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Lighting a Musical Fire in Children

by Renee Bock
November/December 2016
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Article Link: http://www.exchangepress.com/article/lighting-a-musical-fire-in-children/5023252/

Developing a Music Mindset for Teaching

I was born with a head full of songs. My parents say I sang before I spoke. Is that unusual? Or are babies wired to make music from birth?

Early educators often feel ambivalent about making music with young children. We know it is good for them, but maybe we don’t like to sing. We know young children learn music more easily than adults, but we don’t quite know how to get started. Maybe we’re thinking, “Music teachers teach music. It’s not my responsibility.”

I’ve been singing with young children (birth to five years) for over ten years. I’ve worked with many teachers in the classroom, as a director, and as a builder of schools with music at the core of the curriculum. 

Early childhood teachers often view infants as passive receivers of song. But if you take the time to watch and listen, you will see infants as active and engaged:

The beat exists within them. 

They focus intensely on sound and how instruments work.

They look at the faces and hands of musicians. 

Babies beam back with expressivity and curiosity at singing adults: kicking, smiling, and crawling towards the music. I was one of those kids. Luckily, my parents were set ...

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