This post is authored by John Funk, a university clinical instructor who teaches courses in early childhood, children’s literature, classroom management and reading methods. Besides teaching K-2 himself for almost 25 years, John currently supervises and instructs pre-service teachers. He routinely teaches workshops around the country on literacy and language arts and other early childhood topics.
When I was a classroom teacher, I used music and songs for a variety of reasons. I found that music helped children become engaged in classroom activities. Most children enjoy music and songs, if they are fun and upbeat. Children respond to the presence of rhythm, beat, and physical actions. This type of music is different than forcing children to memorize a lengthy song for a program, which can be very tedious and inappropriate. However, for me, fun classroom songs are a wonderful transition tool to help maintain positive behavior standards while the group moves from one activity to another. Once I understood about the importance of phonemic awareness to pre- and beginning readers, I used music to help children listen for specific sounds and rhyming. I always believed that music and song would help children in many facets of life.
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