This week my preschool students have been reviewing the 4 composers they learned about in 2011: Joseph Haydn (Papa Haydn), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Henry Mancini and Camile Saint-Saens. The students also learned to recognize 5 compositions by these composers: The Flight of the Bumblebee (Rimsky-Korsakov), the theme from the Surprise Symphony (Haydn), Baby Elephant Walk (Mancini) and Kangaroos and People With Long Ears (Saint-Saens). Some of these compositions we hadn't listened to in 6 or 8 months, so I was a bit intrepid when I started to present the material; I was afraid that perhaps the children wouldn't remember any of the material! But once again, I was reminded of how smart young children are and how good their memories are! For the most part, the children remembered all of the composers names and the compositions!!
I did this review with my Preschool and Prekindergarten classes. So, for the most part, the children are ages 4-5 years old, with a stray 3-almost 4 year old thrown in the mix. Here is what I did:
1. I brought my composer pictures and asked the children if they could identify who each of them were.
2. I printed out the following pictures and then explained to the children that each of the pictures represents a song by one of our composers.
Baby Elephant Walk
Flight of the Bumbleebee
People With Long Ears
3. I played a short excerpt from a composition and then asked for a volunteer to find the picture that identifies the song and place that picture next to the composer who wrote it.
4. I left the picture of the kangaroo for last and explained to the children that one of our composers wrote 2 of our songs - could they find the correct composer?
The children did remarkably well. A couple of the kids thought that Haydn was George Washington and listening to young children say "Wimsky-Kosakof" always make me chuckle, but I couldn't have been more pleased with their recall. Preschoolers are an amazing lot - they surprise me everyday and they make me proud to be a Preschool Music Educator.
Here are some pictures of the composers: