Friday, September 23, 2016

Goals for Music in an Early Education Center

Early childhood education includes music to provide a well-rounded approach to the education of a child. Music helps children develop coordination, and improve the ability to interact with their peers. The goal for each activity should be to improve the child’s musical ability and spatial reasoning. Avoid setting specific goals to attain a certain level of competency. Music for early education should be enjoyable and concentrate only on general improvement.

Marching

Marching to a steady beat provides one of the most essential skills that an early childhood music center must include. Having children march to the beat of a song develops the ability to sense rhythm and sets the stage for future rhythmic development. Early education centers must teach children to march, clap, and walk to the rhythm of songs with varying tempos. Even simple games like musical chairs will help children develop an awareness of music, develop coordination, and set the stage for advanced musical studies.

Singing

As soon as children are ready, they should begin learning how to sing songs with others and individually. Songs help children to learn about high and low pitches and provide the ability for students to learn how to create logical musical phrases. Children start with simple common melodies such as “Row Your Boat.” Children should also experiment with singing their own melodies and imitating new melodies created by the instructor. Children do not need to learn to read music, they just need to learn how to imitate in early music education.

Chanting

Chanting teaches children about how to properly create inflections within speech and places an emphasis on specific pitches. This teaches children how to properly lower their pitch at the end of a sentence and raise their pitch for emphasis. Chants should concentrate on a single pitch and chant words with special attention paid to the rhythm in which each syllable is chanted. For instance, the word “water” should be divided into the syllables “wa” and “ter.” The second syllable will be longer than the first syllable. This not only teaches rhythm, but it provides additional training in grammar and pronunciation.

Pitch Matching

Pitch matching exercises must be included in any early childhood music education program. Instructors should sing pitches and have the students repeat the pitch. Educators can start with one or two pitches and gradually add several pitches to increase musical memory. As with any exercises in childhood music, you should aim for improvement rather than a specific number of pitches. Pitch matching and recall will prepare a child to sing songs based on music notation and learn to read music provided to the child at a later stage.

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