Dear Early Childhood Educators,
Welcome to the Early Education Corner, a little space on the world-wide web where we early childhood educators can “gather” and “talk” about topics related to our work with young children!
Each month I will be sharing some ideas with you about teaching young children. I hope you will share your ideas as well so that we can have a lively discussion!
This month I have chosen to write about music in the early childhood classroom.
I think we would all agree that most young children love music. But why is music so important to children? Here are some of my thoughts on the subject.
1. Music has a positive effect on young children’s development!!
New research shows that music has a positive influence on young children’s cognitive skills such as spatial reasoning and memory. Research also shows that providing children with a rich and stimulating environment involving all the senses, including the auditory sense, can support children’s healthy growth and development.
Research has shown that children who are actively involved with music (who play it or sing it regularly):
- do better in reading and math when they start school
- are better able to focus and control their bodies
- play better with others and have higher self-esteem
Here are some ways I have used music in the early childhood classroom.
- Use a song to greet each child in the morning during morning meeting as part of attendance.
- Use a song or instrumental music during transition times such as clean-up time or snack preparation time.
- Play background music during free play or centers time. Be sure the music isn’t too loud or distracting from the children’s activities.
- Play quiet lullabies or soft classical music during nap time or rest time.
- Use music to teach letters, shapes, numbers or any other concepts in the curriculum.
- Sing songs and play instruments as part of the daily routine.
- Use music to enhance games and movement activities.
- Add music to creative drama and art activities.
- Use music to help children learn about other cultures and other lands.
- Use music to celebrate special events and holidays.
2. Young children enjoy making music with others!!
Making music with others gives children a wonderful feeling of belonging to the group. Children who might have difficulty joining in activities with others because they are shy, have limited English ability (ELLs or language delayed) or special needs, can freely participate when it comes to a music activity.
3. Music makes young children happy!!
Children seem to experience much pleasure and joy listening to music, making music and moving to music. Whether they are singing along to a CD, playing a rhythm instrument or skipping to music around the classroom, most children seem to thoroughly enjoy participating in a music activity. How wonderful it is that with very little effort, a teacher can bring such happiness to children each day just by providing the opportunity to do a little something with music.
I hope you and your students will enjoy making music together!
Please let me know about ways you have used music in your classroom!
Looking forward to hearing from you.