Enjoying Music and Movement

Enjoying Music and Movement

15 June 2020

A newborn emerges from a world of sound and rhythm, so it’s no wonder that enjoying music and song seems to come naturally to babies and young children. Most parents will use rocking, humming or singing with their babies to help calm, settle or entertain them.

A toddler with a wooden spoon and a pot will immediately begin some type of tapping, banging and rhythm-making. As children grow, their enjoyment and interest in making music and singing continues. Music enhances many skills that support further learning, including concentration, confidence, and cognitive and memory skills. Above all, it’s fun!

Music and singing expose children to a wider world of other languages and cultures, instruments, dances and movement. Learning to follow a song establishes the building blocks for other types of learning. For example, identifying the repeating patterns involved in songs and rhymes supports a child’s early reading and maths skills.

When we enjoy musical experiences like singing and dancing with each other we are enhancing a child’s neural pathways. Music strengthens physical co-ordination, communication (speaking and listening) and emotional well-being.

We may think that we can’t sing in tune, but our toddler won’t care. One of the best ways to encourage children to enjoy musical activities is to join in with them. Passive listening to music (for example, when travelling in the car) has its place, but there is nothing better for a toddler than being actively involved. A toddler will tend to have favourite songs or rhymes and may request them over and over again. This is to be encouraged as, through this repetition, brain connections are being strengthened.

Children will enjoy real instruments like maracas, drums, cymbals and bells. Homemade poi or rhythm sticks, or even pots and pans and a couple of wooden spoons, will give them pleasure too, and will provide opportunities to discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive.

Our wider communities have music and movement groups, which we encourage our Educators to attend. These groups are a great way to get toddlers involved creating music, forming relationships with others, and to just have fun.