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The Magic of Music

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Q: I'm curious as to the effect music can have on a child's learning. It seems that the 3 to 5 year olds in my class always respond well when we sing a song for an activity. If they are rowdy and off the wall, the one thing they all do together and participate in is a song. I was wondering why this is.

A: Before I was a teacher I was a musician. Several years ago I wrote a book on music and movement for young children called Learning Through Play: Music and Movement (Scholastic Inc.). I too have seen the magic of music to get children's attention and calm them down. Perhaps one reason why music is so helpful is that it engages the children's minds and senses. They can feel the beat, hear the melody and touch the textures of the sounds. Music can create a sense of peace or take children on imaginary journeys. You probably know that sometimes the best way to get children to listen to what you have to say is to sing it!

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