About Music & Movement
Music and movement activities help children develop gross and fine motor skills and learn to express their emotions. They can use instruments to make sound, sing songs and dance, all while learning about rhythm, melody, beat, and harmony. Children also develop an understanding of how to work as a member of a group during music and movement experiences, including taking turns and following rules.
Music can help kids to practise concentration and stay attentive, especially when listening to stories or singing along to popular children’s tunes. Musical instruments are another great way for kids to explore the concept of cause and effect, as they can see that when they shake, press or strum an instrument, something happens to it.
Learning About Rhythm
Many songs and activities teach kids about the rhythm of the beat, which is important in maths. Counting to a rhythm and moving to it helps them to understand the beat, while hearing words sung to a beat helps them to develop pre-reading skills like rhyming and repetition. Songs that reference body parts, like “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes,” also teach kids about their bodies.
Learning about Cultures
Many musical pieces and songs are associated with specific cultures, which is an important part of a child’s cultural education. Taking part in music and movement activities that relate to different countries or regions, such as folk dances or world music, helps kids to learn about other cultures and share their own.
Developing Emotional Strengths
Music and dance is a wonderful way to relieve stress and tension, as well as teach kids how to manage their emotions. Quiet, soothing music can calm and relax children, while more lively beats can energize them. During group movement games, kids also learn how to cooperate and play together, which is a vital social skill they’ll need in the classroom and beyond.
During dance and other musical activities, children can use their creativity to create unique movements and expressions. This type of self-expression helps them build confidence, and the social interactions they experience during these activities can improve their feelings of connection with others.
Learning Through Music
To encourage children to move and use their imaginations, a music and movement center should be well-stocked with a variety of props. Having music CDs that include classical music and popular children’s songs is a good idea, as well as musical instruments that represent a variety of sounds and cultures. Xylophones, bells, maracas, a Chilean rainstick and a variety of drums are all excellent choices to have available in your classroom. You should also consider investing in a mobile audio pod or cart and clearly labeled storage containers to make storing these items easier. This makes it easy for your children to access the tools they need and to keep them organized. For extra fun, add a few scarves and let your children move around freely to the music. Encourage them to try other types of movement, too, such as jumping and hopping or bending and stretching.