Music in the Classroom
Many educators have advocated the use of music in the classroom for child development. In her article “Twelve Benefits of Music Education”, Carolyn Phillips cites brain development, specifically in the areas of language and reasoning, positively influenced spatial intelligence, exploration of creativity, increased problem solving skills, discipline, and teamwork, among many more, as important reasons for incorporating music into the curriculum. Educator and author Don Campbell agrees, adding that music helps “motor development and coordination, increases emotional awareness, strengthens social skills, and aids in relaxation and stress reduction”. A great way to encourage music and singing in the classroom is to have your students create their own instruments to use during free play and circle time. Better Homes and Gardens provides an excellent resource, including pictures and step-by-step instructions, for the creation of four wonderfully fun instruments. In conservation of supplies, you may find it helpful to have students choose only one of the four instruments to make, or even pick a single craft to be completed by the entire class. If supplies aren’t an issue, you may also find it fun to allow each child to make a different instrument each day of the week so that they have a completed set. Once the projects have been finished, look for ways you can incorporate these fun crafts into daily activities. Invite your students to strum their guitars or shake their maracas when learning a new song in circle time. Discuss each instrument; what sound they make, how they feel, what part of the world they come from, etc. Provide play microphones and fun costumes to encourage student imagination during free play.
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