Early Years Music

Music should be a part of your daily activity if you are to give the children in your care a fully rounded learning experience. According to the experts early childhood is the most critical period in a child’s musical growth and is known as the ‘music babble’ stage and is similar to the ‘language babble’ stage. Basically, there is a sequence that children go through when developing music competence, as with language.

Up to the age of six is the time when we learn to understand the aural images of music. This is known as audiation which is a mental process where the brain gives musical sounds meaning. Essentially, audiation is similar to thinking in a language.

The skills learned in early years can affect a child’s musical development for their whole life. So what can you do, as an early year’s practitioner, to make sure you have a positive influence?

Supporting Music in Your Setting

If you don’t have anyone who is musical on your staff you can bring in the experts. If you Google ‘supporting music in early years’ you’ll get a plethora of sites offering advice and services to help you.

In the meantime, here are some suggestions to help weave music into your daily routine.

1. Play music at snack, meal and sleep times. Naturally you’d like to choose something appropriate for each time of day – something soothing and quite at sleep time for example.

2. Observe and listen to what your children are doing to make sounds and how they react.

3. Interact with the children when they make sounds, describing the sounds as loud or quiet, slow or fast, high or low pitch – help them make connections with words and images.

4. Ask the children how different sounds make them feel.

5. Think about how you can build on the children’s natural curiosity with sound so you can plan a more structured individual or group activity.

6. Have a time of the day where you sing nursery rhymes. Many of these have actions and dances to go with them so the children are feeling the music with their bodies as well as making mental connections.

Making Music
Music can be made anywhere and anytime. All you need to do is clap your hands or hum a tune. You don’t necessarily need expensive musical instruments.

You can make instruments with boxes and rubber bands (a basic guitar), bottles and lentils for shakers and old pans and wooden spoons for drums. But, be warned – it’ll get loud.

For sweeter sounds I highly recommend our great value percussion set and xylophone. Each instrument has a good tonal quality and are sturdy enough for the little ones to bash.

 

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