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Natalia Nesteruk

“Music as a teaching tool in education of young children”

Music plays a significant role in our lives. It does not only accompany us in
everyday life but it is also the vital component of important events such as weddings,
birthday parties, formal inauguration, funerals. Hence, music should be effectively
incorporated into childhood education just like it appears continuously in our lives.
Unfortunately, music education sometimes is considered as a nonessential part in
children's development. Teachers forget about many advantages thanks to which music
will influence positively their lessons.

According to Jue Zhou ​“music education is an indispensable part of quality


education”​. It is considered as a kind of aesthetic education that has an important impact
on child’s growth and development. During music lessons children can sing, dance, play
the instruments, listen to music and also improvise. Thanks to all this activities children
may develop their rhythmic skills, control and practice their body movements, express
themselves and integrate with their classmates. Music not only aids in the cognitive
development of our students but also increases the capacity of their brains. The
researchers highlight the important role of playing instruments. It was proved that
playing instruments engages every area of our brains and develops fine motor skills.
Moreover, teachers who implement music activities and listening to music during their
lessons help their students to understand the emotions, hence they contribute to
improving their student's executive functions.
What is more, music activities develop children's auditory processing skills which
influence better comprehension and helps to acquire language skills.

Another significant aspect of music education is improvisation. Music educators


and music educator-researchers suggested that implementing improvisation in our
lessons has an enormous potential for pedagogical enrichment. Ajay Heble and Mark
Laver stress that improvisation activities may have a positive impact on the relationship
between teacher and students. Additionally, students will become more thoughtful,
engaged and active and it will develop their critical acuity. Moreover, allowing our
students to improvise will improve their self-confidence and learner autonomy, because
they will feel the empowerment to take charge of their own learning. Through musical
improv games, students may practice singing in the scale, quick thinking, rhyming,
pronunciation of words, expressing themselves and dancing freely. Improvisation
activities may be implemented not only into music classes but mostly to all subjects.

Music activities should be also used in language learning. Jeremy Harmer


emphasis that incorporating music in language education is a great stimulus to
encourage our students to active participation. Music affects their emotions and feelings
and at the same time, their brains are working efficiently. Starting the lesson with a song
may become a daily routine and it can build a positive atmosphere in our classroom.
Music activities are especially important for very young learners. Through singing
simple songs they can learn basic vocabulary such as the alphabet, colors, animals.
These songs will amuse our children and at the same time, they will acquire new
vocabulary without noticing that they are learning.
Moreover, we can add dance movements to the songs (for example showing body parts)
so the students develop their physical skills and body coordination. While singing a song
students may be divided into groups (each group sings different part) or students may
sing it loudly, silently, slowly, fast. This kind of differentiation may allow us to repeat the
song many times and it will contribute to students success in remembering the new
vocabulary.

Music in language learning has also an important meaning for older students.
Music can improve students’ concentration so it is advised to allow the students listen
to music while writing or reading activities. Calm music can be also used to cool down
our students, let them take a rest and relax.
What is more, working with song lyrics is probably the most common method of
teaching languages. It attracts students attention, involves students, lets them forget
that learning is boring and very often teaches the natural language. It is worth
mentioning that teachers who want to work with song lyrics should have clear teaching
objectives, check the lyrics and the grammar. Moreover, it is advisable to choose the
song where the key structure or vocabulary repeats often.
As it was mentioned above, implementing music in our daily teaching has many
advantages. Music introduces magical atmosphere in our classrooms, integrates the
students and supports children's development. Thanks to music we connect the world
of leisure with the world of classroom, thus we create a perfect learning environment.

References:

Harmer, J. (2015), The Practice of English Language Teaching. Essex, England: Pearson

Heble, A., & Laver, M. (Eds.). (2016). Improvisation and music education: beyond the
classroom. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com

Zhou, J. (2015) The Value of Music in Children’s Enlightenment Education. Open Journal
of Social Sciences, 3, 200-206. doi: 10.4236/jss.2015.312023.

http://www.musicalimprovcomedy.co.uk/musical-improv-games.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzVSTNYKHbk