Part 2 – Early childhood development through Music:

It is important that those of us caring for young children have a basic understanding of how children develop and learn. We then know why children of a certain age do certain things, what children can and cannot do, and what we need to do in order to help. With this knowledge we can set goals for our young children and we are better able to provide a programme for their music education. This is the reason why we as parents, mentors, guardians, educators etc, should have a good knowledge of the young child’s psychological, physical and behavioural development. 

The young child experiences things to know by doing music activities.  The following occurs: 

  • language starts to develop through songs and rhymes
  • repetition of favourite experiences is enjoyed
  • sequence and structure through movement and beat are favourites
  • finger games and talking words in music are enjoyed
  • listening to sound stories captures attention
  • showing feelings is so good
  • high energy is enjoyed and allowed
  • imagination blooms
  • making decisions leads to self-discipline
  • choosing instruments feels good
  • more self-control is learned
  • success is experienced

The young child will develop physically while doing music activities:

  • gross motor control through marching, running, dancing on the beat of the music
  • fine motor control through playing instruments and clicking fingers
  • balance through swaying, skipping, hopping on one leg
  • eye-hand coordination through following a listening guide, reading and writing dots and lines, playing an instrument
  • ear-foot coordination through stepping into a hoop while listening to music, listen and jump or glide or wiggle feet
  • self-awareness and self-identity develops when playing a simple instrument, singing a song, moving creatively and getting attention by using his/her name in a song or a greeting
  • trust and social interaction develops when sharing each other’s songs, dances, singing together, sharing space and instruments, taking turns
  • cooperative play is blossoming while helping and dancing or signing with each other
  • self-discipline and cooperation develops when instruments are cared for, rules are obeyed and friends are respected Music activities can therefore make a contribution to the child’s holistic development.

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