Redmond Early Learning Center music teacher develops innovative technique

Music teacher Erica Pashia recently came up with an innovative approach to teaching music to Redmond Early Learning Center’s (RELC) kindergartners.

Simpson designed six stations for her class called Choice Time Stations. The first station involved rhythm legos, where they learned “ta’s,” “ti’s,” and “sh” sounds, otherwise known as quarter notes, eighth notes and quarter rests.

“It was a fun and productive experiment incorporating choice time with my music class,” Pashia said. “The Choice Time Stations allowed the students to choose the station they wanted to learn at by counting the number of students at each station, and they could switch stations whenever they wanted as long as there was an open space.”

Choice time is an early childhood educational approach guided by the belief that children learn best when their activities are self-directed and play-based.

Pashia explained that she waited until March to begin using choice time in her music class so that the kindergartners would have time to learn the choice time structure in their regular classroom.

“Sometimes, there was not enough room and the students would “work out a deal” with a student at that station,” Pashia said. “It was amazing to watch them problem solve and work with each other to make the most out of their time.”

The other stations included classical music coloring, piano practice, music Twister, music Jenga and songwriting.