Music and social-emotional learning go hand-in-hand by enhancing cognition, providing comfort, and improving memory. Teaching your kids and students about music helps promote important social and emotional skills that will stick with them throughout their lives.
How music helps build social emotional skills
- Promotes emotional expression: Happy, sad, or mad — we’ve all felt these types of emotions. Music helps us express these emotions that are hard to verbalize. Music allows us to leave the realm of our conscious thoughts, engage in creativity, and be present in the moment, which ultimately leads us to get in touch with our emotions and express them through song.
- Develops leadership skills: Music is a great way for children and students to practice and develop leadership skills. Whether it is learning a new instrument or performing, this teaches children to learn, collaborate, and grow. All of which require teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and cooperation.
- Celebrates diversity: Music is a fun way for children and students to explore other cultures. Learning about different musical traditions in other cultures teaches children to accept the differences in others and celebrate diversity.
- Improves mental health: Listening to music increases the amount of dopamine (a mood enhancing chemical) in the brain, which ultimately leaves a positive impact on our mental health. As children continue to face stress, anxiety and isolation, music allows them to cope with their feelings in a healthier way.
Looking to build social emotional skills through music? Check out these kid-friendly musical activities!
4 Musical Activities for Social Emotional Learning
- March to the beat of your own drum: You don’t have to be a famous composer in order to fiddle with a musical instrument. Learning how to play a musical instrument has benefits that will last a lifetime. An easy and fun way to integrate music into learning is by encouraging kids and adults to collaborate and make a silly song to the music you’ve produced using your instruments. You’re never too old or too young to learn something new!
- Musical drawing: Cue up yours or your child’s favorite playlist, and give your child a piece of paper. Get out the crayons, markers, etc., and ask your child to create a picture based on what they hear or how it makes them feel. Invite your child to be creative in their choices, giving them free reign to be artistically expressive.
- Listen thoughtfully: Music and song evoke emotions and memory, and sharing multicultural tunes at a young age can be a fun way for children to explore other cultures and customs. Select a song, play it aloud, and ask the children to explain or draw how the song makes them feel.
- Sing along to your favorite book: From reading to listening to music, children learn in many ways. Whether it’s ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ or ‘Old MacDonald had a Farm,’ we’ve all joined along to these catchy children’s songs based off of children’s books. This is why we brought Guion’s story to life through song! The Guion the Lion song is a great way to help children explore the world we live in. Listen here!
Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or caregiver, these activities will inspire kids to use music to make connections and explore the world around them.
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