Have you ever heard of social-emotional learning? If not, it’s a good time to learn more about it. It is something that is essential for early childhood development. Today, music can help improve and accelerate this growth.
What you may wonder is how educators can use music to improve social-emotional skills today. This is especially problematic for those who are still learning in a virtual or physically distanced classroom. Some tips to help make this possible can be found below.
Use Simple Songs and Rhythms to Help Children Connect
One of the most important parts of social-emotional learning is ensuring kids connect. This is true, no matter if they are in the same room or miles apart.
To do this, have children engage in the same music-related activity. This could be clapping in time or tapping out a beat with wooden spoons. When this is done together, it means the children are synchronizing their music, along with their bodies, spirits, and minds.
Experts agree this is a huge part of the social-emotional learning process. Children must learn effective ways to overcome barriers (i.e., being in different locations) to play with one another. This exercise makes this possible in a fun and engaging way.
Use Musical Stop-and-Go Activities
Most children are full of energy. With stop-and-go music activities, you have a method of expending some of this energy and controlling their continual movements.
A top concern in early education today is making sure that sedentary learning is not an issue. Do you need an effective and easy way to help students get their “wiggles” out? Do you also want to find a way to teach them self-regulation at the same time?
If so, play an instrument or song and have the children move around until the music ends. Doing this helps them learn the cues to follow to know when to start and stop moving. Even better, this is a fun activity for kids of all ages.
Enhance Inclusivity by Playing Music from Different Cultures
It’s never too early to share multicultural tunes. Children will not put the pieces together until they reach age five (in most cases), but cases of cultural awareness will start much earlier in their lives.
Even younger toddlers will be able to recognize and enjoy authentic music from around the globe. Also, most preschoolers have impressive and intelligent questions about the different characteristics that help to make each person unique.
Improving Social-Emotional Development with Music
It’s important to note that parents can use the same tips to help improve social-emotional development at home. Use the tips above to do this. Music is a huge part of any educational program and is invaluable for children of all ages. If your child is not engaging in these types of activities now, it may be time to integrate them into your daily routine. It will pay off and help ensure your child is a well-rounded, confident, and accepting adult.