I recently attended a Sharla Dance workshop in Payson, Utah! It did not disappoint! I learned so much and left feeling like I need to re-vamp my entire approach to singing time! Okay, not completely, but she had some amazing ideas that I hope to improve on and implement!
I was totally star-struck! I mean, not only did I get to take a picture with a singing time super star, I learned SO much from her! She graciously shares her wealth of knowledge on teaching music to children!
If you don’t know who Sharla Dance is you should! And do it quick! She is mostly famous for her workshops held all over the country. Her singing time methods engage children in music through a variety of movement activities.
Activities that involve following patterns using ribbon wands, melody maps and TONS more! In fact, it was paper plates that first piqued my interest in Sharla Dance. I came across this YouTube video where she used paper plates to create a rhythm pattern:
Here are just a few of my take-aways from the workshop:
Children learn best when they are:
- Personally engaged
- Have movement
- Hear the entire song
Input before output. Meaning, children will take in everything they are learning before they are willing/able to regurgitate it back. Just because they aren’t singing doesn’t mean they aren’t learning.
[Singing time] is not about the program, it’s about the children.
Variety & repetition is key. Change the pace or focus every 4-5 minutes.
The brain needs contrast (from style of songs to type of activities) to learn best.
Don’t try to teach every part of the song in one session.
Are the children intrigued? Are they engaged? Do they feel a sense of play (not entertainment)? Can they feel your testimony?
View all of her slides from the workshop HERE.
You can also view her entire workshop recording here (unfortunately it’s not available anymore but you can purchase it HERE from Sharla’s website!):
Did you know that there is a Facebook group entitled Sharla Dance Teaching Methods? I didn’t until I attended the workshop! Sharla Dance did not create the group (although she definitely is a member of it!). It’s meant to take Sharla Dance’s methods and implement them into singing time in a variety of ways.
I’m excited to be sharing next year a few changes I plan on implementing with my singing time schedule because of Sharla’s ideas and workshop! Find more details HERE.
I also hope to share when and where Sharla’s upcoming workshops are so more of you can attend!
If you want to see how I’ve implemented Sharla Dance methods in my singing time lesson plans, scroll through my posts HERE.