Category Archives: Early childhood

Music and learning in the early childhood classroom…


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Throughout history, music has been used as an instrument of sociality for cultures the world over. Its power has been touted as the great elixir of both physiological as well as emotional ills. Researchers have studied its effect on emotional/social development, physical development, and intelligence.

The role of music in the education of the young child is at the forefront of all other early learning since the child’s musical intelligence overlaps and intersects with all other intelligence defined by Gardner (Thurman, Chase, and Langness, 1987). Music is a precursor to the development of the other intelligence: linguistic, musical, bodily kinesthetic, logical-mathematical, spatial, and personal (Boyd, 1989).

Visualize the following scenario. Ten kindergarten children are singing the song Five Little Bunnies. Their musical intelligence is used as they sway left to right in rhythm with the music. Their logical-mathematical intelligence is piqued in the counting of bunnies. Their linguistic skills are developed when they create their own personal interpretation of the song. Their spatial and personal development is stimulated as they move around like a bunny.

Children love to sing. Singing generates emotional dimension and is extremely important in social/cultural development since it and culminating activities are invaluable to establishing group identity. Ritualized singing at the beginning and end of play periods develops a meaningful bridge between the child’s home life and school life. (Boyd, 1989).

Meaningful, well-constructed songs are easily memorized and will come to mind at any given moment providing the child singing it a comforting reminder of earlier activities or learning experiences.

 

 

Music use in the primary classroom…


Music and Multiple Intelligences – Partners in Pre-Reading Success…


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According to researcher Howard Gardner, there are nine ways of being smart. Children are “natural” learners and learn best in ways that are “natural” to their innate learning style(s).

Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences…

  • Body Smart
  • Music Smart
  • Picture Smart
  • Number Smart
  • Word Smart
  • People Smart
  • Self Smart
  • Nature Smart
  • Existential Smart

It’s interesting to note that music lends itself to all ways of being smart when it comes to acquiring pre-reading skills in early childhood. Here are just a few examples of integrating “music smart” with “partner smarts” to make learning basic pre-reading skills interesting and fun.

Body and Music Smart

  • Move body to form letter shapes to music.
  • Jump rope to the alphabet song.

Music Smart

  • Sing vowel sounds.
  • Use lyrics to simple songs to find and circle letters.

Picture and Music Smart

  • Illustrate and label pictures to a song.
  • Create an adaptation songbook.

Number and Music Smart

  • Count the number of bunnies in a song.
  • Order events in a songbook.

Word and Music Smart

  • Sing the “Word Family Song”.
  • Find and circle words in a song or lyrical poem.

People and Music Smart

  • Share and teach favorite songs with someone.
  • Sing with a buddy.

Self and Music Smart

  • Sing aloud to a stuffed animal friend.
  • Listen to a rhyming songbook on CD.

Nature and Music Smart

  • Text to real world connections.  Name the living things you see outside?  What songs do they remind you of?
  • Sing and dance to “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush” while circling a tree or bush.

Existential and Music Smart

  • Find letter blends in the song “Giving”.
  • SIng a friendship song.  Brainstorm the ways to be a good friend.

Multiple styles can and should overlap in any learning activity but it should be noted that including music turns a not so interesting lesson into one that piques a child’s curiosity and attention span!