The importance of incorporating music into the Early Years curriculum cannot be underestimated when planning daily activities for our children. At Abacus Ark, music is an integral part of the day for all our children from the baby room to our preschool room. In my experience, all children respond positively to music and exposure to it enhances their development in all areas of learning. Through music children begin to recognise rhythm and rhyme and this helps to develop their appreciation of language and literacy skills. Rhythm is part of our being, our hearts beat in a natural rhythm and we breathe in a natural rhythm and it can be seen as a natural progression that language, speech and words also have a natural rhythm and flow.
Through rhyme there is a constant source of delight found in the repeating of words and finding similar sounding words – creating an awareness of the different letter sounds that each word begins with. Through singing familiar songs, we explore the possibility of many extension activities such as, clapping hands, movement, playing instruments and different games and roleplay. In our baby rooms, we are giving children opportunities to experience new ideas and sensations holistically and we are better able to understand their individual needs through observation and interaction. We are promoting a positive sense of themselves as we praise their efforts to imitate actions and joining in with clapping and cheering as each song is completed.
We use singing to encourage interaction in a group and with individual children; as a way of distracting a child who is upset and for encouraging eye contact and building secure and loving relationships; we use the singing of a familiar song as a signal that we are about to transition into another activity; to encourage self-expression and develop an understanding of how children’s bodies move through action songs; to build on vocabulary, follow a sequence of ideas, share and take turns; and, most importantly, we use singing to have fun!
In addition to our daily commitment to incorporating music in to the daily planning we also have our more structured weekly music session under the experienced guidance of Miss Keyla who follows the Kodaly Method. This method reinforces our own practice and it promotes the engagement with singing and uses the experience of singing to teach and learn and gain a deeper understanding of music. Miss Keyla supports our holistic curriculum and through her lesson the children are building on their concentration skills and meeting milestones as laid out in the EYFS.
Zoltan Kodaly stated that ‘the human voice is the only “instrument” which is available for everyone’ and there are many opportunities for singing at home with our children that will promote learning and establish routines and, most importantly, have fun and encourage independence. You can adapt the words to communicate your own message and the children love to join in. The great thing about this is that you can alter the words of any song that is familiar to you and your family.
Sung to the tune of ‘Frere Jacques’
What will you wear today, what will you wear today
Is it hot or cold? is it hot or cold?,
A jumper or a tee shirt, a jumper or a tee shirt
You can choose, you can choose.
Sung to the tune of ‘Here we go Round the Mulberry Bush’
This is the way I brush my teeth, brush my teeth, brush my teeth
This is the way I brush my teeth on a sunny Monday morning.
This is the way I put on my socks, put on my socks put on my socks
This is the way I put on my socks on a sunny Monday morning.
If you need any help with this or additional ideas for specific routines, then feel free to email Jo Pandolfi, our Parent Experience Manager email@example.com