Teaching music has unlimited benefits for children, from helping with behaviour and confidence to encouraging creativity and learning skills that can be used across many subjects.
NMT spoke to Harriet Thomas, founder and creative director at Boogie Mites about integrating music at home and the power of sound for wellbeing and learning.
Maintaining strong communication
Speaking about how the team at Boogie Mites communicates, Harriet stated:
‘We have started to rely on Facebook messenger video so we will video each other a lot. Before Covid-19 we would write a lot of emails to each other but that doesn’t happen nearly as much anymore. It seems so impersonal and its not immediate whereas on Facebook messenger it can be instant and personal.
‘It has been a brilliant and interactive way to keep in touch and check in to make sure everyone is well. Lockdown is tough for all of us and there are many people that live alone and don’t have a lot of human interaction anymore. Therefore video calls mean we can have some great virtual face-to-face time with our team and teachers.
Harriet details the benefits of online music sessions. She explains that while virtual learning isn’t always ideal, she can now pop into a session and watch the music play out and see for herself the reaction from children. Its also a chance for her to leave some positive comments to the tutor of the session and that is an extra level of work communication that is often missed in the physical world.
Now at Boogie Mites, emails are for more formal or business communications and Facebook groups and zoom calls have become the new norm of interactive communications.
Confidence and engagement
All the way through our lives we are exposed to music and it plays an important aspect in a child’s social development and confidence.
Harriet explains that music is such a good thing for parents to have in their arsenal to use. ‘There are so many benefits to introducing children to music at home and it doesn’t need to be overly complicated. My only concern is that sometimes parents don’t join in and I think if the parent does get involved it really elevates the activity and brings out more expression in children.’
For children who don’t speak English or have trouble with speech, music is a brilliant way to bond as a group without needing to use the spoken word.
The same goes for children who are shy or lack confidence. When they realise that they can develop a skill on their own in music, it gives them that self-belief and confidence boost that they require. As time goes by, they will become better, and become even more confident in their abilities.
Continuing, Harriet said:
‘Many nurseries who have used Boogie Mites have said that it has really helped the shy children open up and express themselves more. Its very difficult for children not to join into music, even if its just tapping their feet. Then adding an instrument to the mix really boosts the activity by having something in their hand to play along.’
With so many clear advantages to using music, its bewildering that its not a more formal tool in education across all ages. It is so intertwined with wellbeing that we often don’t even notice the impact it is having on us.
Concluding, Harriet stated:
‘At Boogie Mites we would always say that there is no wrong in music, you join in and do what you can. It has also been great to see practitioners enjoy the sessions and as said before, having adults involved really boosts the energy in the room.
‘Doing virtual sessions of course has its own set of challenges but we can still engage and encourage children to try something new or go further in what they are already doing. Children are so adaptable and maybe because they don’t compare, they live in the moment and we at Boogie Mites have seen first hand how important music is to early years.’