Teaching Cues

There are lots of teaching cues we use to signal what we want children to do. Using cues in music helps prepare children for following other kinds of directors in ensemble settings, such as a choir or orchestra director. Here are some of the cues I use to signal children to:

  • listen: say, “Listen” and cup your hand behind your ear.
  • repeat what you just sang: say, “Your turn,” and point toward them with your hand.
  • stand up: motion with hand(s) upward in a scooping motion.
  • sit down: motion with hand(s) downward, like you are gently pushing something down.
  • move from lines to a circle: sing, “Children, Come and Dance with Me.”
  • move back to their line spots quietly: say, “Tip toe to your line spots.”
  • move to the right in a circle: say, “Circle right!”
  • move to the left in a circl:, say, “Circle left!”
  • stop moving: say, “Stop!” (Hold up hand(s) like a stop sign) in front of you.

I am pretty sure it doesn’t really matter exactly how you signal children, as children can learn anything. What matters is that it is simple, quick, respectful, and consistent.