Anyone around young children long enough soon realizes that a bulk of the time is spent getting them ready for something….ready for bed, ready for preschool, ready for a playdate/library/park, ready for bath, etc. But getting children ready for Kindergarten means more than just making sure they have everything on the school supply list. So what can early childhood educators and families do now to make sure kids are ready for one of the first major transitions in their lives?
You can find the solution in a music class! Educators (and researchers!) agree that young children who start Kindergarten equipped with certain skills from day one tend to excel. When young children are actively engaged in music making with a group, they are also learning foundational school readiness skills. In fact, here at Kindermusik we call early childhood music and movement classes the ultimate playlist for school readiness. Here are just a few of the reasons why we can make that claim.
Self-regulation – This vital skill has to do with the ability to control one’s own behavior, emotions, thoughts, and impulses.
Children who are given lots of practice with moving – and then stopping and re-starting their movement – are learning to control their bodies which in turn, leads to learning to control behavior and emotions.
Watch this delightful stop-and-go dance from the Kindermusik classroom at Kindermusik of Cleveland.
Listening – Not just hearing, but listening is a skill that must be learned and includes the ability to focus, discern, and distinguish sounds and meaning.
Children learn to listen, an intentional act, over time with lots of practice. In Kindermusik, we include Focused Listening (or active listening) in nearly every class.
Enjoy a little listening practice with this free Kindermusik Listening Game.
Social-Emotional Skills – These include the ability to share, take turns, be a helper, make friends, and wait patiently, just to name a few.
This list could describe much of what goes on in a group music class where we share instruments, wait for our turn to share an idea, help clean up our instruments, or make room on the Story Blanket for our classmate.
Watch what happens as this Kindermusik educator conducts an instrument demonstration of the slide whistle.
Early Literacy Skills – Early literacy depends greatly on phonological awareness, auditory discrimination, auditory sequencing, and vocabulary development.
A music class is a rich sound environment that develops the listening skills and vocabulary skills so critical to literacy success.
Listen for all of the descriptive vocabulary words that are used in this Kindermusik video from Kathy’s Music.
Early Math Skills – Success with math begins with developing an understanding of concepts like spatial awareness, counting by rote, and pattern recognition.
It might be surprising to discover all of the different ways that these concepts are explored and practiced in an early childhood music and movement class through hoop play, songs and finger plays, and all kinds of dances.
Watch how these children in Catherine Huang’s Kindermusik class are developing spatial awareness as they explore many different ways to play with the hoops.
Want to see for yourself how to use music to teach vital school readiness skills? Try these five musical learning activities with the children in your life. Or, learn more at www.kindermusik.com/schools and request a free demonstration at your school.