It's bright and sunny on a typical Tuesday morning at a local preschool. An eager group of toddlers circle around their teacher in response to her singing, "Old Mac Donald Had a Farm." One toddler, so filled with joy, jumps in anticipation of the next animal sound. Another toddler mimics the facial expression's of her teacher, while clapping and repeatedly reciting the animal sound, "Mooo!" The remaining members of the group proceed to respond to the song by jumping, clapping, giggling, and rolling throughout the circle time area.
According to ZeroToThree.org, young learners are able to build connections through stimulating, rhythmic sounds and vibrations. Some educators might find the integration of music into the curriculum to be a daunting task, given the high number of duties and transitions already present within a daily classroom routine. With a second glance, however, one might find the use of music in the early childhood setting to be of great resource to the environment and learning processes of its young learners.
Down the hall, in another classroom, a small group of preschoolers transition from free-play to clean up/snack time while listening to a popular song from the "Frozen Soundtrack." Upon the sound of the first chord from the CD track, without hesitation, the preschoolers sing along, proceed to clean up their play areas, transition into hand-washing, and settle in for snack time.
Ideally speaking, the purpose of integrating music into early childhood classrooms is to enhance the learning experience through sound and movement. This can be done using a variety of songs, instruments, rhythms, chants, and beats. Music engages young learners and aid's in the development processes of cognitive, social-emotional, and physical development. Just as the online resources for integrating music into learning are plentiful, so are the interactions and the learning opportunities for young children possible, through music.
Circle Time Songs-
The More We Get Together- Kiboomers
Apples and Bananas- The Countdown Kids
Goodbye Song- The Singing Walrus- This song is a great way to incorporate as a transition at the end of the day.
Shake Your Sillies Out- The Learning Station- This song is high energy and encourages young children to get moving!
Good Morning Songs
Ready, set, learn! Good morning songs are an excellent way to start the day. Little learners are given the opportunity to join in together and set the energy for the day. Preschool Inspirations provides a wide range of good morning songs that are not only adorable, but engaging for young learners.
Good Morning Song
Good Morning Song- The Learning Station
The Singing Walruses Presents- The Good Morning Song
Hip-Hop Inspired Songs - Naeyc.org details how to effectively integrate hip-hop culture into the classroom.
Song: “EP Shuffle”
CD: Sing a Song
Artist: Aaron Nigel Smith
Song: “One Love”
Music on a Budget- Edutopia.org provides a go-to guide to integrating music into the classroom with limited resources.
Click "Music as a Teaching Tool"- Edutopia
Handmade Musical Instruments (rain maker, drum, tambourine)
Create a CD to which encourages relaxation time, motor skills, and cognitive development
Clapping, stomping, snapping, humming and whistling
Music Inspired Text
"I Got the Rhythm"- by Connie Schofield-Morrison
"101 Rhythm Instrument Activities for Young Children"- by Abigail Flesh-Connors
"We're Going on a Bear Hunt" -by David Axell
"Thunder Cake"-by Patricia Polacco
Alegria, M. (2017, June 7). Music as a Teaching Tool. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/music-teaching-tool-maria-alegria
Broughton, A. (2017, January). Teaching and Learning With Hip-Hop Culture. Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/tyc/dec2016/teaching-and-learning-hip-hop-culture
Parlakian, R. and Lerner, C. (2016). Beyond Twinkle, Twinkle: Using Music with Infants and Toddlers. [online] ZERO TO THREE. Available at: https://www.zerotothree.org/resources/1514-beyond-twinkle-twinkle-using-music-with-infants-and-toddlers.
Author: Marilynn Andrews