Jan 10, 2012

The Advantages of Singing for the Early Childhood Educator



Children enjoy singing songs with their teachers. Music is an important part of a child's development. But, singing is also an effective tool for educators in an early childhood setting, such as a preschool or daycare, to guide children, create structure and teach!

Using Singing for Guidance

When a teacher changes her tone in speaking it will often grab a child's attention. If she lowers her voice and speaks clearly in short sentences with an authoritative voice, it helps the child understand the importance of her message. On a similar and lighter note, singing can grab the attention of a child or an entire group of children and will help guide towards more appropriate behaviour.


A teacher does not necessarily have to know a song with specific lyrics to use in a guidance situation, but rather she can just sing her words. Often using one or two common tunes will be helpful at the beginning and then it will become more natural of a process and any song can be used. So, for instance if a group of children are running around in a circle inside, a teacher could start singing to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star: Walking walking when inside, put those running feet away. Another example for using singing for guidance is when walking in a group, such as for a fire drill or a field trip, is this song sung to the tune of She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain:

Oh, our quiet train is leaving here we go, sshh, sshh

Oh, our quiet train is leaving, here we go, sshh, sshh

Oh our quiet train is leaving, our quiet train is leaving,

Our quiet train is leaving, here we go, sshh sshh.

Using Singing to Create Structure

In early childhood settings, singing is commonly used to help children learn the routine of their day. Songs are used for cleaning up, transitions, gathering for circle and much more. To illustrate, here are some favourite clean up songs:

  1. Time to put the toys away, toys away, toys away, time to put the toys away, so we can have our snack (this can be changed to suit a program).
  2. Now we've had our time to play, it's time to put the toys away.
  3. Clean up, clean up everybody, everywhere, Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.
  4. I see Sally picking up toys, I see Johnny putting them away.
There are many songs that can be used for circle time and transitions as well. Find some songs that can be remembered and use on a daily basis. The children will then learn the songs, and be cued for transitions in the curriculum.

Singing is a Teaching Tool

Singing can be used for teaching, of course. Children love to hear songs, and learn them as well. Some songs are more educational then others and when used in connection to a theme being used in all areas of a curriculum, the song will contribute to the learning process of a child.

Educators can find songs at circle time that will correlate to a preschool lesson plan. Sometimes a song cannot be found in available sources and so making one up can always do the trick. For instance, let's say a preschool teacher is teaching the children about dinosaurs and there are no preschool songs that are quite right. She decides to make up her own song using the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star:

We are dinosaurs from long ago, you could find us high and low.

In the grass and on the land, in the sea and on the sand

We are dinosaurs from long ago, you could find us high and low.

As the children continue along the learning lesson of dinosaurs she puts in more lyrics. They do not have to rhyme, but repetition and simplicity work well with young children.

One tactic to use for making up songs is to find a tune and the first two lyrics to start the process each time, then the rest will often fall into place. For instance, "I am a ____ look at me, I'm as happy as a I can be..."

Young children love singing and music, and a classroom that is filled with singing with age appropriate lyrics, helps create a fun and appealing space for preschoolers to learn.

This article, written by Christine Moore, was originally published by suite101.com

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