Music is an art form with a universal language, capable of transmitting experiences to anyone. At St. George's British International School "we believe in music education as the best instrument to achieve the integral development of the individual, to promote abstract reasoning, creative capacity and self-discipline".
Specifically, in the Infant Education stages, music is key for the development of children. The benefits of working with music in stages from 3 to 6 years of age are very powerful and, moreover, transversal, which translates into several areas: emotional, logical-mathematical, physical...
Not only do we say it in our school St. George's British International School, Pilar García Núñez, a 2nd year Infant Education teacher with almost 30 years of experience, has developed the educational project 'El país de la música' (The land of music). For her, music is "the great teacher".
With the help of the methodology of this experienced professional with whom we have chatted to provide some musical resources that can be used in the infant classroom.
Active listening (and silence)
To reap the benefits of music, it is first important to learn to listen. One of the basic activities that can be done in the Early Childhood classroom is active listening. During the playing of a song, the child learns to be patient, to concentrate or to distinguish the silences (which are part of the music).
In Pilar García Núñez's class, for example, Vivaldi, Mozart, Celtic and African music are played...
Music can help children to express their desires or emotional states. Active listening to some melodies can take us on an emotional journey, which is very useful for the infant stages, as this is the time when children are learning to differentiate moods (happy, sad, angry...) in themselves and in others. For this reason, one idea to work on in class is to play different songs and discuss in groups what they convey.
As Pilar explains: "At these levels, music helps children to explore their own desires, emotions, empathy, tolerance...".
In addition, music is a particularly interesting stimulus for pupils with educational needs, such as children with autism.
One of the most enriching activities that can be carried out after a music session is expression through painting. As well as encouraging creativity, it can be a complementary activity to the exploration of emotions, as the children can freely slide the paint on the paper, letting what the music makes them feel flow outwards.
Pilar's students often do this activity in class. According to the teacher, the key is to validate each artistic expression: "Even if it's just doodling, it's what the music has prompted them to express.
Connecting with the body
Body expression is key in the infant stages, where children are learning to know their own bodies and how to move. Letting themselves flow through music is an excellent way to work on psychomotor skills and, like painting, it is an emotional and artistic outlet expressed through free movement.
Music is closely related to mathematics. In fact, the teacher Pilar García Núñez includes notions of musical figures with an interactive staff. The treble clef is the axis of the interaction of the musical figures. In this case, it is useful to use syllables to express the rhythm represented by each figure: 'voy' for quarter notes, which go alone; and 'corre' for eighth notes, which go hand in hand.
Finally, the use of certain instruments in the infant classroom can be a particularly enriching experience. The fact that children can manipulate simple instruments, such as the xylophone, the drum or the triangle, can help them to gain a better understanding of musical notions. In her musical didactic project, Pilar García Núñez includes musical instruments in their most basic classification: string, percussion and wind.
As we can see, music is one of the richest tools to work with in the classroom, even from an early age.
For all these reasons, at St. George's British International School we offer our pupils the possibility of learning an instrument within their school day thanks to the music school.
- Early Years