If you know the rest of this phrase, “Conjunction Junction, what’s your ____?” then you are aware of how music can be a powerful teaching tool. The popular Schoolhouse Rock series, of which Conjunction Junction was a part, was developed when a New York advertising executive asked a jazz pianist and vocalist to write a song to help the ad man’s sons learn to multiply. The jazz man wrote “Three’s a Magic Number.” The rest is history.
Music – from the alphabet to Conjunction Junction – is a great tool for teachers, especially those who are working with children in Pre-K and Kindergarten. In an on-demand webinar, Five Rockin’ Music Strategies, Diana Eldridge, RN, COTA and Learning Without Tears national presenter, shares how teachers can use the power of music to boost student abilities. The rhythm, rhyme and repetition of songs and music not only encourage participation, but they also are fun and highly effective teaching tools.
“Music naturally elicits movement and uses big and small muscles,” Eldridge explained. “Learning with music is playful, joyful and increases academic success while helping to create a solid foundation for young learners to build upon.”
Eldridge shares musical lessons that are designed to help Pre-K and Kindergarten students build the five foundational skills they must develop in order to succeed in school. These five foundational skills are:
- Social-Emotional – these make up the thread that runs through everything we do and includes sharing, taking turns, playing cooperatively, etc.;
- Fine Motor – drawing, building and finger play help improve the dexterity that is critically important for children to be able to hold crayon or pencil to write;
- Readiness/Grip – more than 50 percent of 3-year-olds don’t have proper grip, so they cannot hold a crayon, a pencil or a pair of scissors. Correct grip must be taught, and preferred hand should be identified early.
- Language – names, sounds and letters can all be taught through rhyme and song, which can be used to build vocabulary;
- Numbers – early math, from counting to number recognition is vitally important and reinforced through interactive, rhythmic song.
As Eldridge points out, the foundational skills laid in early years will make a lifetime of difference.
“Research has proven that music activities promote early childhood development and cognitive abilities,” Eldridge explains. “Music ignites the brain in multiple domains!”
Register now to learn more from Eldridge in her Five Rockin’ Music Strategies on-demand webinar.