5 Reasons for Having Music & Movement in the Classroom
Van der Linde (1999) outlined six reasons why the importance of music and movement activities should not be underestimated. Among these are four that are particularly relevant here:
- Mental capacity and intellect.
For children 8 years of age and younger, this is an important time of learning and brain development for children in preparation for the rest of their education. Playing music and moving to a beat provides stimulating experiences for young children and fosters learning at home or in the classroom. There is a connection between music and the development of mathematical thinking. Mathematical concepts are developed as children sing counting songs.
- Mastery of the physical self.
Children develop coordination, which aids muscular development. They begin to understand what they can do with their bodies as they run, balance, crawl, skip and jump.Additionally, patterned activities at home or in the classroom, such as clapping to music or jumping in time to a beat stimulate brain function and help the brain to organize thoughts and behaviours.
- Development of the affective aspect.
Through music and movement, children learn acceptable avenues to express feelings and relieve tensed energies. Music may also convey a specific mood through which children reveal their emotions and inner-thoughts.
- Development of creativity.
Music can create an imaginary world that stimulates a child’s creativity. A box can become a drum, a straw can be transformed into a flute, bottles can become a maracas or a broom can become a standing microphone. Children make up songs or give new words to old songs for pure enjoyment. Teachers can best use this chance to incorporate social activities such as recycling the materials to make instruments.
We have also found out that music and movement helps in the development of a child’s communication skills. Hence, we have our own 5th reason to incorporate Music and Movement in the Classroom:
Language has its own tempo; speaking a language smoothly involves regular pauses, ends and starts in appropriate places. For example, most people do not speak in a continual, running course of words. Instead, they insert pauses between phrases, include their own fillers, use accents and increase or decrease the overall speed of speech. Music has a tempo and teaching young children songs that have rhythms and beats or learning to march in time to a tune can help students to learn the rhythm of speaking and improve their communication skills.
Music & Movement not only helps to develop a child’s mental and physical growth, it also allows the teacher to have better engagement and management in the classroom when these little kids release their active energies. Preschool and enrichment teachers should have in them basic skills and knowledge to incorporate Music & Movement in their lessons – for the kids 🙂