Preschool Music Education Essay
Preschool Music Education
Teaching music to preschoolers contributes to brain development. “The musician is constantly adjusting decisions on tempo, tone, style, rhythm, phrasing, and feeling—training the brain to become incredibly good at organizing and conducting numerous activities at once. Dedicated practice of this orchestration can have a great payoff for lifelong attention skills, intelligence, and an ability for self-knowledge and expression” (Ratey, 2001). A group of researchers at the University of California (Irvine) conducted a study that showed that after eight months of keyboard lessons, preschoolers showed a 46% boost in their spatial reasoning (Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, 2001).
Music Education Module
The curriculum for teaching preschool music education should contain three parts: 1) Singing; 2) Active listening; and 3) Movement. All three of these subsections should work together and build off of the skills learned during the other subsections. The music education curriculum must be fun and engaging for the preschool children, otherwise the children will not give the music activities their full attention and will not retain the cognitive abilities that can be taught through music education.
The preschool music education curriculum needs to be focused around teaching the children songs, preferably nursery rhymes and other educational songs, which will teach the children a skill. Incorporating movement and hand motions into each song that is taught will enhance the skills learned. Learning to sing songs will improve the development of language acquisition, listening skills, and fine motor skills.
Songs that tell a story with hand motions such as “I’m Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” will improve language skills as well as fine motor skills and self expression. Songs that specifically address a certain skill such as counting songs (1,2 Buckle My Shoe) and spelling songs (B-I-N-G-O) should be incorporated into the music curriculum as well.
The preschool music education curriculum must also include active listening to music. Listening to music, particularly classical music, will improve listening skills, auditory discrimination, abstract reasoning, and spatial intelligence. After the children have listened to a musical piece, the experience needs to be reinforced by a series of questions and answers. Asking the children what kind of instruments they heard and what emotions they felt during the song will improve the abstract reasoning skills and teach the children how to evaluate and comprehend what they have heard. Clapping through a rhythm that was in the song they just heard will teach the children about tempo and improve counting and mathematical skills.
The preschool music education curriculum needs to include all three of the subsections discussed. If the curriculum neglects one of the subsections, important skills will be neglected. Singing and dancing teaches preschool children language skills, fine motor skills, and self expression. Actively listening to music, particularly classical music, improves listening skills, abstract reasoning skills, and spatial intelligence.
When developing a preschool music education curriculum, the most important thing is to ensure that the curriculum is fun and engaging for the preschool children. If the curriculum is rigid and boring, the children will lose interest and the teacher will not have their full attention. In order for the preschool children to acquire the skills taught during music education, the children must be engaged in the curriculum.
Musically Yours, Inc. (2007, November) Music Preludes. Retrieved January 23, 2008 from http://www.musicpreludes.com/index.html
Ratey John J., MD. A User’s Guide to the Brain. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001.
Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, “Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship,” University of California, Irvine, 1994
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