In last week’s blog we considered how regular music practise in the setting over this Summer can boost school ready language and literacy skills. Incorporating this music practise can help children in disadvantaged situations ‘catch up’ on missed pre-school time, contributing to closing the attainment gap.
This week we’ll give you information and motivation to encourage parents to include music activities at home for all children in early years, supporting development in all areas of learning.
We have always known how important it is to encourage parent engagement in early learning at home and that parents are children’s primary teachers. In the wake of COVID 19, parents have had to play a more vital role than ever – and it’s been up to teachers and EY staff to prepare them with resources and support.
CUE THE MUSIC
Learning through play is the most effective method for EYs children and using music makes this engaging, inspiring and fun for everyone involved.
MUSIC SUPPORTING THE EYFS:
MUSIC SUPPORTS PERSONAL, SOCIAL, EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Music at home supports the development of family bonding and mood. It provides a great tool for encouraging self-expression and it’s an inclusive, uplifting activity that can be accessed by all children. At whatever stage of development, it builds self-esteem and self-regulation – an area that the upcoming revised EYFS focuses on!
MUSIC SUPPORTS COMMUNICATION AND LANGUAGE
Music helps children to tune in – it activates all areas of the brain. Once we have their attention, music can develop aural processing and the neural responses that are the basis for communication and understanding. Songs can introduce new concepts and words – and they stick!
MUSIC SUPPORTS PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT (and WELLBEING)
Music makes us move! These activities have a direct impact on physical development – exploring the movement of our bodies and even using fine motor skills by handling instruments.
But children’s motor skills, their balance, and their coordination is just the beginning. The songs can also teach children how to stay physically healthy in a fun and memorable way. Songs about nutrition, brushing teeth, the health of the planet, self-care and exploring the outdoors can be found in the Boogie Mites repertoire. Music doesn’t just lift our mood (releasing endorphins and dopamine), songs can cover healthy living topics and help us understand them.
MUSIC SUPPORTS LITERACY
Research shows that children with the strongest phonological awareness when starting school are the strongest readers and writers by age 7. The EYs National Strategy for Literacy (L&S Phase 1) recognises the important part that music plays in strengthening phonological awareness – through musical sequencing of sounds and actions, developing sense of rhythm and rhyme, developing sense of syllabic and phoneme awareness.
MUSIC SUPPORTS MATHS
Music – like maths – is built on sequences and patterns. Children will develop mathematical thinking as they take part and respond to these sequences and patterns (counting, keeping the beat, moving and playing with different rhythms). In action songs, we use positional language, such as ‘high’, ‘low’, ‘more than’, ‘less than’ which contributes to understanding and communication of mathematical thinking.
MUSIC SUPPORTS KNOWLEDGE & UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORLD
Songs can provide an engaging vehicle for introducing exploration of all forms of life, from the bugs and worms in the garden to a frog’s life and a fish’s journey through the sea, about countries in the world (using traditional music) or how you might get there and the animals that you might find.
MUSIC SUPPORTS CREATIVITY
Children are inherently curious and imaginative – they are constantly exploring the world in which they live. Music will encourage role-play, creating their own actions, dancing, or even inserting their own lyrics into a song; however, they respond to music, they are stretching and moulding their confidence and creativity.
SUPPORTING YOUR PARENTS
Inform your parents of the many benefits of regular, active, interactive music activities at home. You might write a blog for them like this one.
A music workshop for parents at your setting provides a great opportunity to encourage them to take part in musical activities with their children and to share the benefits for development across the EYFS as noted above.
Boogie Mites run parent education music workshops at schools and nurseries via local authority contracts throughout the year, sharing resources and encouraging home practice for parents, empowering them to support their children’s early development through music. These are on hold at the moment due to social distancing but it will be possible to start again very soon, get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss Boogie Mites music programmes and parent involvement support.
The Online Music Club Supports Parents at Home
Throughout lockdown, we developed virtual music workshops to support home learning and parents can now join our tried and tested Online Music Club.
Parents can trial the first month for free. They will get daily music workshops and supporting resources. All our instruments are made from items found around the home so they can get started straight away!
Find out more: Boogie Mites At Home Online Music Club . Please share this with your parents to encourage home learning through music.