We are in full showtime preparation mode here at UCP’s Early Beginning Academy!

I have to say, that’s one of my favorite modes to be in. In the past, we have prepared many performances that involved singing (watch an adorable video here) and playing instruments. Recently, I have started adding musicals to our program agendas and the children are loving it!

In November 2011, the children wrote their very own musical entitled “In the Woods.” They came up with the storyline, created the characters, and made the background scenery, tickets, and programs!

In December 2012, we prepared a musical based on the popular Christmas story, the Nutcracker. We took the children on a field trip to see the play (they were mesmerized!), then we acted out scenes and dances from the play to create our own musical.

Now, we are working on Little Red Riding Hood, which I adapted into a musical. The performance will be in two weeks, on May 29th and I could not be more excited to see the final result!

The children have been working very hard. Here was our process to prepare this musical:

– I read the children the story “Little Red Riding Hood.” I used a book with beautiful illustrations.

– I held “auditions” for each child to show how they would play the Big Bad Wolf (who can roar the loudest and scariest?) or Little Red Riding Hood (who can skip across the room?)

– I assigned various roles for the musical:

  • I assigned one child to each main character role: the Big Bad Wolf, Little Red Riding Hood, the mother, the grandmother, and the woodcutter.
  • One class is our orchestra: they play sound effects like the birds singing in the woods (canary stick), the leaves crunching (cabasa), and the wind blowing (chimes). They also play sound effects for each main character (thunder tube for the Big Bad Wolf!)
  • Two classes are the leaves and flowers in the forest (they have a special song and dance!)
  • One class plays the animals that Little Red Riding Hood sees in the woods.
  • One child is the narrator and another is our scene changer by pushing a voice output device that says “Act 1,” “Act 2,” or “Act 3.”

– Practice, practice, practice!

It takes a lot of work to coordinate all the different parts in the musical – the children have lines to learn, positions to learn, and songs to learn. But it will all be worth it when the final show is ready!

Have YOU prepared a musical with the children you work with? I would love to hear what the musical was and how you prepared the children. Leave a comment below to share your ideas!