There is a common misconception that music is distracting while trying to learn or concentrate. In fact, the opposite is true! Music has been proven to help children to learn effectively, by creating a relaxed and positive environment. We are also able to recall melodies and songs more easily than cold facts, and so linking the two can help their brains to remember the information they need to. Music can also be used motivationally. It can make learning more fun and enjoyable, encouraging children to stick at tasks for longer periods. It is common practise to use songs when teaching babies and toddlers. Why does this stop as children get older? It doesn’t have to! Try some of these ideas to incorporate music into your home learning curriculum. Watch as your children’s concentration and enthusiasm improve significantly!
Teaching Babies With Music
- Sing songs to learn the alphabet and numbers, such as ‘Five Little Ducks’ and ‘1,2,3,4,5, Once I caught a fish alive’
- Use rhymes to remember new things: body parts, colours, directions, foods. The list is endless – you will find children’s songs to cover just about every part of their early curriculum. Songs are easier to remember than words without melodies – just think of how many song lyrics you can recall!
Listen to music in context
- Listen to the appropriate music when studying different periods of history. Set the scene by listening to music from that time, and learn something about the circumstances under which it was written
- Do the same when reading literature, studying art, or thinking about philosophy. Listen to music that was written at the same time, to broaden your mind about the period you are studying. Music can be one of the more enjoyable and relatable ways to learn, and can be applied with versatility across the curriculum. Use it to your advantage!
- When learning about geography, and different parts of the world, get an insight into their culture by listening to music from appropriate countries and regions – you’ll be amazed at how it differs to our own.
Telling Stories Across the Curriculum
- Match the stories of ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Swan Lake‘, ‘Sleeping Beauty‘ and ‘Cinderella‘ to the relevant music. Makes stories come alive, and fall in love with characters, by listening to the music written for stories that your children love. Show them that stories can be told using many different art forms.
- Write your own stories to match children’s favourite music. Demonstrate how music can express emotions, and ask your children how the music makes them feel.
- Draw, paint, and craft while listening – get all creative juices flowing. Once children are excited by something, there will be no end to their energy and creativity.