Music and Movement

Music and Movement

26 February 2018

The Ministry of Education notes that children are born into a world of sound and movement. Music helps their intellectual, imaginative, emotional, social and cultural growth.

Music is enjoyable, soothing and assists in the development of listening skills, concentration, coordination, cooperation, communication and memory, as well as being a valuable resource for creativity. It is important to value children’s desires to repeat activities as this is one way in which children practise being musical and gain control of musical forms.

Music provides a valuable learning experience for children of all ages, and is embedded within many cultures as part of their language, culture and identity.  Research shows that children who are actively involved in music (playing, singing, or listening):

  • do better in reading and math when they start school
  • are better able to focus and control their bodies
  • interact better with others and have higher self-esteem.

We can encourage children to engage with music by creating a “steady beat” using our hands to clap, banging on a drum, stamping our feet, or tapping rakau, all in time to music.  Creating a steady beat encourages children to engage and listen to the music and this can also be done through speech, chants, dances and movement to rhythm.

Music supports learning across all strands of Te Whāriki.  In particular, children’s developing musicality is supported in the Communication strand, where they discover and develop different ways to be creative and expressive discover that music, dance and drama can amuse, delight, comfort, illuminate, inform and excite.  Music encourages children to participate and to feel comfortable with the rhythms and routines of care, providing a sense of security and belonging.