March is dedicated to music in schools. As an art form that allows incredible creativity, it's a wonderful way of introducing a new way of creative development for children of all ages. Music allows freedom of expression as well as learning skills and discipline within an artistic field. For those who haven’t been introduced to March being the month of music, here’s everything you need to know and how to get your children involved!
What is national music in schools month?
The National Association for Music Education has officially designated the month of March as National Music in Schools Month®. This is where schools across the nation make music the main focus in education for this period of time. From 1973, this music education dedication started as a day, then became a week and eventually became the month-long observance that it is today. The month is about raising awareness of the importance and benefits that music can have for children in schools as well as allowing music teachers the opportunity to bring attention to their programs and how loved they are within their schools.
What can we do to involve our children in this day?
Originally an American observance, this month of music is slowly becoming more apparent in other countries too. Whether your child’s school is making time to add more to your child’s music education this month or you’re homeschooling, here are a few ways that you can encourage your child to think more about music this month!
Something music can help children do is develop their pronunciation. With words fitting into the tempo and rhythm of music, little ones create associations that help them learn how words are pronounced. Teachers use music as a tool to help children to learn sounds, focus on words and connect speech. It can be a great way to help little ones learn without pressure and in a fun, memorable way!
Learning fluency in reading
There have been many studies that show the improvement of reading fluency with the introduction of music. Although there is a fine balance between positive and negative impact, it has been shown that fast-paced musical pieces cause distractions, but some specifically chosen pieces as background noise have helped children learn. This is a great time to see how your child reacts and get them involved in finding out how they learn best. Does music help or hinder them? Can they use music to help them remember things or relax them to make reading and speaking easier?
Applying music to written words
There are also lots of fun ways to get your child to use and exercise their creative skills. A great way to get them thinking about what music does is to get them to start pairing words to music. Whether they’re feeling adventurous enough to write their own lyrics or are using pre-scribed poems, they can have amazing fun choosing music and performing pieces.
Using words to create music
For households who don’t have access to musical instruments, we love the simplicity of getting little ones to use their own voices to create some contemporary art. They can use words, noises or sounds and think about how these things mix together to create a piece of music!
Learning about influential musicians
For children already in the music world or a little older, spending the time researching musicians lives and journeys to work with their passions is a great inspiration for aspiring artists and even if they don’t want to be a musician, it shows how dedication and determination can help them reach their dreams.
Trying a new instrument
If your little one is inspired by this month and wants to get even more involved with activities that last the full month and longer, maybe it’s time to pick up a new instrument. If your little one has never used an instrument before, it's a great time to head to a local music store and see what they like. If they’re already playing an instrument, maybe they’d like to try something new or different. If you’re wanting to encourage this new learning and encourage them to try an instrument, why not join them on this venture and pick up an instrument yourself and practice together?
What has this month achieved in previous years?
In March of 2021, the department of education released a new music curriculum to help schools deliver world-class teaching. This is to allow more young children to have exceptional education in music and learn the history of music from Bach to The Beatles.
School Standards Minister Nick Gibb said:
‘A rich variety of music should be part of the daily life of every school. We want all schools to have a rigorous and broad music curriculum, that inspires their pupils to love music, and stands alongside high levels of academic attainment.’
There is a new and positive focus on education in music with its multiple benefits for our children's learning. Whether you’re a music fan or not, it’s a great time to get involved with your little one and find out something new about one another. Music is here to bring people together, as a creative outlet and a great tool to help little one’s development!