Written by Veronica Martin (ECE Coordinator)
For our very youngest children Music is a great tool for holistic learning. In one session outside, the children were given ribbons and music was played through the speakers. The children experimented using the ribbons to accentuate their movement through dance; developing their gross motor and co-ordination skills. They made big and small circles and sang: “Big, big, big, small, small, small”. Through this musical game, the children were reinforcing their understanding of the mathematical concepts of big and small as well as developing the vocabulary in English to articulate these concepts. Some social skills were also required as the children needed to be aware of others so that they did not bump into each other as they danced. They enjoyed watching each other expressing themselves through dance and started to get creative, each finding their own way to use the ribbon. That is just one of many examples, K3 children have been holding their baby dolls singing Rock-a-Bye-Baby while K4s learn about beat and rhythm.
Music helps children learn in a way that is fun and engaging. It is a great way to explore language for second and third language learners as they can explore different sounds, rhymes, and sentence structures as they learn new songs to familiar tunes. In ECE we often sing, “Everybody Wash Your Hands” “Sit down, sit down, sit down on the floor” “We are walking, going outside/to the gym/very slow.” Singing a song helps the children understand that there is a transition change and the repetition of the words helps to develop vocabulary.
In Music classes the teachers introduce many new instruments and give children time to feel them and explore the sounds that they can make on a drum, violin or even a triangle. This allows children to be successful in playing their own piece of music; building upon success and giving children the confidence to move forward in their musical education.
Music is a very important part of YCIS life beginning at K2. Our Performing Arts Director Mr. Nick Adgemis oversees the programme with Ms. Diana and Ms. Jeannie working directly with the children. At times, some of our children also go to CP to perform in the Theatre or Mr. Nick will visit the ECE children to help ensure a smooth musical experience. The ECE children look forward to their classes with either Music teacher as together they build a strong foundation of musical appreciation and exploration.