Why is There so Much Music and Singing in Early Childhood?
Early childhood educators value music education as a major segment of children’s social, emotional, physical, intellectual and psychological life.
Early childhood music programs in our centres provide opportunities for children to experience a number of varying musical experiences. These opportunities should help foster an awareness and understanding of music and to help children to value and find meaning in their own lives and those of others.
Children entering an early childhood program always come with some musical background or understanding. The role of our educators is to expose children to a wide variety of music to extend their innate musical ability. Music creation, expression and exploration takes place through a variety of activities so the educator needs to utilize as many methods and technologies as they can to further the musical development of the child as early as possible in life.
The influence of culture, family and early childhood educators is of extreme importance. Children who undergo regular musical stimulation (from 4 day olds to 5 year olds) have greater attention spans and superior language vocalization skills than children deprived of this input.
Benefits of music and improved educational outcomes
Parents, teachers, educators and the community in general are becoming more aware of the latest research concerning the strong relationship between music education in the early years and the improved educational outcomes throughout their lives. This research has demonstrated a powerful link between exposures to a good music education program with the following
- Improved problem solving skills
- The long term enhancement of spa>al and temporal reasoning skills
- improved language skills
- improved outcomes in mathematical abilities
- Increases in short and long term memory
- Greater social skills and social awareness
- enhanced creative intelligence and developed logical brain functions
- enhanced ability to think, comprehend and understand
Singing and instruments
The Early Childhood Music Program should be more learning based than teacher based. A balance of teaching styles between group sessions and child initiated experiences is always recommended as is a spontaneous exploration of musical ideas on a one to one basis. Group sessions encourage a valuable singing sound and should share a wide variety of musical games and repertoire from an eclectic mix of cultures
These activities provide time for sharing emotional, intellectual and physical enjoyment. Group time in music can also aid children socially to encourage spontaneous and creative sessions. Through singing and music games children learn how to move sing and play. Singing enhances the following skills:
- Beat, pace, tempo, meter
- Rhythm and rhythmic pa*erns
- Elevate pitch higher/lower, pitch skips, steps, unison, leaps, melodic contour, and harmony
- tone quality, head voice versus speaking voice
- Structure, phrase, repetition
- Expressive elements
- Comparing softer/louder, dynamics
At all our Young Academics Early Learning Centres we pride ourselves on being able to help children develop an interest in music learning. This may mean the same selection of songs is used at group times, or educators singing while changing a nappy. One thing for sure is that you don’t need to be a fabulous singer – what matters is that you sing, be silly and have fun!