Music for Young Learners
Music connects everyone- all ages and backgrounds- in a unique way. When I teach the youngest of our students I love to awaken their love for music by modeling that love for them because music resonates in every fiber of my being. Music is universal. It is transcendent. When I instruct my music classes, I am not only introducing new musical concepts, but I am also connecting it to other skills that young learners are either already familiar with or will be soon. Skills like Math (adding beats, fractions: half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth notes) and Reading (know ABCDEFG frontwards and backwards and having eyes go from left to right when clapping rhythms) are essential to fully understanding music at its core.
The activity that seems to be a favorite with my K3 and K4 classes is when we use scarves to “paint” the music they are listening to. This brings out such a fun and creative side to even the quietest child in the group! The thing that brings a smile to my face is to see the happiness in their eyes as they enjoy music and also the pride they have when their programs are complete. There is nothing like the smile of pride on a 4 year old! It’s unforgettable.
When you introduce music concepts to young learners, some are easier to understand than others. I find that the easiest musical concept for my students to grasp quickly is keeping the beat because most people are born with an innate sense of rhythm. For the few who are not, it is very difficult to learn but not impossible! I should know because I am one of them! If I can do it, so can my students. The hardest one to grasp for my current group has been that there is no “H” after G in music. It goes back to A and they’re so used to the alphabet song so this gets tricky. Some get it quickly while others are still struggling with this concept at the end of the school year. This will just take lots of exposure and practice.
If I could name one favorite thing from this year’s K3-K4 music class it would be seeing them understand that their talents and abilities are gifts from God and that what we do with it is our gift to HIM! Our effort, attentiveness, performance, smiling-- giving Glory to our Creator and the Giver of music!