Music as a Teaching Tool

posted Mar 9, 2016, 10:38 PM by Bring Music Back To Schools   [ updated Mar 9, 2016, 10:51 PM ]

Music as a Teaching Tool

Learning Through Singing

All teachers, brand new ones to very seasoned, need quick, easy-to-use tools to help them teach. This article gives teachers information from current research plus plenty of examples on how to use songs in their classrooms.

At his workshop entitled “Scaffolding Writing Instruction,” Dr. Michael Heggerty, an expert on literacy, stated that the average class has five academic levels within one grade.

How does a teacher reach all five levels within one class period?

What is developmentally appropriate for students?

How does a teacher reach the students who have language issues due to hearing loss, dual languages at home or other factors?

How do teachers reach students with special needs that are included in their classroom?

Music is a tool that is developmentally appropriate, facilitates language fluency, helps brain development and, above all else, is joyful.

Music benefits children’s oral communication. They learn to be attentive listeners, which is a skill that helps their phonological awareness, phonemic awareness and overall fluency. When teachers use music naturally, they expand vocabulary, promote sight words, identify rhymes and retell stories... 

... simple songs, when coupled with a book, “nurtures auditory and visual discrimination, eye-motor coordination, visual sequential memory, language reception and, most importantly, promotes comprehension and dialogue” (Wiggins, 2007).

Music allows learners to acquire information naturally and presents information as parts and wholes. A song gives students a chance to reduce the information into parts yet work with it as a whole. Frances H. Rauscher (2003) explored the relationship between spatial/temporal skills and music with high risk preschoolers and conducted three studies that examined the effects of music. The children who received music training scored higher on the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) in reading, spelling, reading comprehension, mathematical reasoning, numerical operations and listening tasks.

Music as a Teaching Tool

Learning Through Singing

Jeanette Castro Hachmeister

This article was originally published on the Golden Apple website www.goldenapple.org, under free resources.

Source: Volta Voices, July/August 2010


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