By Miriam Myers , GreatSchools Staff
Your child will sing, play instruments and move to music in kindergarten. She learns to keep a beat and tell the difference between loud and soft. These activities introduce her to the artistic, cultural, scientific and mathematical foundations of music.
Research has shown that the benefits of music education include improved reading and reasoning ability, self-esteem and vocational preparation. Paul Bakeman, our teacher consultant and award-winning music teacher, adds: "Recent research done at the University of California, Irvine, indicates that young children involved in consistent music instruction have a greater ability to grasp concepts that are also essential to the understanding of math and science."
Music may not be taught as a separate subject in some schools, but most states require that it be included in the curriculum. Most states have music standards that are based on the National Standards for Arts Education.
Kindergartners sing songs with words and melody patterns that are repetitive and easy to learn. Many songs will be connected to the holidays. Others reinforce what your kindergartner is learning in class, such as counting, colors or the alphabet. Typical songs include "Lucy Locket," "Doggie, Doggie, Where's Your Bone?" "Aiken Drum," and "Snail, Snail."
Your child develops his voice by singing alone and learns to blend his voice with others by singing in a group. He learns to sing expressively, on pitch (high and low) and with correct dynamics (loud and soft). He can sing songs from memory. He creates simple songs with the class based on stories and poems. The class plays singing games that combine music and movement.
Singing can also help a child learn to read. Kindergartners practice rhyming words in "Down by the Bay," spelling in "B-I-N-G-O" and vowel sounds in "Apples and Bananas."
Kindergartners play musical instruments, such as rhythm sticks and drums, individually and in a group. Your child is likely to work with rhythm to find a steady beat.
"Finding and keeping the steady beat is a basic musical skill that kindergartners spend plenty of time practicing," Bakeman says. "It is an important skill that lays the foundation for instrument-playing in the future."
Your child will be able to copy simple rhythmic patterns played by the teacher. The class may make simple instruments, such as drums and shakers, out of found objects. Kindergartners can classify instruments into groups according to how the sound is produced: metal, wood or skin (drum).
"A great way to practice the steady beat and counting skills is to beat out numbers of things in a group of objects, like one apple, two oranges, three carrots and four tomatoes. Kindergartners can also practice adding numbers together and then playing the answer as a steady beat," Bakeman says.
In a rich music program, kindergarten students develop a beginning recognition of musical notation. They learn to read simple musical notes and use invented symbols to represent a beat. Bakeman explains: "An 'invented symbol' could be anything that represents the beat. For example, I could use bird picture cards to represent the invented symbol. I would place eight bird cards on the board. As I point to each card the students say 'chirp.' Then I remove a few bird cards and explain that sometimes in music we have sound and silence. I then draw a quarter rest in the place of the removed bird card, and we practice saying 'chirp' for each bird card and then remain silent for the rests."
Listening and moving
You can expect your kindergartner to be exposed to many different kinds of songs with different beats and rhythms. He learns to develop an ear for beat. He responds to beat, rhythm and qualities of music, such as loud and soft, and fast and slow. Your child skips, hops, marches, claps, tiptoes, steps to the beat and makes creative movements to music, showing her understanding of rhythm, beat and the feeling of the music. She may use props, such as scarves, along with the movements.
What to Look for When You Visit
Sign up for our newsletter and we'll send you more
insights to help you help your child succeed.
Thank you! You will begin to receive newsletters from us shortly.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to complete your registration.
Great work! Only one more step. Now we just need you to verify your email address. Please click on the link in the email we just sent you to submit your review.
Please click on the link in the verification email we just sent you to complete your change of email address.
Whoops! It looks like we still need to verify your email. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the e-mail? Click the button below and we'll send you a new one.
Thanks for registering. Welcome to GreatSchools, the largest online community committed to improving educational outcomes through parental involvement.
Thanks for verifying your updated email address.
Oops! You haven't verified your email address yet. To do so, please click on the link in the email we sent you. Can't find the email? Click the button below to receive a new one.
Oops! That email verification link has expired. Please click the button below to receive a new one.
Create an account to submit your answers.
Sign in with an existing GreatSchools account or using Facebook:
Your review has been posted to GreatSchools.
Share with friends! Post your opinion of on Facebook.
Welcome to GreatSchools!
For principals and school officials, we offer a special Enhanced School Profile (ESP) which allows you to update and add information about your school, as well as respond to reviews. If you are a school official, click Continue to start.
Please note that it can take up to 48 hours for your comment to be posted to our site. While you're here, we'd like to invite you to fill out a survey on your school's programs, activities, and extracurriculars. It only takes a few minutes and will help parents get a full picture of your school.
Get started now! You have successfully registered and can now start updating your Official School Profile. The information you provide is extremely valuable in helping parents and students learn more about your school, so thanks for taking the time!
Thank you for registering as a school leader. We just need to verify your email address. We've sent you an email - please click on the link in that message to get started editing your school's information!
Thanks! We just sent you an email – please click on the link in the email to post your answers.
Get timely updates for , including performance data and recently posted user reviews.