1st Steps In Music: 5 & 6 Yr Olds

A curriculum for older children based on the unique teachings of John Feieraband's 'First Steps in Music'. 

The First Steps in Music curriculum is a musical workout that grows TUNEFUL, BEATFUL and ARTFUL individuals. Parents participate as well. These are the musical activities we will be exploring: 


  • Pitch Exploration (Vocal Warm-ups)- Using games and activities that use sliding sounds to help children engage the vocal muscles used to sing in their head voice. These are the preferred muscles to use when singing at this age. Just like an athlete warms up before exercising, singers should warm up as well before singing.
  • Echo Songs/Call & Response- These kind of songs are important for the development of children's musical skills because they provide an opportunity to sing a short phrase alone. Echo songs invite children to repeat the same melody and words. Call & Response Songs require children to remember the original pattern after a different pattern has been presented. The final goal is to have them be both successful at both!
  • Sound Layering- Exploring simple songs with ostinato's & vocal rounds.
  • The Land of Arioso- A VERY popular activity with the kids where children are invited to only sing and not speak. In the land of arioso, we have musical conversations. In exploring these playful and musical sentences, children take the First Steps into making up their own songs. The more repertoire of songs and opportunities to connect sounds with words, the more song-like qualities their Arioso attempts will take on.
  • Movement Exploration (Movement Warm-ups)- Who has not enjoyed dancing around the living room? These are wonderful moments of uninhibited responses to music. We will explore the strong movement impulses and the gentle ones as well. Some activities will be fast or slow, sudden or sustained, heavy or light movements. Other activities explore the possibilities of moving in response to a partner or a group of other children. 
  • Movement for Form & Expression (Fingerplays/Action Songs/Circle Games)- These activities help children experience the expressive qualities in music through movement. At the same time, these activities enable children to experience musical form through organized movement. Classical music, songs & rhymes will be used.
  • Beat Motion Activities- Having an intuition for the beat in music is central to all later rhythmic development. This activity is to help children initiate a beat motion at their preferred tempo and then by speaking a rhyme or singing a song following the tempo of the child's beat motion. Eventually, children should feel beat motions in groups of two or three.
  • SongTales- Stories that are sung for the children. SongTales help develop listening skills, but they can provide an opportunity for children to hear the expressiveness music should include.