The importance of Music for Children in their Early Years

Music aids learning more than you may think!


Music Day is nearly here! Taking place on the 21st of June, it is a day to appreciate musical achievements and advances from all over the world. Everyone, big and small, can understand music. It plays a big part in our everyday lives. Let's learn about why music is not only significant for adults but also for children.


Music has been proven to boost the development of literacy skills in the Early Years

Recently the Ottawa University researched the development of early literacy skills, which conclusively showed that music and language activities played a role in Early Years development.


Furthermore, The study tested the efficiency of four learning conditions to develop phonological and musical processing skills through a set of 10 nursery rhymes. In the teachers' practices, eight kindergarten classes were paired and assigned to one of the following conditions:

1) music

2) language

3) combined [music and language] and,

4) passive listening (control classes).


In condition 1, the students' replaced nursery rhymes with musical activities. In condition 2 they replaced nursery rhymes with language activities. In Condition 3 was a combination of activities from conditions 1 and 2 and condition 4, children listened to a recording of the same nursery rhymes for 15 minutes daily during free exploration periods.


The results show that children in conditions 1, 2 and 3 significantly improved their phonological awareness and invented spelling skills. However, the addition of musical activities boosted phonological processing skills. This study shows that supplementing nursery rhymes with language activities can increase the development of emergent literacy skills.


Here are some suggestions below to foster your child's love for rhyme and music at home:

  • You can put together a collection of objects that rhyme and find the matching pairs!

  • You can collect story props and make little storytelling baskets or bags to go with popular rhymes or stories, e.g. a cow, a dog and cat toys along with a dish and a spoon from the kitchen

  • You can play story stones with your child and let their imagination take over.

  • You can make a more general storytelling basket so you can create mixed up fairy tales, rhymes and chants for fun!

  • You can Sing Animal Boogie with your child and use toy animals around your home to bring the song to life. Here's a link for the song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25_u1GzruQM

(something like this picture)



Let us know what you've learnt in the comments below!




Cited


Bolduc, J. & Lefebvre, P. (2012). Using Nursery Rhymes to Foster Phonological and Musical Processing Skills in Kindergarteners. Creative Education, 3, 495-502 http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=21626

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