Music is a universal language. It can also be a viable teaching aid to support literacy and nurture a positive relationship with studying. There’s a wealth of options, but here’s where you can start, brought to you by blogger Liane Chan.
When used effectively, Michigan Radio notes that music can be a valuable tool to hone comprehension, literacy, and vocabulary. As children, we may have learned some basics through music. Songs like “The Alphabet Song” helped us memorize letters, while nursery rhymes told us stories that also taught us some of the foundational elements of language.
The rhyme and rhythm that is inextricable to music can positively influence children to expand their vocabularies, as children may be more apt to remember words through repetition and listening. This also lends itself to better understanding the sounds and intonations of words, as songs may help them focus on a word’s syllables, as well as the contexts in which words are used. Just like creative writing, music can be a wonderful boost to confidence that may take away some of the trepidation children might have about literacy.
Nurturing a Musical Environment
Home is a place where learning can flourish. It’s a safe environment where children may feel less pressure in their studies or in how they express themselves creatively. Building a musical home does not have to be intense. Encourage your little ones to listen to music. Ask them questions about the lyrics and themes, as this can help them develop analytical and listening skills. Consider getting them a quality pair of headphones so they really appreciate the nuances in the music they enjoy. If you want to completely revamp your audio/video setup to create a truly memorable experience, consider creating a media room with a home theater system.
If they are old enough, you could encourage them to take up an instrument. Give them a variety of choices so they may feel more invested in the decision.
Learning to play music can play a major role in helping children develop core skills that can be applied to reading, writing, and beyond. You could even perform together, helping to inspire each other to compose simple songs at first. Consider a dedicated space if they choose an instrument, as you could then soundproof that room to help them focus without disturbing others or neighbors. Thinking ahead, you could make space a multi-functional room that can also be used as a home gym, entertainment room, hobby room, or even a home office. It’s a great addition not only to your child’s development, but also to your lifestyle, and can even give your home value a boost with the upgrade.
Music and Books
Reading is a foundational element of literacy. By combining it with music, you may find that children become inspired beyond learning about the basics. After all, many kids quickly grow to love music, and they may even have their own favorite singers or songs at an early age.
Themes can be adapted to all stages, and they can be a fantastic vehicle to encourage creativity. Little ones could learn about the adventures of a young Ella Fitzgerald, or how kids fall in love with drumming. Music has the potential to add an exciting dimension to reading, and give children a fresh learning perspective. For young children, look for illustrated books that allow you and your little one to explore songs together. These could have pull-outs that feature lyrics to classic songs such as “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” that may help children interpret words and lyrics.
Finding the Right Activities
Literacy thrives on fun. If your little ones are not enjoying the process of learning, they may not be as enriched by the experience as they could be. With musical activities, however, you may find that boredom is no longer a concern. You could bond together over musical games that could help kids process sounds and memorize words. Take advantage of musical-themed apps or child-friendly YouTube channels to dance and learn to music at the same time.
As The Guardian points out, there are also plenty of resources available online which could be adapted to children of any age. These activities could be supplemented by school-based programs, which might further boost a child’s creative confidence, and strengthen their understanding of the relationship between language and music.
Music can empower and enrich children. It can introduce kids of all ages to complex facets of language without daunting them. Give your little ones the skills they can use to gain confidence in their understanding of literacy.
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