Music is a great tool to help support and strengthen a child’s social, emotional, and cognitive development. Listening to different types of music, using different instruments, and dancing, are just some ways that you can incorporate music into your childcare routine. Below are some common questions and answers regarding music that we hope will help support you and your classroom.
Question: Why is music important for kids to be exposed to?
Answer: Music is important because it encompasses many different components that support several domains of development. From social and emotional to physical and cognitive, music is a diverse element of early childhood program planning to help support development on many levels.
Question: I have been working with the same techniques for the past 10 years. What are some new or more advanced ways I can add music into my infant and toddler classroom?
Answer: It sounds like you have a wealth of experience with music and movement for the children that you work with! One thing that I like to point out to educators of all kinds is that the ideas in the training can just be a vehicle to inspire you to develop more activities for your group! For example, you may already be singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with your group but you may want to put words to dance or even sign language. This may require some research on your part but it is well worth it to bring those activities up a notch. Consider these techniques for the music and movement in your class!
Question: Is it ok to have background music playing all day at my in-home childcare center?
Answer: Many centers will use music in varying ways from classroom management to recess to nap time. The answer to your question about having music playing in the background all day at an in-home child care center really would depend upon your program and the children that you care for. It is important to consider these things and how music may or may not work with your goals. Some children will have sensory aversions to extra noise in their environment so background music would be a bad choice for these children. Others will find it soothing and will help them to focus. In addition to this, your program may save music for a daily circle time routine or musical time where children have creative options for their musical expression.
Consider these types of things as you make your decision about music.
Question: What kind of dances can I teach to a preschool age group?
Answer: Dance comes in many forms! You can teach simple dances from many cultures, allow children opportunities to make their own dances, or disguise PE activities as dance! The possibilities are endless! Here are some resources about dance that you may find helpful:
Question: Only a few children in my class of 1 to 2 ½ year olds participate in music activities. How do I get all of the children interested?
First, I think it is important to consider the developmental level of the children participating. Children from 1 to 2 ½ years of age are busy exploring their environment and are not naturally inclined to sit still in a group, watching a demonstration or listening to a teacher sing or explain musical elements. This is just one of the reasons that dance is so important to include in a music program! Dancing is an active and engaging activity in itself and would work really well for children between 1 to 2 ½ years old. It is important, however, to consider that their version of dance may be more like movement and play and not necessarily coordinated movements in time to music.
Here are some links with more information about music and dance activities for children of that age group:
Question: How can I keep children focused when we dance together?
Answer: The wonderful thing about dance and movement is that it gives children an opportunity to be free and experimental with their movements and actions. So long as the children are being safe during their dance times it is completely fine for them to choose new and interesting movements or interpretations. If your dance activities ask children to all do the same movement at the same time and in the exact same way you may consider altering the activity so that children can experience the freedom of movement and dance.
Here are some resources that you may find helpful:
For more information on Music and Movement for Infants and Toddlers,
register for our one hour course:
For more information on 123 Dance with Me,
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