Holistic Learning Through Singing and Poem Recitation
Singing and Poems Recitations are not subjects that are included in the curriculum of most schools in Malaysia. Why is that? Could it be because there are no formal examinations for these activities? Could this also be the reason why our young learners find it difficult to express themselves?
Across the globe, and throughout history, music, poem and recitations have been important aspects of peoples’ lives. In this article we will discuss the importance of singing to the holistic language development of a child. In the next article, we will take a closer look at the benefits of recitation and poems.
Singing and Articulation
“Children frequently sing meaningful phrases to themselves over and over again before they learn to make a distinction between singing and saying.” says David Antin, author, poet and professor.
In other words, singing is a natural expression of a child’s early development of speech and articulation.
What Benefits Are We Missing By Not Having Singing In The Curriculum?
Studies done by music researchers found correlations between singing and increased language development, as well as math ability, improved school grades, better-adjusted social behaviour, and a higher level thinking.
How is that possible? Let’s break this down and see the various ways in which music and singing shape the development of our young children.
I – Music as an Emotional and Social Tool
On a practical level, music and singing provide a great emotional and social platform for the children. It is used regularly to help young learners get comfortable with their teachers and provides a group bonding experience for the whole class. Music relaxes the children and sets the environment for better learning.
II – Music and Literacy
Music and singing support literacy development, especially for young children.
Daniel Dwase, editor of the online Child Development Guide maintains that music assists in the development of a child’s speech. He said. “Singing nursery rhymes and simple songs teaches children how language is constructed and assists with the acquisition of language.
III – Music and Thinking
A study conducted by the University of California showed that music and singing train the brain for higher-level forms of thinking.
Another study done by the by Frances Rauscher, psychologist from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, and Gordon Shaw, physicist at the University of California at Irvine, linked the study of music with brain development.
They concluded that preschoolers who were exposed to “complex multi-sensory stimulation”, like singing, tend to get better marks on test measuring problem solving skills and spatial reasoning, an important skill used in math, science, and engineering.
Isn’t this a good enough reason to include singing in the children’s core learning even for those who are concerned with examinations?
IV -Music and Building Connections
Singing songs teaches children about tone, beat and rhythm.” And when children listen to familiar lyrics, they are building connections to the sounds they are hearing and the words that are being sung.
As the children begin to learn the lyrics of the song and learn how to sing them correctly with the pattern of sentences and proper parts of speech, they will gradually begin to understand them more thoroughly, thus developing their literacy.
V – Music and Creative Learning
Singing activity transforms a formal teaching-learning environment into one that radiates more positive vibes for the children to pick up on, making them feel more relaxed and ready to have fun while learning.
Judi Bosco, a board certified music therapist, said, “Through music, children take an inner experience and move it into a shared creative experience. Group music-making releases energy which can be channelled in creative, productive directions.”
VI -Music and Motor Skills Development
Singing is also enhanced with body movements of self-expression – dancing. Music and movement go together. Children respond to the music and singing by moving and jumping and simply being active. Dancing teaches children rhythm and is a tool to teach them motor coordination.
Are these good enough reasons to include music in a young child’s journey of learning?
Scholar Base Includes Music In Its Learning Activities
Recognising that children aged three to six years are at the psychological peak of their listening skills which distinctly linked to audible expressions, Scholar Base provides ample music and recitation learning activities in their curriculum. The children enjoy expressing as they sharpen their listening skills and focus which are essential in their learning and development.