lunes, 9 de mayo de 2016

The power of music and songs in the classroom!

Hi everyone!
Today I just wanted to speak about music but why is it important?
The role of music and the arts in child development have  many benefits in children, some of them are:

  • General cognitive development.
  • Language development, reading-readiness and reading: listening to music can faicilitate learning to read, probably by increasing children's awareness of speech sounds.
  • Improve pronunciation, phonic awareness, intonation, rhythm, etc.
  • Facility for recall and retention.
  • Verbal abilities: Learn new words and ideas.
  • Abstract conceptual thinking and reasoning: creativity and originality, play improvisation.
  • Motor development and coordination.
  • Positive attitudes toward school.
  • Improve personal and social adjustment.
  • Stress reduction.
  • Release energy and channel it in creative, productive directions.
  • Gain confidence in themselves as they realize they can use mind and body together. Children learn that, with practice, their bodies will do almost anything they want to do-even leap across a room or tun cartwheels in time to music. 
Music and CLIL
One step further would be to consider the importance of music and CLIL. It's important to seek integration with other subjects when possible; in our reality, this means, Knowledge and Understanding of the world, Literacy, Art and some other subjects like PE or Geography and History.

Vocabulary helpful to singing songs:
- Dynamics, e.g. loud, quiet, guetting louder, getting quieter.
- Tempo, e.g. fast, slow, getting faster, getting slower.
- Pitch, e.g. high, low, getting higher, getting lower.
- Timbre, e.g. descriptive words such as: light, heavy, bright, dull, cold, warm.
- Structure, e.g. beginning, middle, end.

Music and Science
Songs in Science is a very helpful tool which must never be understimated. Concepts in Science when put into a song teach the children to memorise and approach what may be a difficult concept in a non-threatening way. Look at one example:

Water cycle song


Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
             (make circles with your arm, then a
      thumb's up)
Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
It goes up for evaporation  (raise hands above         your head)

Forms clouds for condensation (make a circle with your arms above your           head)

Then comes down in precipitation, yes it does!(use fingers to imitate rainfall)

Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
Water travels in a cycle, yes it does!
Water goes for collection (make a circle in front of you)

To rivers, lakes, seas and oceans (ask children what gesture they would use        for each)

From plants and trees are transpiration (make like a tree and then make            fingers gesture rainfall towards the sky)

Yes it does!

Very important before teaching a song:
- Set your objectives.
- Look for cross-curricular links.
- Analyse vocabulary.
- Master the melody.
- Be clear with the TPR.
- Be enthusiastic! Your energy level is contagious!
- Think of variations to singing it (changing volume, tempo, pitch, feeling, word substitution, guessing the word by actions...)
- Have fun!

In short, if you want to engage your students in a CLIL classroom, music is an amazing way of getting it!
I hope you like it and find it useful. Feel free to use it if you believe it is going to be helpful for you and don't forget to leave me a comment! I'll be pleased to hear your opinions.

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