Being Jolly with Jolly Musicジョリーミュージックで楽しく!!

ジョリーミュージックでは、たくさんの英語の童謡に触れることで、子どもたちが、英語の自然なリズムや強弱のパターンに触れることを促します。この学齢の子どもたちは、大人の真似をする天才です。そして、日本語と英語の話し方の違いについてもすぐに理解します。ジョリーミュージックで使われる童謡の多くが、ネイティブスピーカーの間でも、母語を学ぶために何世代も歌い継がれてきたものです。実際、”Rain, Rain, Go Away”(「雨、雨、どっか行け」)は、400年以上もの間、雨季である6月に歌われてきました。こういった歌が、現代の日本の子どもたちにとっても、400年前のイギリスの子どもたちと同じように、日常生活の中で自然と口ずさめるものとなればいいな、と願っています。




As the first semester of kindergarten classes have come to a close, what better time than now to take a look back at one of the exciting resources we have been making use of at Hibarigaoka and Nakayamadai kindergartens? The resource I speak of is Jolly Music, a comprehensive music education program that is very popular in the U.K.

Why use a British music course as a tool for teaching English to Japanese kindergarteners? Of course, using music as an instructional tool for this age group is nothing new. Both our kindergartens place a very strong emphasis on Japanese language songs to help promote linguistic and social development. So, as a means to make our kindergarten English program even stronger, Jolly Music was a natural choice for us. We here at the kindergarten like Jolly’s emphasis on teaching the natural rhythm of English, and the program’s us of body movement to make learning stronger.

Jolly Music features a wealth of nursery rhymes that help expose children to the natural rhythm and stress patterns of English. Students in this age group are masters of mimicry, and are able to quickly pick up on differences between English and Japanese speech patterns. Many of the nursery rhymes within Jolly Music have been used by generations of native English speakers to learn their own language. In fact, ‘Rain, Rain, Go Away,’ a song we enjoyed singing during the wet month of June, dates back over 400 years! We hope that singing these songs comes as naturally to these youngsters in Japan today as it did to children in England 400 years ago.

In addition to rhythm, Jolly Music also supports kinesthetic learning. For each of the nursery rhymes in the series, there are a set of accompanying body movements to help reinforce learning. Some of the phrases we have enjoyed using both inside and outside of class include ‘go away’ (often used in a joking manner), and ‘play’ (children love to smile and run in place). These body movements can later be used as cues to help children recall the language they acquired. But even more importantly, they provide tons of laughs for both children and adults.

This semester, students and teachers have truly enjoyed singing and performing the songs of Jolly Music. I really can’t wait to come back this fall and share some songs and smiles with everyone! Have a great summer vacation!

(雲雀丘学園幼稚園、中山台幼稚園 教諭 ジョナサン・ライアン)