Music and movement have so many beneficial effects on our young learners and are integral to their overall education and development. These types of activities allow for the creation and strengthening of neural connections that are essential for learning.
Music in the early years helps children learn sounds and rhythm, which benefits language development. Movement, like dancing and other forms of physical expression, enhances long-term motor skills, as well as cognitive, emotional and social development.
In the Early Childhood division, students have a designated time for exploring sound and music. Here's what a typical Music and Movement class might look like on a given school day.
In preschool, students listen to "The Saints Go Marching In" while performing a finger play. They explore movement through learning beat and sing simple songs, like "Frog in the Meadow," with solos for each body part in the lyrics. And to really get moving, they play The Drum Game and Duck, Duck, Goose.
PreK students practice Jim Gill's Five Finger Play set to Beethoven's "Fifth Symphony." They sing "Johnny on the Woodpile" which has each student renaming the song after another friend in their class. For movement, they play games like Freeze Dance and Stuck in the Mud.
Our kindergarteners learn about pitch by performing a glissando, using an excerpt from Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" and pieces of yarn on the floor. They recently learned a Swahilli song called "Jambo Bwana" and to practice rhythm and beat, they played Obwisana, an African circle game with rocks. This was followed by a game of Freeze Dance and We're Going on a Bear Hunt.