Want to know how music can help boost literacy?
Read on to find out how music can help boost literacy.
The cliché that music soothes the savage soul holds true today. But, music can do so much more, especially for children. In a recent article published by Kent State University, it outlined exactly how teaching music in a classroom setting can help students learn while promoting social cohesion.
More than the classroom
If you’re a parent, it’s important to know that music follows your children from school to home and well into adulthood. When your child’s interests lie in music, you can encourage this passion by creating a space where they can invest in their hobby without interfering with the rest of the family.
Interestingly, in addition to teaching pitch and mathematics, music is also valuable when teaching children literacy skills.
Music makes you listen
The vast majority of individuals are born with the ability to hear sounds. But hearing and listening are very different. The act of listening requires focus, which is difficult for some children. Music, with its interesting stories and lyrical beats, can help children in early primary school develop listening skills that will help them as they learn to master subject matter involving the spoken and written word.
Like music, words are made up by stringing different sounds together. Understanding this concept is called phonological awareness. Listening to and playing music is an exceptional way to introduce children to phonetics. Playing music helps children of all ages learn to associate symbols with sounds and understand the reciprocal relationship between each. It improves decoding skills, which are necessary for word recognition and reading. Listening to notes, learning intonation, and practising rhythm and music may make it easier for young children to master language skills.
Symbols and penmanship
While most children won’t learn how to read sheet music, having access to printed materials will help children make a connection between print and sound. Gaining an awareness of this correlation through songs, chants and nursery rhymes and later instruments works to strengthen a child’s grasp of how letters form words to make sounds that have meaning.
Children must learn how to recognize individual sounds in words. ABC Mouse uses the word “dog” as an example. A child in kindergarten or first grade might be asked to identify the beginning, middle and ending sound and must understand that each symbol – letter – creates a unique reverberation. In addition to simply being able to discern different sounds, music helps children understand the importance of using different types of speech. Fast speech, for example, shows excitement or a low tone of voice communicates disdain.
Books are, of course, a learning tool that can never be replaced. However, reading does not always provide an interesting vehicle where children are eager to learn. But music does. FluentU explains that many songs are repetitive — repetition is paramount to truly learning and understanding specific vocabulary words. One of the most fun exercises children can do is learning how to sing a beloved song in another language.
To be clear, music is not a substitute for traditional classroom learning or hands-on experience. However, it is one tool that most children can relate to, regardless of age or cognitive abilities. It is a medium by which education can be enhanced in a way that’s engaging and, more importantly, memorable.
Many thanks to Charles Carpenter of Healing Sounds for this guest post.