Learning music is more than just a fun activity.
Responding to music comes naturally to young children. It is also a wonderful outlet for movement, communication, creativity, and socialization. Nurture a love for music in your child by providing an environment rich in music. Audio tapes or CDs, musical instruments that allow exploration with sound and rhythm, video tapes with classical music scores, or just the sound of your voice can enrich your child’s world. Music instruction can also support learning in other academic areas, and early exposure can make children familiar and comfortable with music as an important component of their daily lives.
Music makes learning about the world around us easier. It provides:
● Repetition that reinforces learning
● A rhythmic beat that helps coordination
● Patterns that help in anticipating what comes next
● Melodies that capture our attention and hearts in enjoyment
● Words that are the building blocks of language and literacy
Music supports many developing skills. It can:
● Build relationships, communicate feelings and provide comfort
● Help older toddlers share, make friends, and feel comfortable in a group setting
● Foster language development through stories, rhyming and rhythm
● Develop individuality by allowing children to discover their own sounds and unique styles of music
● Launch creativity by allowing children to fill in missing words, discover new sounds or make up songs
● Develop fine and large muscles through finger-plays, dancing, or playing instruments
● Build coordination by letting children follow a beat and use their minds, voices and bodies together
(Source: “Getting in Tune: The Magic of Music in Child Care”, published by Zero to Three, a national non-profit promoting the healthy development of babies and toddlers, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.)
The fundamental processes and concepts which are necessary to learning music (such as analysis, quantity, main ideas, sequence, relationships, inference, conclusions and recall) are also necessary to learning in other areas.
There is considerable evidence to show that children who participate regularly in music do better in reading than those who do not. An obvious relationship to math would be the study of equivalents (notes and numbers) and the study of fractions. Geography and history can be made to come alive through learning songs of different times and countries and through the discussion of the people and origins of songs.
Development of physical coordination through moving, clapping, and dancing enhances goals in physical education classes. Expression of feeling through music can be compared with and enhanced by awareness of expression of feeling through art. Drawing to music combines the two areas very fruitfully.
The science of sound (acoustics) is important to music, as well as involving scientific and mathematical concepts. (Source: “A Practical Guide to Teaching Music in the Elementary School”, by Genevieve Fitzmaurice, D.M.A.)