance to I See You.
• Listen to the recording.
• Visit a zoo that allows you to view animal movements close up, particularly aquatic creatures.
• Draw a picture of a favorite watery place.
• Listen to the recording.
• Dance with the whole family to Bella Bimba, CD No. 28.
• Look for a squirrel dray in your neighborhood. What activity is there?
• Play a game with the Triple Rhythm Cards. Listen to CD No. 34.
• Sing, dance and create special verses for Willum with the whole family.
Use notes DEFGA to play the first 5 notes of the melody of Willumon the glockenspiel.
• Copy one or more of the Triple Rhythm Cards.
• Compose with the Triple Rhythm Cards. Put them in your favorite order, chant them, and then copy your composition. Put your child’s composition into his/her Music Makers Album.
• Listen to the sounds of night in your backyard.
• Sing with friends and family.
• Sing, dance and play your favorite songs. Repeat them often.
• Get out all of your Notation Games. Sort them, and take turns choosing a game to play.
• Make singing and playing instruments part of every day. Repeat favourite activities often.


Meadows, or grassy fields, play a significant role in the regeneration of land that has been disturbed as a result of flood, fire, or human activities. When uninterrupted tracts of forest are cleared to accommodate agriculture or urban development, some of these areas are later abandoned, allowing the land to regenerate, literally from the ground up. The pioneer plant communities in this process of recovery are tough and hardy and use highly efficient means to disperse their seeds. As each community of plants prepares the ground for the next community, insects, birds, and mammals quickly find new habitats to exploit. the page.

SESSION 1__________________________________________________
Suggested Home Activities
• Listen to the recording.
• Sing and play a singing game with Hush, Hush.

• Sing and play the chase game Mouse, Mousie.

• Copy two of the Rest Cards; chant and play the rhythms.
VIDEOS of Creatures of the Meadow:
Fox, Meadow Voles, Northern Flicker, White-tailed Deer
 1) Sing Listen for Bells while using d' and a' (do sol) simultaneously with steady beat accompaniment on keys/glock
 2) Develop Ensemble skills with Down in the Meadow adding the notes g' d' g' d' as an ostinato pattern repeating while singing song
 3) Sing Mouse Mousie while using d' and a' (do sol) simultaneously with steady beat accompaniment on keys/glock

SESSION 2__________________________________
Suggested Home Activities
•Listen to the recording.
• Put together a duet with the family on improvised kitchen utensils.
• Look in a field or meadow for grasshoppers – they are harmless to handle
* Look for local Poui Trees (Caribbean Trumpet Tree) Blossoming in your area or on your next drive. What colours do you see?

1) Sing Listen for Bells while using d' and a' (do sol) simultaneously with steady beat accompaniment on keys/glock

SESSION 3____________________________________________________
Suggested Home Activities
• Listen to the recording.
• Play games with the Duple Rest Cards. Listen to CD No. 36.
• Sing and play No, No, No with family and friends.
VIDEOS on Creatures of the Meadow
Grasshoppers, Crickets, Cicadas, Katydids 


 1) For Down in the Meadow, Tap with both hands on the down beat of a four-beat measure chanting Lift hthe hands gradually in the air to fill the resting time. Sing the song accompanying it with the whole-note pattern on glock/keys

SESSION 4_______________________________________

Suggested Home Activities
• Listen to the recording, especially to the string instruments No. 15-20. • Play games with the Blue Graphic Notation Cards from the My Home Place unit. Make a composition, sing it and then copy it.
• Look in the yard or grassy area for seed pods and seed heads.
 1) Develop Ensemble Skills with Down in the Meadow by singing the phrase "dan-cing pigs" to the notes d' f' g'.. d' f' g' ( mi-sol-la) using it as an ostinato. Play the notes while singing the ositinato. Have someone else sing the melody or use recording while child plays the ostinato
2) Check out the video of what Listen for Bells will sound like when you get to At the Piano Class. Can't wait! Use this as an example of how slowly to play the steady beat accompaniment using d' and a' on your glock/keys

SESSION 5________________________________________

Suggested Home Activities

• Listen to the recording.
• Play with the Melodic Pattern Cards. Listen to CD No. 37.
• Sing Twinkle, Twinkle; make up a scarf dance with the recording (CD Trk 14). Check out the video. Do you recognise any of the string instruments?
1) Run Children Run - child plays drums with alternating hands chanting runn-ing to the du-de rhythm while the adult sings the song running lightly through the room. Exchange roles.

SESSION 6__________________________________________

Suggested Home Activities
• Listen to the recording.
• Imitate playing string instruments while listening to them (CD No. 15-19).

• Play games with the Melodic Pattern Cards.
• Explore a field or grassy yard for grasshoppers.

1) Duet - Adult and child improvise a duet on two non-pitched percussion instruments. Encourage child to play solo sections as well as together. Check out the video. What kind of duet are you going to do? Equal parts or is someone taking the lead?
2) Grasshoppers Three - child hops around room like a grasshopper while adult takes two rhythm sticks and pretends to "fiddle" as a violinist would. Exchange roles.

SESSION 7____________________________________________________

Suggested Home Activities
• Listen to the recording. 
• Color the Staff Coloring Page. Copy one or two Melodic Pattern Cards, and then sing them.
• Look for birds and notice their colors.
• Pick some meadow flowers and grasses and make an arrangement

1) Your favourite sol-mi-do song on the glockenspiel i.e. Mouse Mousie, Listen For Bells, No No No