Summer Reading 2018: Libraries Rock! The Importance of Music in Early Child Development

The 2018 Summer Reading theme is “Libraries Rock!” This theme gives us plenty of opportunities to create full brain activities through teachable moments.

Music is considered a means of both expression and learning for children. As caregivers, parents, librarians, and teachers, we encounter young children that struggle with expressing their emotions and feelings through words. Luckily, children express themselves naturally using movement and art. As caregivers, we can help them with self-expression by creating activities that will engage the use of art, like painting, drawing, dancing, and singing.

They have everything they need!

A child’s first musical instrument is their body. Their voice, hands, feet, arms, legs, belly or other body parts can become an instrument. So even if you don’t have any instruments lying around, a child can create sound and rhythm with their body. It’s a fun and explorative way of learning about sounds, beats, and patterns.

Benefits of using music for learning:

  • Music creates and reinforces a personal bond between caregiver and child
  • Introduces the idea of rhythm and phrasing
  • Helps understand and enhance vocabulary
  • Increases memory skills
  • Increases listening skills
  • Improves rhythm and coordination
  • Increases fine and gross motor skills
  • Enhances and promotes creativeness and self-expression

Outside-the-library tips:  (Pay attention to the rhyme, pattern and time in everyday activities. The caregiver models the behavior first and the child will follow the action, using their memory skills)

  • Brushing their teeth (up and down, up and down)
  • Bouncing a ball
  • Eating food from a bowl
  • Washing dishes or clothes (You can read Mrs. Wishy-Washy!)
  • Singing a lullaby or following simple partners with instruments
  • Bouncing: Children will feel the beat in and through their body
  • Wiggling fingers or toes: Support fine motor skills and gross motor skills, connect sensation (touch) with music and a fun experience
  • Tickling of body parts like the tummy, face, and cheeks, will create sensory stimulations as well as laughter and fun
  • Fingerplay will enhance fine motor skills and create the opportunity to follow a rhythm
  • Tapping, clapping, stomping will create the opportunity to follow rhythm, beats, and patterns

To learn more about music in early childhood development, visit the following link: https://milnepublishing.geneseo.edu/music-and-the-child/chapter/chapter-8/