The Value of Music for the Young Learner

Music’s prominent place in early education is based on the value of music to children’s growth and learning. Music and movement activities can be a fun part of every day in your preschool.

  • Music is a social activity. Listening to music and singing or dancing together unites children. Individuals come to feel a part of the community when singing together.
  • Music is another way of knowing, another symbolic mode of thought and expression. From the inactive and iconic mode of knowing and learning about the world through action, perception, and imagery, music grows to become a symbolic mode of learning.
  • Music gives children unique opportunities to create and be fluent in their thinking. They can respond in unique ways to listening or moving to music and create new songs and rhymes.
  • Music gives children the opportunity to express their feelings and ideas freely as they dance in the light of a sunbeam, pound a drum, or sing a song of joy.
  • Music is mathematical. The rhythmic quality of music fosters children’s ability to keep time and count sequences.
  • Music is physical. Children sway, clap, dance, or stomp to music, gaining control over their bodies. Even singing is a physical activity that requires the ability to control muscles, vocal cords, and breathing.
  • Music benefits children with special needs. Because music is a pleasurable, nonthreatening experience, it can be used to help a child with special needs feel more comfortable within the group (Humpal, 2003).
  • Music develops the skills necessary for learning to read and write (Andress, 1995). The Music and Reading Readiness Skills box on this page describes how and why music is necessary for the development of reading readiness skills.
  • There are many activities that you can do at home with your child related to music education. Making your own instruments can be a fun and exciting activity for you child.

    Make Musical Instruments!

    • Paper plate Tambourines
    • Jingle bell bracelets (sewn onto ponytail holders, or threaded onto pipe cleaners)
    • Bottle Music (glass bottles or glasses filled with different amounts of water, spoons)
    • Milk carton or cereal box guitar
    • Comb/wax paper harmonica
    • Plastic egg shakers
    • Clear soda bottle shakers
    • Oatmeal container drum
    • Dowel sticks (hit together to keep the beat)
    • Sandpaper blocks (to rub together)
    • Soda bottle whistles (blow downward, from the side, to make sound)
    • Snapple juice lid clackers
    • Pots and Pan lid cymbals

    “The Artistic Eduge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly right Brain World.” By Lisa Phillips.

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