Music For Education

If we think back to our own childhood, most of us can remember the songs our mothers used to sing to us, the melodies we used to chant with our friends, the joy of learning fun, new songs in school. Music had a way of lifting our spirits, of soothing our souls.

From the moment a child is born it finds comfort in the melodious sound of its mother's and father's voice. Even at so young an age a child delights in the sound of lullaby or the rhyming of a nursery rhyme. Music does much more than just soothe and please, though those are very important attributes. It helps your child develop learning skills like:

imagination; and
Music & Daycare

Like art, reading and free play, music should be a part of every child care program, be it center-based or home care. A quality child care program enhances a child's interest in music in a variety of ways.

These should include:

using a cassette or CD player to introduce children to different kinds of music like jazz, classical, international.
getting children to move with the beat, clapping, dancing, doing a variety of movements that also help to build the large muscles and coordination.
the use of nursery rhymes like "Baa Baa Black Sheep" or "Little Bo Peep" that, through repetition, help children develop their listening and memory skills.
the use of musical instruments (even homemade ones) like clapping sticks, wooden spoons, empty bowls, pots or pans to keep the beat or learn repetitive beats like "long, long, short ... long, long short", or clapping out their name.
Other instruments might include:

stretching different size rubber bands around an open shoe box.
empty containers filled with popcorn kernels or dried beans.
cardboard trumpets made from paper towel rolls which the children can hum through to make kazoo-type sounds.
under close supervision, glasses filled with different levels of water that can be tapped with a spoon to make different sounds.
singing songs while the children are on a walk around the block, to the park, or while dressing to go outside or washing up for lunch.
Music, rhythm and dance should be a regular part of every child care program and for many good reasons. In addition to building memory, listening and vocabulary skills, music teaches children about a variety of concepts as they sing songs about feelings, animals, nature, and other cultures. It also enhances a child's social skills as he or she sings in a group.

Why not take a minute to talk with your provider about her music program? Perhaps your child has a favorite cassette tape or musical instrument he or she would be proud to share with the other children? Or maybe there is someone you know who would be willing to play an instrument or sing a song or two for a young, captive audience. We all, young and old, need a little music to brighten up our lives.