preschool choir

How to Teach a Preschool Choir

How to Teach a Preschool Choir

What does it take to direct a preschool choir? How is working with preschoolers different from working with elementary-age children? What do you need to know?

If you’re new to working with preschoolers or it’s been a while since you’ve been around this particular age group, here’s a quick guide to what it looks like to teach and direct a preschool choir. 

I’m tailoring this to preschool choirs in church settings, but much of what I will describe here is applicable to choirs in school and community settings, as well.

Books You Can Sing and Chant with Your Children's Choir

Books You Can Sing and Chant with Your Children's Choir

I received an email from a preschool choir director recently asking if I had any recommendations for books that could be sung that she could use in her rehearsals.

You know the ones: books that either have lyrics to a familiar children’s song or hymn, or stories with text that can be sung to a familiar tune, like “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

There are lots and lots of children’s books out there, and a few helpful lists of books that can be sung or chanted (see here, here, here, and here, for instance). But books that can be used in a church setting? With a children’s choir? Those are a little harder to find.

12 Practical Transition Songs to Teach to Your Children's Choir

12 Practical Transition Songs to Teach to Your Children's Choir

Transitions. They are a fact of life, but they can seem especially cumbersome and drawn out when working with a group of children. 

It takes time for everyone to come in and get settled.
It takes time to get everyone quiet and listening to directions.
It takes time to pass out instruments or other props.
It takes time to collect instruments or other props.
It takes time to move to another area of the room.

You get my point. And when your rehearsals are only 30 minutes in length, the amount of time you spend transitioning from one thing to another can really add up.

Here’s a question: What if we could make these transition times musical? What if we could keep children engaged, listening, moving, and singing, even, as they transition from one activity to the next?

Today, I’m sharing 12 practical transition songs you can use in your children’s choir rehearsals.

What to Teach When in Children's Choir: Preschool

What to Teach When in Children's Choir: Preschool

Over the past month, or so, I’ve been putting together a few lists of what to teach when in children’s choir. Here are the links for the other posts in this series, in case you missed them:

What to Teach When: Younger Elementary (K-2nd grade)
What to Teach When: Older Elementary (3rd-5th grade)

Today, I’m going to talk about what to teach when in preschool choirs.

There’s no denying it: preschool choirs are pretty adorable. Watching them sing and do hand motions and wave to mom and dad is both sweet and heart-warming. But, if you’ve ever worked with preschool-age children, you know that leading a group of little singers each week takes a lot of thought, care, and intentional planning (and energy!).

Related Post: How to Create a Seamless, Joyful Experience for Your Preschool Choir

Preschool choir rehearsals often have lots of vocal exploration, steady beat movement activities, musical play (with instruments and story-telling), and lots of opportunities to experience musical contrasts: fast vs. slow, high vs. low, soft vs. loud, short vs. long.

How to Create a Seamless, Joyful Experience for Your Preschool Choir

How to Create a Seamless, Joyful Experience for Your Preschool Choir

Sing this with me! (To the tune of “Oh, How I Love Jesus”)

Come and sing together,
Come and sing together,
Come and sing together,
It’s time to praise the Lord!

Clap your hands together,
Clap your hands together,
Clap your hands together,
It’s time to praise the Lord!

On the next verse, change the lyrics to add your own movement or hand motion idea! Better yet, ask a child in your class to suggest a motion, for example, “rub your hands together,” or “stomp your feet together.”

When I jump into preschool choir rehearsal or music class and see so many little eyes peering up at me in wonder, I realize I’m encountering a divine appointment.