The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) states the purpose of ‘Music In Our Schools Month’ is “to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children — and to remind citizens that school is where all children should have access to music.”
For some of us, this may seem like an obvious statement. As children, we were fortunate in having music as part of our school curriculum. Whether it was formal music studies, volunteer choir, or classroom games of song and dance. Music was an important part of our education and school community.
Joseph Fusca, Instructional Supervisor at Education Through Music, has directly observed the impact music can have on “students who needed music as a creative outlet. Students who needed music as a time to listen and absorb. Students who needed music to feel a part of something, to feel like they belonged… Music mattered. Students never asked, ‘When are we ever gonna use this?’ They used it right then and there. And when they left the music room, they took it with them out into the world.”
Now as parents, when we advocate for quality education, it’s important to keep the importance of music in mind. Music education and activities promote brain development, physical coordination, emotional regulation — in the classroom, on the playground, and at home. It helps children grow critical thinking skills and curiosity. Think about how music can take you as an adult to new places in your heart and mind. It’s the same for children!
To celebrate ‘Music In Our Schools Month’ we’re sharing a few fun and easy music related activities you can use with students in the classroom or children at home:
Draw an ‘album cover’ for your favorite song.
Why did you choose the image, style, etc?
If you have a group of siblings, friends, students, creating covers, ask them to take turns suggesting what they might change about each others’ covers.
Choose an anthem (theme song) for your family or classroom.
Have kids nominate popular songs that represent the group’s energy and style. Then discuss why they think the song best represents the group. Vote for the winning song!
Create a new song.
Start a song with an opening lyric. Then take turns adding new lyrics.
Do this with your family, a classroom, a scout troop, etc. (If it is a large group, divide kids into small groups to come up with and submit lyrics.)