Mary Sweeney | February 15 | Cougar Chronicle

Dear New School Early Childhood Families,

When you think of children taking part in music and movement in Early Childhood - you think of Mr. Troy at The New School. Mr. Troy makes our music and movement program special.  You will find him around every corner engaging our students in music or movement. Last week, he spent time on our icy virtual days making connections with our students and their families through Facebook. Children were choosing their favorite songs and parents were reporting back through the comments. He is able to connect and bring the best out of most children, even the quietest of children...but the truth is music and movement also happens in all of our classrooms throughout the day. You can always spot a classroom singing or chanting, walking from the classroom to the Art Studio or on their way anywhere. In the toddler hallway, these children never travel the same way, they may be crawling like puppies or hopping like bunnies. A moving child is a learning child.

Many don’t realize that just like math, science, reading, or writing, music and movement plays an important role in a child’s development with many benefits. In Early Childhood, being able to release energy in a positive way usually sparks interest for a young child and encourages children to participate in other areas of learning. When children take part in music and movement activities, they are allowed to have fun, be creative and dance, and burn off some energy. I think it is our adult version of Zumba. When children participate in music and movement activities in a group, they also learn and develop social skills. They learn to work as a team, learn to share and learn how to be creative in a group environment.

Some benefits from music and movement include:

·       Children develop fine/small motor skills

·       Children develop gross/large motor skills

·       They learn to express feelings/emotions

·       Improves balance and coordination

·       Music is a language...It builds a child’s vocabulary

·       Music trains children’s listening skills

·       It allows for time to release built-up energy 

·       It finds space for creativity

Most children at an early age naturally enjoy music and can usually tell you their favorite tune, and begin reacting to music with expressions or movements that light up the room. As they get older, their love of music will grow and change. They may no longer be the ones belting out a song from the Disney movie Frozen, but might enjoy playing an instrument or listening to the lyrics of their favorite artist. One thing for sure, music is always part of our life.  A simple dance party can brighten a young child’s day. Don’t be surprised if it happens and you smile, as well.  This is why I find myself telling people if you need to smile just walk down The New School’s Early Childhood hallway and you will find “joy” around every corner. 

This week, take time out of your day to look for the joy that music and movement brings to your family and home.

TNS Strong, 

Mary Sweeney

Head of Early Childhood

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