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The Importance of Music

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Dear Debi,
I want to create a music corner in my home for my kids. I’d like to include different instruments like tambourines and drums. Should I be structured and take a music class?
Kandace, Irvine, CA
Debi's Tips
Debi Gutierrez
Debi Gutierrez
Host
  • Music contributes to a child’s total development
  • Encourage kids to listen to and make music themselves
  • Make music part of every day
Expert Advice
Mike Salas
Mike Salas
Pre-K and Kindergarten teacher
Music is important for a child’s development because it’s very helpful with early math skills. Even rhythmic clapping with children. If they copy you, they’re working on pre-math and patterning skills. Plus music allows for children to creatively express themselves.

Music helps with social skills too, since a lot of times you’ll end up with more than one child in the music area. You want to have enough stuff so the kids won’t fight over instruments and they’ll play together. It contributes to social and emotional growth, especially language. How many kids do you know who can barely talk, but they can sing the entire ABC song?

Music is fun and contributes to a positive, relaxed and happy atmosphere. If adults don’t like to sing, they can put on a tape and encourage kids to sing as they clap and move to the rhythm. The message is to include music in some form every day, if possible.

Children respond to music as early as infancy. Some women play music for their kids while they’re still in the womb. A child care provider can encourage a child to listen and move to different types of music. You just need to start exposing them to those things. Use songs like “Itsy Bitsy Spider” or “If You’re Happy and You Know It.” Show them how to participate in the song; make sure you clap your hands and stomp your feet.

An adult can also use music to help manage children’s behavior. Music and songs help kids transition from one activity to another. Not only can music be used to manage behavior, but it can also be used to give kids an outlet for conflict or frustration or sadness.

Finally, music can help children with delays or disabilities. Speech disabilities, a lot of therapists use music. Sometimes you have adults who can sing a song, but when they’re talking they have a stuttering problem. It really helps with kids with speech disabilities. Or children that are in wheel chairs, music is a great outlet and very pleasurable for them.
Child Care provider Comments
Jo-Ann
Jo-Ann
Family child care provider for 2 years
I haven’t taken any music classes, but we have a harmonica and the kids absolutely love it. We also have maracas, a tambourine and a CD player where we play music. Music is a great way to express yourself. You can be your own person with music.
Sonnia Corzo
Sonnia Corzo
Child care provider for 6 years, mother of four
While a music class wouldn’t hurt, I don’t think it’s necessary. If you don’t have the money to buy musical instruments, you can still use pots and pans to make music. If you want to create a music corner for the child, you can use things in the house. I’ve never taken a music class, but I think we do a good job with helping our kids understand music.
Clarissa August
Clarissa August
Family child care provider for 21 years
Music is important for promoting learning. It can help a child’s development and their capacity to learn more. I think it also helps them get ready for understanding new concepts, like math.

Music with Recyclable Items Featured Activity:
Music with Recyclable Items
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Music Activities
Topic: Play & Creativity
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Resources
Music and Young Children
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
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The American Association for the Child's Right to Play
PBS Kids
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