For more than 25 years, Ken Cooper has worked with the kindergarten students and teachers at Sacramento area schools performing a guitar – accompanied live singing program geared to enhancing curriculum. He sings weekly with all of the kindergartners to reinforce reading and counting competence, social skills and to provide an opportunity for learning music appreciation. Mr. Cooper also composes original music to augment his program each year.
The Kindergarten Sing program has been developed over this time utilizing Open Court selections, other learning related songs such as “Apples and Bananas” and “10 Little Monkeys,” patriotic numbers like “This Land is Your Land,” children’s favorites such as “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” seasonal tunes like “Jingle Bells,” and silly songs including ones from the Sprout and PBS television networks. Mr. Cooper’s program emphasizes Common Core State Standards, phonics, blending, and counting skills. It helps children learn to focus on a task and follow directions, while teaching appreciation of live music at the same time.
Picking up where the Kindergarten Sing Program leaves off, Ken Cooper continues reinforcing reading skills with 1st and 2nd grade students. His guitar accompanied singing program supports curriculum by utilizing Benchmark and Open Court unit themes and principles. This year long residency is also linked to California and Sacramento City Unified School District reading standards. Music and lyrics support ELL language exploration and assist with rhyming skills that help bolster CELDT testing.
Using the document reader to show song lyrics, children read and sing, as well as learn. The songs featured in this program, including original songs written by Mr. Cooper, coincide with and enhance subject matter contained in the grade level Anthologies. For example, a science-based unit on fossils would include songs about fossils, dinosaurs, or prehistoric times. Vocabulary used in the song lyric is discussed. Reading comprehension strategies such as visualizing, monitoring reading speed, and making connections to songs are utilized.
By listening, responding, recalling, and rhyming, a student’s letter and sound recognition is reinforced. The 1st and 2nd Grade Sing Program provides many other benefits to children. ELL, GATE, and general education students all sing together. Community singing with classmates builds self-esteem and adds enjoyment to language usage in the classroom. Kinesthetic and visual learner’s needs are addressed and supported. Students learn to focus on the task at hand and follow directions while appreciating live music.
#1. Come to a library or another live show where I will have all 6 CDs with me. This is the best and least expensive way to get all your favorite sing-along songs. There’s no shipping or handling and you can listen again on the ride home. Plus, I’ll throw in a smile, no extra charge.