Why use music with young children?
Music can be linked to ALL areas of the curriculum and, used effectively, will aid learning and develop important skills which will be used in later life. It is also, of course, a lot of fun!
Music encourages language development, improves co-ordination, enhances motor skills and boosts self-esteem.
Recent research shows that there is a definite link between music, rhythm and beat, and early reading development. the child sings, he explores, sequences, and orders sounds, which are critical skills for reading.
Music is effective because it is a nonverbal form of communication, it is a natural reinforcer, it is immediate in time and provides motivation for practicing non-musical skills. Most importantly, it is a successful medium because almost everyone responds positively to at least some kind of music.
Preferred music may be used contingently for a wide variety of co-operative social behaviours like sitting in a chair or staying with a group of other children in a circle.
Music is also important because it helps children learn to co-operate, follow directions and develop social relationships. It helps them to learn how to get along with other people who live in their society.
How does music help children?
All children will benefit at their own level of understanding and ability.
Children don’t need any particular musical ability to benefit from music. Music is often the first thing to which a child relates, a “universal language” that crosses all cultural lines.
Children with disabilities are not necessarily disabled in their musical skills. The child will have opportunity to shine whilst non-musical goals are being reinforced.
Music is success oriented - children of all ability levels can participate and feel better about themselves.
It can provide pleasurable learning through enjoyable music activities that promote success.
Quality learning and maximum participation occur when children experience the joy of play.
Music captivates and keeps attention - it stimulates and uses many parts of the brain.
Music occurs naturally in the environment in many settings and is a socially appropriate activity and leisure skill.
Music is easily adapted to and can reflect a child’s abilities.
Music structures time in a way that we can understand (last/next verse etc)
Music provides a meaningful, enjoyable context for repetition.
Music sets up a safe, structured setting for verbal and non-verbal communication.
Music is an effective memory aid.
Music supports and encourages movement.
Music taps into memories, emotions and senses involving the child at many levels.
Music and the related silence, provide nonverbal and immediate feedback.
Music is highly motivating, yet can also have a calming and relaxing effect.
Music therapy can help a child manage pain and stressful situations.
Because the brain processes music in both hemispheres, music can stimulate speech/language skills and cognitive functioning.
Music stimulates all of the senses and involves the child at many levels.
~ gain confidence
~ be creative
~ learn self-expression
~ learn to have fun
~ learn to listen
~ learn about turn taking
~ learn about rhythm and rhyme
~ develop their language development
~ develop their physical development
~ develop their co-ordination
~ learn new words
~ make new friends
~ make choices
~ develop their imagination
~ deal with stress
~ learn to count
Music will also help children…
~ express their emotions
~ release energy and channel it to gain confidence in themselves
~ learn that, with practice, their bodies will do almost anything they want them to do
~ learn new words and ideas
~ learn about themselves and the relationships they have with others
~ learn acceptance and coping skills
~ develop attending/listening skills
~ aid conflict resolution
~ develop decision-making
~ deal with emotions
~ maintain and strengthen family bonds
~ develop memory recall
~ develop self-awareness and self-esteem
~ develop sensory systems
~ develop social skills
~ in their spiritual exploration
~ validate personal life experiences
~ develop visual abilities
~ be creative and productive
~ follow directions