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Music and Movement In Early Years

by 高莫娜 Mona

What is music? According to Webster’s II: New Riverside University Dictionary, music is “the art of arranging tones in an orderly sequence so as to produce a unified and continuous composition”. In reality, the music does not have any concrete meaning. Music has different meanings for different people. Music is something that arouses interest and is pleasurable. 
In Kindergarten, the purpose of music is to enable the children to learn how to unscramble the aural images of music and to develop mental representations for organizing the music of the culture (Holahan, 1987; Davidson, 1985). It is also the time when children learn about their world primarily through the magical process of play. Edwin Gordon has identified early childhood as the period of developmental music aptitude (1988).
Early childhood is a fundamental time in human development when basic skills are learned. These skills are necessary for daily life and academic success. In the past decade, educators have discovered a number of benefits to music movement theories for early childhood development. 
Zoltan Kodály (1882-1967) was an eminent musician and a native of Hungary, once said “I suddenly awoke to the realization that we have to begin music from childhood.”
Carl Orff (July 10, 1895 – March 29, 1982) from Germany, another very seminal composers of the 20th century, said “A child learns to speak simply by listening and then imitating and then, later in life, the child learns to interpret symbols as a written form of that language”. 
According to the EDB’s Guide to the Pre-primary Curriculum (2006):
“Arts can extend children’s sensory experiences, and help them explore and perceive the world through different media”.
In my personal experience, children love a blend of music, movement, rhythm and dance. They get several benefits from music and movement which helps them in social, mental and physical development. It is also seen that music and movement improves children’s memory, cognition, learning skills and expressive ability. Music acts miraculously on the heart, mind, soul and spirit of the child, stimulating their thoughts and imagination in very unique ways. These are the real reasons for teaching music!

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