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Following Children's Interests:

The Purple Room Band

Reflections from the Field

When children get excited about something, adults can build on that interest to engage children in a meaningful, longer term learning experience. Student teacher Sydney Rodriguez describes how children in her preschool classroom got excited about the idea of forming a band and performing for the entire center. Sydney explains how she built on that interest by engaging children in a series of connected learning experiences, leading up to a culminating performance. She reflects on the amount of time required to fully engage the children in all the steps of the process, and on the importance of regularly incorporating music into early childhood classrooms.

View a transcript: English; Spanish

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    1. In what ways do we build learning experiences based on the expressed interests of the children in our room or program?
    2. What strategies can we use to support children's interests and promote child-centered experiences?
    3. How can we be prepared to take advantage of opportunities for meaningful experiences that we might not have originally planned for?
    4. What are some of the ways we currently support children's musical development? What else might we try?
    5. For any type of performance art, how can we provide a meaningful experience for children who may be unable or unwilling to "perform" in front of others?
  • Producer and scriptwriter: Julia DeLapp
    Videography: Ken Measimer, Jess Marciante (student)
    Jess Marciante (student), Ken Measimer
  • The Center wishes to thank the Child and Family Development Resource Center in Willimantic, Connecticut, for their cooperation in the making of this video, and cooperating teacher Claudia Sweetland. Sydney Rodriguez was an early childhood education student at Quinebaug Valley Community College during the time of this experience.
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