Social-emotional learning is a critical piece to positive early childhood development, and we know that music can accelerate this growth.
But how can educators use music to boost social-emotional skills in physically-distanced or virtual classrooms?
And what does it look like by age? Pair our free, colorful infographic with the quick tips below to keep track of SEL milestones and consider how music can elevate this critical piece of early development!
One of the often overlooked benefits of early music education and particularly a program like Kindermusik is that the music experience itself – both in class and at home – actually promotes healthy social-emotional development, a vital part of early childhood development. A class like Kindermusik gives families a place to just be together, and that together time with music becomes the basis for the kinds of things that contribute to happy, healthy, confident children.
The early years
In the early years, strong emotional ties are fostered as mom or dad cuddle, sway, or bounce their little one while humming a lullaby, rocking to a favorite song, or dancing around the room. Loving intentional touch during massage time releases those “feel-good” hormones in the brain responsible for feelings of safety and security. And a Kindermusik-inspired lullaby ritual before naptime or bedtime becomes a cherished time that strengthens the loving bonds between parent and child.
The toddler years
Later on, the time spent enjoying music together becomes a way to spend quality time, to enter into the child’s world through imagination and play, and to express through music sometimes what words cannot. It’s during these sometimes turbulent years of toddler-hood that children most need those special reassurances of their parents’ love, interest, and care.
The preschool years
As a child moves into the preschool and early school years, the security of the emotional bond with a parent paves the way for developing healthy relationships with peers and teachers. A child is ready and able to expand on the social skills that were first developed in the early years, skills that lead to confident and happy interactions with others.
Nothing more powerful than music
When it comes to your child’s social-emotional development from newborn to 7 years, there’s nothing more that will impact him more than experiencing the benefits of music, and no better choice for delivering those benefits than Kindermusik.
Have you ever wondered why a child will ask you to read the same book over and over or perhaps never tires of
rolling the ball back and forth? A newly published study may shed some light on this learning technique of young children. Nicknamed the "Goldilocks effect", the study examines the attention span of infants in relation to the complexity of the world around them. The results showed that infants focus only on situations that are neither too difficult nor too easy.
"The study suggests that babies are not only attracted by what is happening, but they are able to predict what happens next based on what they have already observed," says Kidd, lead author on the report. "They are not passive sponges. They are active information seekers looking for the best information they can find." Children who are engaged in a sensory rich learning experience are best equipped to receive and retain new information. The repetition of a fun activity likely yields new information each time for your child and provides an opportunity for them to test their predictions based on their latest observations. "Parents don’t need to buy fancy toys to help their children learn. They make the best use of their environment. They are going to look around for what fits their attention level. Kids learn best from social interaction," reminds Kidd.
I hope your family can enjoy some fun, social interaction in a Kindermusik class this summer! Click here for a free preview coupon.
This article is from Miss Aimee, of Delightful Sounds, a Kindermusik Studio in Brandon, Florida. Miss Aimee is named a Maestro in Outreach by Kindermusik International, recognizing her considerable efforts each year to reach underserved populations of children in her community.
As children grow, they must learn to play with others, not just for sake of “getting along” but also because being able to interact with peers is an important part of becoming a successful learner. Sharing and taking turns are difficult lessons to master, but as children spend more time playing together, they begin to recognize each other’s feelings and advance from parallel play (playing along side other children) to cooperative play (playing with other children).
IDEA: Use your Kindermusik songs and activities from class to inspire some parent-child play at home. You can also encourage your child’s play by providing simple and developmentally appropriate play materials. Organize the items into labeled bins and place in easy reach on shelves or in the closet.