Music in the Early Childhood Classroom

Entering an early childhood classroom, it only takes one glance around the room to know that the students are engaged. The children intently watch their teacher as they belt out the words to a song and move their hands up and down in unison. One song finishes and they stand up and begin stomping to the beat of the next one, singing a song about numbers. There are smiles and happy whispers as the teacher then passes out egg shakers. Five minutes pass and the students are still engaged, participating, and learning.

Music is a powerful teaching tool!

Importance of Music in the Early Childhood Classroom

Music in the early childhood classroom provides children with opportunities for movement and reinforces academic learning.

You can use music as

  • a morning greeting
  • part of your lesson
  • a cue for transitioning from one activity to the next
  • a way to get energy out between activities
  • an exploration of other cultures

Music and Movement

Many songs in early childhood lend themselves well to movement. “Cindy Circle” is a shape song from the Frog Street Press Sing and Read Literacy Series. It is a catchy tune that teaches the math concept of what is a circle.

You can introduce the song with a video. When the children become familiar with the words and the tune, add in the movements. Print the words to this song on a large sheet of chart paper or on sentence strips to help children connect the spoken words with the written words. You can also use the big books included in the Sing and Read Series.

Sing and Move with Circles

Show children how to make a circle by putting together their hands, or give each child a small paper circle and have them dance around with it. These paper circles can be used in later craft projects to provide even more repetition.

Cindy Circle

Cindy Circle goes around and around. (spin the circle around)
From the sky to the ground she goes around. (make your circle go up and down)
She is on the Ferris wheel. (move the circle in a circular motion)
She’s a beach ball for the seal. (bounce your circle)
Cindy Circle goes around and around. (spin the circle around)

Cindy Circle is available HERE.

Paper Circle

Music and Learning

There are songs about shapes, counting songs, color songs, and alphabet songs. There are songs that teach children about how plants grow and others that name the animals in a specific place. Other songs have words that rhyme. These are all academic concepts in the early childhood classroom. Singing and interacting with these academic concepts provides children with repeated exposure and additional opportunities to learn.

Are your students having a hard time with a particular concept? Make up a rhyme or a silly song about it to help them remember.

Sing and Learn with “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”
Use this song to have children practice position words. Show children how to slide a plastic spider ring up and down on a straw, or have children pretend their fingers are a spider and move them up and down.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the water spout.
Down came the rain and washed the spider out.
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain,
And the Itsy Bitsy Spider went up the spout again.

Itsy Bitsy Spider is available as a big book, in our Nursery Rhyme Flip Chart, and audio CD.

Music is a powerful tool for teaching and learning

Music is a powerful learning tool in the early childhood classroom. We would love to hear how YOU use it to keep your students moving and learning. Tell us about an activity or a favorite song your class likes to sing by leaving a comment here on the blog or stopping by our Facebook Page.

Read more about the Frog Street Press Sing and Read Literacy Series.