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.
Posted in Early childhood, early childhood learning songs, listening skills, Multiple Intelligences, music, music and curriculum, music and dramatic play, music and learning, songs for learning
Tagged Curriculum, Early childhood, Motor skill, Music, Music education, optimal learning, Performing Arts
Music is a positive supplement to any curriculum. Using music to enhance curriculum – especially in early childhood, stimulates the brain’s neural coding which aids learning in later years. Here are just a few of the ways music can enhance your classroom curriculum:
- Singing encourages language development. Music is generally processed on the right side of the brain and language on the left. Singing involves both words and music and results in stimulating hemispheric interactions.
- Music is not just for listening, but can be expounded upon the same way any good literature choice can. In a study of preschoolers’ responses to auditory and vibroacoustic stimuli, J.M. Standley found that comprehension of literature was greatest for those students listening to the music-only version of the story.
- Children can listen to music with eyes closed and create a picture in their minds. Writing about their picture enhances phonemic awareness and focus skills.
- Singing favorite songs develops pitch and intonation skills required for vocal cord development, thereby improving oral language skills.
- Discussing the meaning behind song lyrics is a positive way to develop higher order thinking skills.
How do you use music in your classroom or home?
Campbell, D. (1997). The Mozart effect: Tapping the power of music to heal the body, strengthen the mind, and unlock the creative spirit. New York, New York: Avon Books.
D’Agrosa, E. (2008). Making music, reaching readers: Making powerful connections possible for young students. General Music Today (Online), 21(2), 6-10.
Standley, J.M. (1992) Child development and music. Psychology of Music, Vol.20, pp. 80-85.
Infusing curriculum with music is one sure way to heighten targeted academic development. Children acquire skills easily in relationship to what they know. The songs and rhythms of early childhood spark enthusiasm for learning and build self-esteem. There are six elements to incorporating music into your daily teaching routine. How do we effectively incorporate them?
- Ensure a strong bond between music in the classroom and music at home.
- Incorporate music use with all elements of curriculum.
- Use music to facilitate effective transition times.
- Steer appropriate classroom behavior with background music.
- Develop a “Music and Sound Spot”.
- Allow time each day for movement with music.
Each of these areas will be presented in following posts to allow time for discussion of each separately. Be sure to look for future posts.
Also, this is a new blog and I would love to hear from you on the types of information you would like to see presented. Thanks!
Posted in music, music and curriculum, music and dramatic play, music and learning, music and self-esteem, music brain connection
Tagged Arts, Background music, Curriculum, Early childhood, Elementary school, Language acquisition, Music