Monday, September 8, 2014

Preschoolers Need to Sing!

Do you have a "clean-up" song that your class sings together? I am guessing for most of you the answer is "yes!" It's fun and helps motivate children to work together to tidy up after an activity. But songs do more than this in our classroom and homes. That's why we should celebrate our use of music.

Songs help children to express emotion and to appreciate music. Playing classical music may help soothe children. Lively songs can be played as children create art projects, and quiet melodies can be played as children transition from one activity to the next. Think about what you are trying to achieve in your classroom and play appropriate music. Your local library is sure to have recordings that you can borrow.

As teachers, we can be an important part of how children feel about music. It is important that we are enthusiastic with children when class songs are shared. On a personal note, I know teachers are busy and it is convenient to simply turn on a video to let children sing with it. But, when we sing (and dance) with our children, it helps us to develop a relationship and shows our enthusiasm.

Our involvement in music is important because songs help children develop key pre-reading skills. Lyrics as in "Down By the Bay" help children learn to rhyme, which is necessary for phonemic awareness. Words to patriotic songs help children learn new vocabulary. Music allows children to enjoy word play. For more on this please see our activity in either English or Spanish. Just click on the tabs above.

Three more music ideas:
Why not invite families to share their favorite songs with the class? This may give you an opportunity to celebrate the many cultures in your classroom.
Record your class singing a favorite song. Let children listen to themselves either as a group or at the listening center!
Remember to use your newsletter to explain to parents why music is important - feel free to provide our link! 

Standards Alignment:
NAEYC Alignment:
Children have opportunities in various academic disciplines; language and literacy; the arts – music, creative movement, dance, drama, visual arts; mathematics, science, physical activity, physical education, health and safety; and social studies.

Head Start Goal Alignment:
Language Development:  Demonstrates an increasing ability to attend to and understand conversations, stories, songs, and poems.

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