SOTW – Stick Songs and Focus Devices
This is a short and sweet blog about a short and funny thing – the weird noises and movements your teacher does before a stick song!
Every teacher has their own routine. Some make their sticks bark. Some sneeze. Several go “nininininini” bouncing their sticks to one side until they fall over sprawled onto the floor. The kids lauggghhh. It’s adorable and hilarious for the children, the parents, and certainly the teacher to see everyone mimicking their ridiculous movements. It’s one of those parts of class where probably no one really knows what’s going on BUT it certainly gets your attention! And that, in fact, is the point.
This goofy stick routine is a focus device. We think of focus devices as the quickest and most effective way to get everyone’s attention. What is a room full of children going to do as soon as they get their hands on an instrument? Bang on them! Make as much noise as humanly possible! SO what can a teacher do in order to regain the focus of her class? Should she say, “Excuse me please look and listen to what I’m doing? Excuse me!” OR should she start banging her own sticks even louder and MORE enthusiastically than the children and then put them on her head like an alien and start going “Boop boop! Boop boop!” I mean really, which one would get your attention more?
Please enjoy this hilarious video of a student doing his teacher’s full stick focus device as a case in point.
So, this week’s blog is an ode to focus devices. Try doing your own funny focus device at home before playing along with Buckle My Shoe, the stick song for Elephant Collection! You can stream it here or on your Music Class app if you’re enrolled in class. Hopefully you’ll find that after your focus device, your child is much more focused on singing along and keeping the beat with you! Magic.
Stick drop. Like a mike drop but less feedback.
As a side note, I’m pretty sure every single person reading this blog already uses focus devices at home with their kids. Whether it’s a classic, “I know you don’t want to eat your carrots but look at them flying like spaceships into your mouth!” or, “I know you don’t want to weed the garden but if you sing Johnny Giraffe it’ll be fun I swear!” All of those distraction/redirection/silly techniques you employ to focus your kids on a daily basis are exactly like our Music Class stick routine. We do them because they’re fun and because THEY WORK! Now please enjoy this video of our superstar Wallace family who actually DID convince the girls to weed the garden by singing Johnny Giraffe. It's amazing.