When my 4-month-old son started sitting in a high chair next to the stereo we discovered that he could dance. He couldn’t crawl, sit by himself unassisted for very long, or say anything… but he could dance. My boy has rhythm and any time he hears something with a beat he’s got a move to go with it.
This week he’ll turn 18 months and the dance moves have grown more complicated and the reaction to music has grown even more immediate. Watching my son grow into a love of music makes it clear to me why my students always seemed so engaged when the CD player was on in our classroom. I think music must be in us because the joy it brings us even as infants - seems to be innate.
There is plenty of research out there to suggest that my observation is not unique – and (contrary to my own belief) my son is not some musical genius because he can make a statement on the dance floor at less than 2-years-old.
Music is in us and it’s ignorant of reality to think that teaching children should happen without it. Whether we use it in the background to set the mood in our classroom, or discuss it as text to illuminate content music can be used to bring order to chaos or convey ideas.
Music is a very versatile classroom tool and as I am sure most parents can attest it also happens to work wonders in the home!