• Music provides a highly enjoyable way to do both.
• Sometimes words by themselves are not enough. Music provides a uniquely freeing opportunity for children to express their feelings and creativity.
Among other things, music helps children develop –
Children often create their own songs or chants to accompany dramatic play.
They may also be inspired by a certain song or style of music you put on.
Dramatic play is important because it helps develop social and language skills; allows the expression of positive and negative feelings; teaches children to negotiate, take turns and resolve conflict; and helps children make sense of the world.
Doing action songs. For example, I'm a Little Teapot
Playing musical chairs
Dancing/moving to a drum beat
Listening to a simple rhythm and trying to copy it
Making an instrument. For example, a shaker or rubber band guitar
Playing some music and getting children to act out what they think it sounds like
Doing children's Jazzercise
Creating a song around a child's schema interest
Listening to and imitating the sounds of things around you (birds, cars, sirens)
Learning a Māori (or other language) song
Learning the sign language for a song
Using ribbons and other props while dancing
Playing the statue game (where children have to dance till the music stops, then be a statue)
Visiting a music shop and looking at the instruments
Playcentre recommends the following as a minimum for early learning centres:
Storage for instruments
Storage for tapes/CDs
Percussion and/or string instruments that provide different notes/pitch
Cassette tape recorder or CD player
Blank cassette tapes
The Playcentre basic equipment list
Some accessories that will support/expand children's musical experience:
Carpet and cushions to sit on
Tapes/CDs: children's stories, nursery rhymes, Māori and other languages, classical, rhythm, jazz
Books: rhymes and finger plays etc.
Ribbons, scarves, poi or rakau sticks (for dancing and movement games)
Music relates particularly to Strands 4 and 5 of Te Whāriki, which are Communication/Mana Reo and Exploration/Mana Aotūroa.
To learn more about Te Whāriki, visit the website.
Our thanks to the Auckland Playcentre Shop for permission to use this article. Great play starts here.