Preschool: Australian Music

(note: this is part of a larger unit that will result in a “Finding Nemo” movie party)

Background music: Yothu Yindi

Read: “Where the Forest Meets the Sea” by Jennie Baker and “Marsupial Sue” by John Lithgow.

In “The Aboriginal Peoples of Australia” open to page with didjeridu and have children identify a musical instrument. Talk about construction of didjeridu and explore/imagine the sounds it could make. Watch youtube videos of didjeridu players.  (As a side note: notice how a skilled didjeridu player can create a seamless sound for minutes on end.  This is known as cyclic breathing, I don’t know how to do it, but I think it’s amazing!)

Using a 6×12 sheet of paper, each child will design his/her own didjeridu. When completed, tape together to form a cylinder. (Note: paper towel tubes are already the correct shape, but more difficult to decorate.) As children complete the project they can play with the music on their own didjeridus.

Listen to “Waltzing Matilda” and dance around.  (I did not go into detail about the words of the song.  There’s a lot of vocabulary to cover, and frankly, the story has a dark ending.  My young class was not going to sit through a long vocab lesson just to hear that the man drowns himself in the end.)
Learn words to “Kookaburra” and sing to the music. (Repeat until children know it well.)
Listen to “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” and identify all the animals listed.

Using the animal puppets, allow the children to make their own puppet show.

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