NAEYC’s Week of Young Child – Music Monday!
April 11th, 2016 | by SRC
Today kicks off the celebration for the annual Week of the Young Child™, established by the National Association for the Education of Young Children in 1971. Each year, various themed activities with the purpose of focusing public attention on the needs of young children and their families, as well as recognizing the early childhood programs and services that meet those needs, are commemorated by all who are involved in early childhood education. The website states that, “The Week of the Young Child™ is a time to plan how we—as citizens of a community, of a state, and of a nation—will better meet the needs of all young children and their families.”
This year’s theme is Celebrating Our Youngest Learners, with today’s topic being titled Music Monday. School Readiness Consulting decided to share our personal stories and beliefs of what music in the years of early childhood mean for young children and families.
The Power of Music
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
– Plato (submitted by Deitra)
This is such an uplifting song. I think it really tries to encourage you to get through hard times and focus on the positive/happy things in life.
This is a John Legend remake of a favorite song from the 70’s that inspires me in my work as lifelong teacher/learner!
“Music is the universal language of mankind.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
I think this quote shows the power of music in bilingual classrooms, or classrooms where English is not everyone’s first language. All children can feel and understand music. It is a common connection in early childhood classrooms before verbal communication is even possible.
This is a recent song one of my favorites artists, Janelle Monae, debuted on Sesame Street. I love the message the “Power of Yet” sends to young children, and adults too. It lets us know that if we believe in ourselves, work hard, and stay focused, one day we’ll get to where we want to be. “That’s the power of yet!”
Memories, Old and New
“You Are My Sunshine” is the first song I remember learning as a child as my mother used to sing it all the time. Now I sing it to my daughter every night before she goes to sleep.
This is “Los Pollitos” or “The Little Chicks.” I thought of this nursery rhyme/song that my mom used to sing to me when I was a little girl. I can’t remember when she started singing it to me, but I have vivid memories of her singing it and me feeling comforted by it. It’s about a mom chicken who is taking care of her chicks — the chicks get hungry and she finds food for them, then, they fall asleep under her wings and feel cuddly and warm until the next day — I loved that comforting thought! This is a version of what it sounds like translated in English (my mom and I always did the little finger movements when singing it, too).
“Free to Be You and Me” is my favorite song/album from childhood and one that I play for my own children. It sends the message that everyone’s uniqueness is valuable and that each person should be exactly who they are.
– Lindsey A.
This song takes me back to after school at my granny’s house. It makes me smile and reminds me of the power of creativity to change the world. To this day, I fill in la la la for words I can’t remember in my favorite songs!
One of my favorite activities to watch in a classroom is singing and dancing. I grew up in choirs, dance, and musical theater. I love to see students expressing themselves in creative ways. Kids always seems so happy when they get to sing and dance. One thing that is different than when I was younger is the use of computers and the internet. Technology gives schools access to so many resources, especially as it relates to music. A popular activity in schools is to play music videos for pop songs as well as instructional dance videos where the children can follow along. There is always a strong trend in what songs are popular in early childhood classrooms. One song that took the world by storm in the past year was “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Everyone can relate to the song’s positive message and upbeat rhythm. It promotes individuality and optimism. Songs that inspire children and promote love and positive thinking will help to foster a healthy and happy generation.
Here’s a lullaby that I sang to my kids every single night for many, many years! It’s called “A la nanita.”
One of my favorites is “The Greatest,” originally by George Benson, but also covered by Whitney Houston. I used to sing this to my children.