Utilizing Music in Early Childhood Education
Music is a very effective tool in the early childhood classroom. More and more, teachers are integrating music into teaching; whether it's listening to, appreciating, or creating it, efforts are being made to incorporate music into classrooms because of the many benefits for children's learning. Keep reading if you want to know more about how music can positively impact children's development!
When children engage in musical play, it often involves a group of children getting up and moving. Most commonly, children will stand in a circle or a line, walk, skip, dance, or run around the room. Musical-movement games can include musical chairs, using objects to make music, routines, or actions with songs. When children engage in musical play, it improves coordination and allows students to acclimate to larger motor movements. Musical play also adds a social aspect as students are able to sing and play together during play, which is vital!
In early childhood, music and rhythm are a precursor to children's language acquisition. Before children form words, they create a musical babble! Similar to how babies babble, children also try to vocalize songs and music and can even memorize melodies. As children are responsive and try to imitate sounds when a mother speaks to them, they try to imitate the sounds and rhythms of music as well. It is also shown that music accelerates brain development, "particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills". Music can be essential in the critical, early, developmental years of a child's life, so the more music in the classroom, the better!
It's not hard to believe that music begets happiness for children when it has a similar effect on adults, too. Music improves mood and creates joy for young children! This is not just because of how fun it is to engage in music-making, but also because it is a social experience in the classroom. Music allows all children to play, sing, and express themselves without proper speaking or writing; it's a language they all know even before they can talk. This is part of the reason music is a form of therapy for children since it is so effective in creating happiness.
There are so many ways to integrate music into the classroom. Listen to it in the morning to set the tone, during transitions, or to help students calm down after recess. Use it as a memorization tool to teach key concepts. Play instrumental music while students read or write. Play musical movement games during brain breaks!
We hope you see the benefits of integrating music in the early childhood classroom! If you want to read other ECE-focused posts, click here.