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Society for Excellence in Education

Music is the essence of life

This statement says it all. Really!!

Music is unknowingly embedded in our life right from the time we are born: The heartbeat. Rhythm and melody are like inhaling and exhaling and a child learns and grows with it unconsciously.

The first lullaby it hears along with the soothing hand which puts it to sleep all are the first experiences of understanding music. As the child grows, Nature and her rhythm become an open book for learning and music.

Can one ever forget the pitter-patter of rainfall, the rustling of leaves in the wind, the snapping of fingers, the tapping of feet, the songs of the birds, the rippling sound of the waters, or the roar of the sea waves?

All of these are sounds of music! My first memory of listening and learning a song as a two-year-old was DO – RE – MI from the musical movie of 1965 The Sound of Music along with another musical one Mary Poppins. Even today I tend to hum those tunes or sing those songs while I’m at work. To commemorate 50 years of The Sound of Music, our students of grades 2 and 4 had performed the same in the form of a skit in 2015 and they thoroughly enjoyed singing all the songs…one won’t believe but these little kids sang around ten songs!!

These sounds of music are the stepping stones that can be used to enhance the future learning of the child in school.

Let us take a peek to see how music can be incorporated in school to support learning –

At the pre-school level rhymes, songs, letter sounds and counting can be easily introduced with music. Music helps to memorize facts [learning by association] – remember the ABC song for learning alphabets. When I recall my childhood, I often used to memorize my notes with some soft music in the background. Believe me, it truly helped. While writing in our answer sheets I would associate the answer with the song I was listening to while memorizing the answer (and at times get caught and scolded by the teacher as I would sing in the class).

Music also helps the children to become aware of distinctive sounds. This is an advantage for them to become proficient in reading, writing, and pronunciation; thus, helping to achieve fluency in languages.

Music is also a good tool for learning science and social studies too.

Using dance and music for depicting the Water cycle or life cycle of a butterfly; the struggle of Independence or this allows the children to understand and experience the events as well as give them an opening to know the cultures around the world, folk dances, and songs in and around the world.

Let us not forget the school assembly with which we begin our school day with- The school song, prayer, choir singing, though an everyday occurrence helps build the ability of children to work together as a team, inspires and motivates them to be involved in the school activities, makes them understand that they are part of something other than themselves.

With all these possibilities at our disposal, let us move forward to incorporate music in our everyday teaching-learning experience; making it an easy, interesting, and involving experience for them and leading to more creative minds.

-Radha Nerekar(3D)

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