We haven't talked yet about music in this blog. It's not because I think music is unimportant in early childhood. On the contrary, I'm a huge proponent of the need for music in children's lives and education. I can't imagine how anyone can live a fully satisfying life without music in it, but for children it's absolutely critical!
In my presentations, I tell audiences that music:
- is vital to the development of language and listening skills;
- helps improve attention span and memory;
- expands vocabulary;
- alters moods -- to soothe or energize, as needed;
- increases motivation to communicate with the world; and
- heightens one's sensitivity to aesthetics!
You can read what a stay-at-home dad has to say about it in his blog, "A Family Runs Through It." There's also some great information in this piece:"Language Development and Music: Music Can Help Children Learn to Talk and Communicate".
Early childhood music specialists say that children should experience music through listening, singing, moving, playing, and creating. "Playing" can be as simple as banging on pots and pans. And "creating" covers a wide range: everything from creating movements to go with the music to making up lyrics to humming an "original song."
Plato, it seems, was a huge music fan. He said: "Music is a moral law. It gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, a charm to sadness, gaiety and life to everything. It is the essence of order and leads to all that is good, just, and beautiful, of which it is the invisible, but nevertheless dazzling, passionate and eternal form."