Music Matters

One of my favorite aspects of teaching early childhood programs is the music. Every LEAP session includes a music station which has simple instruments such as tambourines, maracas, bells, and rattles provided for the kids’ experimentation and exploration. Children are naturally musical. They will often start humming a tune or tapping their foot to a beat on their own. Music is an incredibly important tool for child development in myriad areas including intellectual, social and emotional, motor, and language. It helps the body and the mind work together. Listening to music can contribute to these benefits, but making music has the biggest impact. Playing music and singing with others can help children learn cooperation, sharing, and compromise.  Music can also help establish early literacy skills by helping children understand and recognize patterns and sequences.

I love gathering everyone together at the end of each session and singing the LEAP goodbye song, and I am always pleasantly surprised by how many little voices I hear singing all the words. It’s nice to have a structured time at the end of class that we all spend together, and the kids are comfortable and confident knowing class will always end with the song. I wrote the goodbye song to be easy to learn, have rhyming words, repetition, and a familiar tune. We also encourage the kids to clap or tap along to the beat not only because this makes the experience more hands-on and multi-sensory, but because learning to keep a beat is another pre-literacy skill. Kids who can keep a beat are more likely to be good readers later on.  How cool, right?

So keep making music and singing outside of class. Now, you can even practice the LEAP song with the lyrics below!

LEAP Goodbye Song (to the tune of The Ants Go Marching)

Goodbye my friends, 

It was so fun

At LEAP, at LEAP

Goodbye my friends,

It was so fun 

At LEAP, at LEAP

We made great art, 

We're getting smart,

We picked up rocks, 

We played in a box

It was so fun

At LEAP at the Zoo


-Stacey Martin