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Best Practice Tips – Music and Singing

Posted in: Blog | April 8, 2021

We have lots of musical instruments at TinyToes. Using these appropriately will make a huge difference to the way the children learn.

According to L.M. Levinowitz, Ph.D, ‘ The early childhood years are crucial for using the body to respond as a musical instrument to many different types of music.’
Using instruments helps develop gross and fine- motor skills, increases listening skills ( and, therefore , reading), helps develop self-control and self- discipline, team – work, sharing skills, cultural awareness, and mathematical concepts such as counting, sequencing, and numerical order. Phew! Quite a lot, then!

However, simply grabbing an instrument and making noise, is detrimental to learning for children over two. There is no self-control, no self- discipline in simply belting a drum, or tunelessly shaking maracas.This is why we should be teaching music to our children. Sounding out syllables to their names, either by voice, clapping, or using a musical instrument, is a great way to start.

Singing is another way to develop the aforementioned skills. ‘Ten in a bed’, ‘ Five little monkeys’, ‘Johnny hammers with one hammer’, are great songs to start with. We should be encouraging the children to sing on a daily basis. You can also adapt well known songs for use with instruments. ‘Old McDonald’ can have a band, instead of a farm. The children will listen for the instrument they have, e.g. ‘ In this band he had some bells…’ and follow the chorus with the bells. This can culminate in a whole-band piece at the end. Self-disciplined, self- controlled children are, it has been proven, much happier and more secure, than those allowed to run wild.

Music is a brilliant way to stimulate children’s desire to learn. However, just as we wouldn’t simply give a small child a book and say, ‘ Read it.’ We need to support them in their musical learning.

As babies, banging, rattling, and shaking instruments at random, may seem to go against all we have just said. However, in babies, these activities help develop sensory, gross, and fine-motor skills. As the develop, they can begin to refine their movements to follow rhyming patterns from songs and nursery rhymes, which in turn, will lay great foundations for future musical learning.