Musical production in preschool

Musical production in preschool

Each year, I have the privilege of directing a preschool musical at one of our local schools. I thought I would share a few tips about preparing preschoolers to sing or dance for their parents…

To help the children know where to stand during the presentation, I mark the floor with colorful painters tape. Painter’s tape is easily removed but don’t leave it up too long (I remove after three to four weeks) or it can become really stuck and leave a sticky residue. Masking tape is almost impossible to remove so use the painter’s tape instead.

I place lines and “X’s” on the floor so the children will know where to walk and where to stand during their dance. I have children as young as two years old that I teach to walk on the line and to find an “X”.  The children catch on quickly and I keep it fun by letting them march around the square and dance on an “X”.

I keep all the “X’s” the same color so the children do not worry about having to stand on a particular color. It helps remove some of the stress of not getting their favorite color and instead focus on dancing together!

The taped area is large enough for the entire group to stand on the line side-by-side without hitting or bumping into each other as they move their arms or turn around.

At this school, the children sit on a stage in their ready position and then follow the moves of the music director as she shows them how to move their arms, or in this case, their scarves in a rhythmical motion as they dance to a spider web ballet!  The children are excellent at following the movements of the teacher.

The girls dance around the stage, following their lines, and then back up to front. Notice how we are learning to walk on our tiptoes!

There are several other tips I would recommend following for a successful experience…

1. Choose music the children can relate to or will enjoy listening and moving to.

2. Don’t start practicing too soon before the show or the children will start to lose their enthusiasm and get bored – but do allow enough time for the children to feel confident about all the movements.

3. Don’t force a child to participate but do encourage the child to participate every time you practice.

4. Keep the dances or songs you plan to sing fun and simple and teach the skills you would like the children to learn.

Skills we learn

The preschoolers practice motor skills such as marching, skipping, kicking, balancing on one foot, jumping, and more.

The preschoolers master such skills as listening, moving rhythmically, and working together to make and move in a group circle, march at the same time, and so forth.

My Number One priority is to make sure preschoolers are enjoying the experience:

It is extremely important to make sure the children are having fun and feeling confident. What I don’t want in the end is to have robots on the stage doing all the same thing and wishing they didn’t have to be there. What I do want is to highlight the skills and ability and natural expressions of the children as they dance together and have fun in the process!

See how Teacher Tom helps his children create and present their very own play!


  • Teacher Tom Posted May 16, 2010 11:26 pm

    This is a little bit of genius, Deborah. I wish I’d known about the tape lines sooner — something to use next year! My version of tape lines, I suppose, is that I narrate while the children act and I just read the stage direction right into the script: “Then the pink and purple superhero flies around the audience and comes back to the stage.” That kind of thing.

    I know what you mean about over-rehearsing. We’ve been rehearsing once a week since the beginning of April. That’s only eight real rehearsals altogether, but they get bored with it. That’s why I pretty much let them do a lot of improve until the final two rehearsals. And sometimes the goofing around results in some nice additions to the play.

    I wish I could see your show!
    .-= Teacher Tom´s last blog ..We Still Have Two Weeks Of School =-.

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted May 16, 2010 11:31 pm

    I want to see your play!! I have a hard time visualizing the final production even after reading all your descriptions!! I want to see how the props all work out in the end:)

  • Dolores Posted May 17, 2010 8:48 am

    We put on a Winter program. I have the girls wearing large snowflakes and the boys will eventually become snowmen. I read a poem on how to make a snowman and the girls dress the boys in their costumes which are made of posterboard for their bodies which are hung around their necks using elastic. The girls put foam buttons on their costumes, a scarf around their neck and a hat on their head. It is absolutely adorable. We sing some of their favorite songs as well. This coming year I am going to add a song and they can use rhythm sticks.

  • Sherry and Donna Posted May 17, 2010 5:16 pm

    Deborah, clearly this is your passion and I admire you immensely for taking on such a commitment as I do Tom. Good luck with it all!
    Just a tip on the removal of masking tape and sticky residue … eucalyptus oil … it’s the best thing mother nature ever came up with to remove greasy and sticky stuff!
    Donna 🙂 🙂
    .-= Sherry and Donna´s last blog, trains, hoops and balls =-.

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted May 17, 2010 7:02 pm

    Oh my gosh – that is just the cutest idea!! I am going to borrow that sometime:)

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted May 17, 2010 7:03 pm

    Thank you for that tip – I will keep that in mind because someone forgot to remove the tape this year and I spent hours getting it all up!!!

  • Centers and Circle Time Posted May 19, 2010 11:12 pm

    Thanks for the tips, I’ll certainly get in touch with you if I have to do a show. Can’t wait to hear how the performance turns out!

    By the way, I use “Goof off” to remove sticky residue.
    .-= Centers and Circle Time´s last blog ..Sweet Simplicity =-.

  • Elise Posted May 20, 2010 8:10 am

    What a wealth of great information based on your experience. The children who are lucky enough to be guided by you must have a blast and what a treat for their parents to watch the performance.

  • Deborah J. Stewart Posted May 21, 2010 12:06 am

    The parents do love it and so do I. The children are so capable and I am always blessed by my time with them:)

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