MENC: The National Association for Music Education. P.O. Box 1584, Birmingham, AL 35201. Tel: 800-336-3768; Web site: http://www.menc.org
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Music teachers are trained to teach music, but the truth is that they teach children. They must consider the whole child in their teaching. To be successful in school and in life, children need literacy skills. Literacy is naturally developed through music. Within a safe, inviting environment with opportunities for play, children learn when they engage in playful musical activities. Rhythm and rhyme seem to magically increase learning, and singing frequently provides an emotional hook that can engage students in learning routine facts. To create a stimulating environment for learning, fill the classroom with attractive and eye-catching posters, decorations, and learning centers. To integrate literacy into music class, have students express their reactions to musical selections in various ways, such as writing, drawing, and interpretive movement. In addition to enhancing learning through musical play and creating emotional involvement through the use of music, learning musical skills can be linked to learning literacy skills. By capitalizing on similarities between musical and literacy skills, music teachers can strengthen both. In this article, the author lists several skills that these two areas share, provides some suggestions for incorporating literacy activities into their music lessons with the skills they help develop, and discusses some of her favorite books and how she integrates them into her lessons. Books for rhythmic chanting or composing are also included.