Music has always been a friend of the classrooms and the homes of young children. Often we harness its power to support the memorization of important facts. For example, the quadratic equation is committed to my memory for eternity thanks to my 8th grade teacher who set it to a (not so catchy) tune… x equals negative b plus or minus the square root of b squared minus four ac, all over two a!
It has also been used to signal & facilitate more graceful transitions (think: preschool drop-off or bedtime routines). The wife of a dear friend has been studying the effects of music on children’s behavior during transitions in her elementary classroom. Likewise, Dr. Petra Kern from the University of North Carolina’s FPG Child Development Institute discusses applications of what she describes as music therapy in this UNC Music for Transitions Podcast.
BIEHUS’s Parent+Child soundtrack includes two tracks that I selected to signal the Tidy Up & Join Me transition. The first is a 1 min 30 sec excerpt from Mary Poppin’s Spoon Full of Sugar which signals to our class that it is time to finish each of our activities and tidy up the classroom. Following that is a 30 sec instrumental excerpt from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons – Spring which is the cue that it is time to find our seats for our literacy circle. While it will take time for the songs to fully replace my own reminders to the class, I am already noticed the pleasant effects!