During early childhood, exploring music can enhance children’s ability to express themselves through voice and body. Music allows for the discovery of sound, movement, and self-expression at any age. Creating an early learning music center gives young children the opportunity to appreciate and value the role that music plays in everyday life.
How to Create a Music Center in the Preschool Classroom
To begin, designate a large open space strictly for music. Lay down an area rug for drum circles, hang mirrors for impromptu dances, and perhaps, build a platform for musical performances. Set up storage for books, instruments and props that could be used for all kinds of musical expression, whether it be singing, dancing and playing, or composing music. There could also be several designated spaces within the music center that allow for specific tasks like listening, composing, and recording.
A listening area with a radio or CD player and headphones will give children a place to discover different types of music and appreciate all its genres. A composing area stocked with a writing desk, staff paper, and composition books will encourage children to write their own music and express themselves through sound and words. You might even want to set up a spot for a mini-recording studio with recording devices and a video camera. It will allow children to see and hear their individual and collaborative group creativity.
Stock the music center with anything and everything musical! Audio-visual tools, instruments, costumes, and props are all good items to have on. Add books, CD’s and DVD’s too. Instruments are, of course, a must have for the music center. Bongos, drums, tambourines, hand bells, guitars and keyboards are just a few of the instruments that could be available for musical exploration. Last, but not least, props make music education even more fun than it already is! Use ribbons and scarves for an interpretive dance or dress up in costumes for a musical performance.
Now that the music center has been created, let children play, explore and learn! Allow children to check out the new space on their own. Watch and see what each child is drawn to and use that as a basis for arranging both individual and group learning plans. Get started with a picture book reading about music history, and then move on to making a small rhythmic band with the instruments on hand. Get creative and handcraft instruments such as maracas, rain-sticks, or kazoos. Set up a story telling loop with voice and instrumental sound effects, or have everyone participate in drum circle with a favorite percussion instrument. Have a parade with marching band and rhythmic dancers. The options are endless!
Music centers support social interaction skills and promote creativity while discovering the arts. Early childhood music learning builds cognitive and motor development. As children acquire an appreciation of music, they strengthen skills such as self-expression, teamwork, and acceptance. Through sing-alongs, dances, songwriting and instrument play, early learners begin to understand the importance of music in every day life.
Tell Us: What do you include in your music center?