Music is one of my favorite things. Growing up in the 80’s and being a part of the advent of MTV, music seemed to define all the important events in my life. I hear a song and I am immediately brought back to driving my first car to my best friend’s house or it is six am and I am in my room getting ready for high school. Even now, the first thing I do in the morning is to put the radio on. I know, you are probably thinking…radio? But yes, I still prefer to listen to the radio rather than Pandora or MP3’s that I have downloaded. Yup...that’s me “old school”!
This love I have for music has been passed down to my two children. When my son was little he loved to listen to Christmas music. We would listen to Burl Ives sing "Holly Jolly Christmas" over and over again. My daughter loved instrumental music. Her favorite music was from the Disney movie Fantasia. It wasn’t until Iater that I realized that this love for music was teaching my children valuable skills that would lay the foundation of their learning for years to come. Sure, everybody loves music but what is most amazing about music is what it can teach our children. Preschoolers are especially tuned into music and learn many valuable skills. While listening and playing music, preschoolers learn new vocabulary, listening skills, rhythm and coordination, gross and fine motor skills, reading readiness through rhyming and math readiness through recognizing and repeating patterns.
Singing and playing music also helps children to speak clearly and pay attention. It increases their memory and teaches social skills like taking turns. When I am trying to remember something important, I always turn it into a song. I tend to use the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”, but that shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as I was a preschool teacher for 10 years!
Children learn all this and more! Music is a fun way to teach your children some really important stuff and it is a great way to show how much you care.
On the NAEYC for Families website there are a few samples of some great new songs for kids. These are their featured artists and songs. You can take a listen and then go to the artist’s website for even more music! http://families.naeyc.org/songs