Any parent would tell you that children show an interest in music from a very young age. For that reason, you’ll often find that music is a regular part of your child’s day when they attend child care.
We spoke with Laura Hussain, the Centre Manager and Ambar Forbes Educational Leader at Sesame Lane Morayfield in Queensland, to find out how they facilitate a love of music in children, and the key benefits of musical play.
Plus we explore ideas for how parents can incorporate music play at home.
Why do you think children naturally have a love of music?
‘Music makes people happy,’ says Ambar. ‘Often when a child is dancing it gains the attention of adults and peers.
Through dancing we laugh, we watch each other and we form connections with peers and educators.’
How do you facilitate lessons involving music within your centre?
‘Often the children will ask to dance or bring out the musical instruments, so our lessons come from the children's facilitation,’ explains Ambar.
‘Other times it stems from an interest they may have, such as dinosaurs. An educator asking something as simple as ‘who wants to dance like a dinosaur?’ provokes a huge gathering, and we move onto other songs based on their request.’
What are the benefits for children of musical play?
‘There are endless benefits,’ says Laura. ‘They:
- develop their ability to listen and respond
- develop gross motor skills, balance, and coordination
- learn rhythm
- further develop their language skills, and
- join in social interactions.’
‘Music makes people happy and through music we smile, share humour, happiness and dance along together.’
Can you tell us about your centre’s kindyRock program?
‘Our Educational Leader has received training from the owner of kindyRock and these lessons are passed on to each of the educators,’ shares Laura.
The kindyRock company compiled all of the songs, the learning outcomes and programs for our educators to use as a guide.
We base our kindyRock lessons off the children's interest and try to just follow their lead. Sometimes specific songs will be used in order to progress towards or achieve a developmental goal, this is usually focused around gross motor skills and listening and responding.
Our lessons are free-flowing and children can join and leave as they wish.
Our families love the kindyRock program and often ask for the lyrics to the songs that they hear their children singing at home, so they can join in.’
‘We incorporate lots of fun and exciting resources into our music lessons and they are loved by all.’
How can parents encourage a love of music at home?
‘When you get home of an afternoon, put on a couple of songs and dance with your child,’ suggests Laura.
‘It is great bonding time, it exerts some energy and they build fond memories. Nursery rhymes and catchy tunes are great for building relationships from birth.’
What are your top 3 songs for the under 5’s to dance to?
‘The children’s current favourites are:
- I turned into a dinosaur
- Sit on the mat and clap
- kindyRock twist.’
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