Music as a Joyful Learning Experience
Music has a power that goes beyond words, having numerous cognitive benefits that support children’s early development. It offers a joyful learning experience and promotes growth in many different developmental areas.
At Thames British School Madrid, we are intentional about integrating music into our daily routine, choosing activities to support specific developmental goals. Here are just a few reasons why we like to introduce musical activities in our day to day and how it may contribute to growth.
Being shared with others, music is by nature a social experience. When our kids dance or clap to a song together, we are promoting positive social interactions, generating a nice learning atmosphere where they can enjoy each other in a constructive way. Group activities such as circle time, group orchestra, or simply singing along together provide bonding and create a cheerful environment for learning. During circle time we tend to share songs that go along with simple motions and dance moves such as: “Slippery Fish”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Five little monkeys”, etc. We also create our own silly songs and hand motions, using the kid’s names in the song and rhyme. Moving their bodies helps them be aware of themselves and helps them out of being self-conscious.
By introducing music in our schedule, we also help toddlers develop physical motor skills. We encourage children’s inclination to move. Dancing helps build the muscles in their arms, legs and trunk. Finger plays supports the development of small muscles in children’s hands and fingers. Interactive songs like “Open shut them”, “Wheels on the bus” and “One little finger” are great examples of ways music can support these skills. Music is a great asset for building coordination, strength and balance.
Music is a great teacher. From an early age kids differentiate different types of sounds. Musical activities can help them identify sound patterns and learn through repetition. It is also a fun way to introduce sequences. Mastering these skills will build the base of literacy and numeracy. We introduce different instruments and encourage the class by inviting them to bang out a rhythm and then imitating what others do. We extend the activity by introducing and tapping more complicated rhythms and inviting the kids to follow.
Songs and rhymes can also help our kids develop their vocabulary, increasing early literacy skills. We offer new songs for different topics and seasons, making learning fun! Plus, learning songs in a second language helps them remember correct pronunciation.
Last, but not least, we also introduce music as a cue to routine and different tasks, indicating playtime, cleaning, sleep time and different moments in our kid’s daily schedule.
Blog entry written by: Carolina Caridad
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