Recently I conducted a music and movement class with the upper KG students. The lesson I had was my case study as well. I wanted to observe closely as how the “rhyme” can improvise their phonetic awareness and how far can their wild imagination reach. The activity we conducted went very smoothly. They happily sang their “Good Morning” song and greeted their classmates with the rhythm “drmfs sfmrd”. Children learn much by hearing music of different kinds. They learn to discriminate between different sounds, pitches, and rhythms. Rhyming is critical to the development of phonemic and phonological awareness. Children learn rhythm, which is important in skills such as counting, patterning, and many gross motor activities. Music is an obvious outlet for self-expression and creativity.
We put on imaginary boots, hats, and a back pack full of our necessary items before leaving for a forest adventure. While on the way to the forest we made different animal sounds. Children were encouraged to say sounds in a low voice, sounds in a loud voice, sounds in whispers, etc. It arouses the sense of creativity and imagination. It also develops self-discipline. Upon reaching the forest kids were very much into the world of imagination. They were excited to sing a song for the animals. Just to go to a step further, they were rewarded with a musical instrument. Scientists have also discovered that playing a musical instrument develops higher thinking skills. The child who is skilled at music excels at problem-solving, evaluation, and analysis. They played claves and hand bells. The opportunity to hear and play different instruments builds good auditory discrimination and listening skills. It is means of self-expression. Each time one group played instruments happily while the other two groups supported their friends with loud and smooth singing. Ensemble experience also builds teamwork. Group members learn the importance of being a reliable member of a group and are educated as to the importance of being a team player and not necessarily always “the star.”
To equip the music lesson with language learning, some vocabulary cards were also prepared. These activities develop a child’s phonological perceptions, which are necessary in reading and writing e.g., recognizing and producing the sound of starting letter. The marching and dancing on a certain rhythm was very entertaining. Low rhythm represented small animals like rabbit and loud rhythm was for big animals like elephant. Dancing and marching help children develop in many ways. They improve a child’s sense of rhythm and beat. They are fun and social experiences. They build math concepts (e.g., counting with one-to-one correspondence of the movement matched simultaneously to the count, patterns such as step-step-kick, step-step-kick). They develop a child’s coordination, motor control, and balance. In totality, our lesson was entertaining and fully equipped with learning materials.
It was undoubtedly an entertaining lesson and provided ample assurance to the significance of music among early year kids. As said, “Music and movement are vital to the creative educational process. We enable the whole child to grow emotionally, creatively, socially and cognitively” (Church, 1992 p.6). Fortunately, preschool and kindergarten curriculum is gradually embedding with music, art, and movement . These are very critical components of an effective preschool and kindergarten program.