The Benefits of Music in Early Childhood
The Benefits of Music in Early Childhood
Patricia Reeves, Music Teacher

Adults use talking and writing as forms of communication. Preschoolers express themselves by dancing, playing, coloring, and singing.

There have been numerous studies on the effect that music has on the brain in a child's early development throughout adulthood. In Early Childhood Music class, children are given the advantage of using the ways that they express themselves as an opportunity to aid in the developmental process of learning. It has been proven that children hear frequencies quite differently than adults, and music aids in the ability of children to differentiate the sounds for organization within the brain. There are many benefits of teaching music in the program.

There is a strong correlation between music and emotional, social, and cognitive development:

  • Learning songs promotes clearer speech and phonics and aids with learning mathematics.
  • The explanation of what sound is, how we hear it and where it comes from, supports social studies, geography, and science.
  • Many studies have shown that music aids in higher SAT scores.
  • Music also helps to develop gross and fine motor skills and longer attention spans.
  • It teaches collaboration with fellow students and gives children self confidence.

There are many more reasons for teaching music to small children. The favorite of the children is to have lots of fun without knowing the fancy terminology of what there are learning!

I begin my classes by playing the flute or singing and playing on the autoharp for the children, who also sing along. The Canterbury Kids have been having lots of fun exploring and playing Orff instruments. The students have been introduced to glockenspiels and learned how to play glissandos (playing several notes in rapid succession). Physical movement was incorporated into existent aural structures by ending the class playing jingle bells and dancing to the A,B,C song and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

The Cavalier music students are learning how to keep a steady beat through the use of Call and Response. The children enjoyed learning simple songs in various ways. The rhythms to certain songs have been taught by using various Orff instruments, such as xylophones, metallophones, rhythm sticks, triangles, drums, tambourines and egg shakers.

The JK students have been learning more difficult rhythms, changes in tessitura (note pitches) and are now able to play intervals on the xylophones, metallophones and glockenspiels while singing. They also have thoroughly enjoyed dressing up and singing songs that they make up in the Arioso chair. Lastly, the students enjoy guessing what note is being played on the keyboard using their solfege skills (system which uses syllables and hand signs for each note of the scale).

In music, Prep has been combining visual artists and learning about different genres of music that was composed in the various time periods. The students also use movement and words to express themselves while listening to music. They have also exhibited great pitch and difficult rhythmic accuracy while learning a new song this past week. They enjoy movement stories, playing the xylophones, metallophones, bass bar and will continue development of proper singing and working on solfege.