The Role Of Music In Early Childhood Learning

Music is not often emphasised in the Australian early learning framework, which instead focuses on free and child-led learning exercises as opposed to rote learning, repetition and reading notation – the fundamentals of a musical education. However, the role of music should not be underestimated in teaching children fundamental skills. A music-centric education can be play-based and offer many opportunities to develop linguistic and mathematics skills. 

How Is Music Currently Taught In Early Learning Settings? 

Music education in an early childhood education setting is usually delivered by third parties. External educators are known to employ specialist approaches such as Dalcroze Eurhythmics, Orff Schulwerk or Kodaly when they teach music in preschools. Due to the highly niche nature of such instruction, many early learning instructors may find themselves feeling poorly equipped to deliver a musical education within a classroom setting.  

The reality is that early childhood education can easily include music in their curriculum by focusing on providing play-based learning. Teachers can simply supply musical instruments appropriate for early learning ages in the classroom. Music is beneficial for young minds and musical education supports a range of developmental and learning outcomes in early childhood. It follows that musical play which engages children with new people, in new objects and amongst new sounds can have a positive effect on their development. 

Setting Up A Music Corner 

A music corner can make a great feature in a classroom and is relatively inexpensive to set up. You don’t need to break the bank buying a whole symphony orchestra: ukuleles, xylophones, mini pianos and quieter shakers are affordable options which will help children be creative with music indoors. Old drum kits can often be purchased for a modest price too and can be set up outdoors where they are free to make more noise in the hands of young pupils. 

How Do I Teach Music In Early Childhood? 

The key to effective musical tuition in an early childhood environment is modeling. Regardless of your own musical background, you will be able to bang out a rhythm or make up a melody on the xylophone which you can then encourage children to mirror. The focus of such an exercise is, of course, not to teach a tune verbatim, but to let children explore music independently. Don’t interrupt students or give corrections, this can lead to children becoming disengaged with their musical play. Instead, let them bang out whatever rhythm or melody they can muster and encourage participation. Teach children to respect their instruments and make sounds on them! The lesson will teach your students that music is a tool which can bring much joy. 

At Robyn Taylor Early Childhood Centre, we incorporate a range of strategies to help children feel comfortable learning musical pedagogy. If you would like to learn more about our music curriculum, book a tour of our education centre or enrol your child, please use our contact page to reach out to us or call on 02 9705 8309.