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World Music Day 2021

June 21st 2021

World Music Day has been celebrated for the past 40 years. It embraces musical influences from all over the world and is the perfect day to enjoy in any early years settings. Music is a wonderfully diverse tool to use within children’s development for many different reasons. Whether they are listening to it or making their own, music can assist with focus and concentration, communication skills, physical development and creativity.

Music is forever evolving and so offers a countless assortment of styles and categories. This means that it not only appeals to children of any age and ability, but also to children from any culture. Children will express their own interests from an incredibly young age, but when they dislike one form of music, chances are they will find a different one that they do enjoy.

Here are some suggestions for activities which can get children involved this June 21st for World Music Day.

Photographer: Jelleke Vanooteghem | Source: Unsplash

· Make music- Most children love making noise, so getting them to make their own music is great fun for any age. Whether using different musical instruments that may be available or body parts (such as clapping or stamping) encourage children to create purposeful sounds, thinking about the volume and tempo of what they are doing, rather than causing a ruckus for the sake of it!

· Get technical- Speaking of volume and tempo, there is no reason why new vocabulary cannot be introduced to young children, the concepts are really quite simple. By demonstrating how you can make something louder or quieter, by banging it harder or softer they can see how volume works. The same for tempo, by tapping an instrument faster or slower they can see how they are able to change the speed of a sound.

Photographer: Patrick Fore | Source: Unsplash

· Rhythm and repeat- A good one for concentration is to tap or clap out a simple rhythm and ask the children to repeat it. This encourages them to listen carefully to the sound then focus when copying it. Tapping out the syllables in their names is brilliant fun with older children.

· Creating instruments- Instruments do not need to be as complex as guitars and pianos, and there are many easy to make creations using nothing but household items. Any device with dry pasta, or rice in will make a noise. A plastic bottle with dried pasta in transforms into an instrument in the right hands. A shoe box with elastic bands across it turns into a guitar. Two sealed yoghurt pots with uncooked rice evolve into maracas. This can also be a fun art and craft project where the children can decorate their creations.

Photographer: Lee Pigott | Source: Unsplash

· World music- To encourage diversity, why not listen to some music from other parts of the world that the children may be less familiar with. Almost any type of music from other countries will most likely be a new experience for children, so whether it’s on a CD or downloaded to a tablet, try to find a way of bringing cultural music into the setting.

· Dance, dance, dance- When listening to music, get the children up and moving! Allow them to find rhythms, encourage them to listen to whether it is fast or a slow and show them how to move to different styles of music. Alternatively, just letting them freestyle or jump up and down to different songs, builds a positive relationship with music and burns off some excess energy!