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The Role of Music in Your Classroom

by Jennifer Jones
March/April 2010
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Where does music fit into your classroom? 

• For some of us it is that little box on our lesson plans that we fill with a few song titles and then move on. 
• For others, music in the classroom refers to songs sung at circle or transition times. 
• Sometimes it is that fleeting ­moment when you thought handing out percussion instruments to all 20 of your students at the same time was a fantastic idea. 

But how much thought do you really give to music’s role in your classroom?  Are these its only purposes or can it be more?

The importance of music

According to developmentally appropriate practices, play is the most vital component of any early childhood curriculum. Through play, children develop social, emotional, and cognitive skills; children express themselves physically, represent feelings, and acquire fundamental concepts and skills (Bredekamp & Copple, 1995). But are they independent of each other? According to van der Linde (1999), play and music are interrelated activities. They are both essential components to a child’s development, but this is not always understood. There are many areas in early childhood where music and play are inseparable and ­others that are strengthened by the pairing. ...

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