Four Songs to Encourage Language

What is it that makes music such an excellent tool for learning language?

Singing is simply joyful, and kids love it. They aren’t concerned about what they sound like; they are just eager to let their voices roar!

Kids love songs that repeat words, melodies, and rhythms. In addition, it’s a great medium that allows each child to experience success.

Here are some reasons why music is a beneficial tool for language learning:

·         Music is fun and motivating; it’s important to keep it simple

·         Our brains love the rhythmic and melodic components of music

·         Music is made of patterns and sequences that are easily detected

·         Music has lots of repetition, making it a great tool for learning sounds

·         Nursery rhymes are songs about familiar themes like animals, toys, and people

·         Music can enhance language, communication, and spontaneous sounds

Here are a few songs that touch on how music is a fantastic avenue for language-rich learning:

I’m a Little Teapot. This song works on imitation as well as rhyming. Rhyming is a skill that helps with phonemic awareness and reading skills.

Old MacDonald Had a Farm. This classic song is great for working on easy imitation and learning first words (baa, moo).

Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes. Learning body parts is a great receptive skill. This particular song also adds a bonus motor and coordination component too!

Five Little Speckled Frogs. This song has lots of repetition to practice a target word or sound. Adding a musical shaker is a fun way to teach cause and effect, which is a prelinguistic skill. It also provides lots of opportunities to develop a sense of rhythm and helps hand-eye coordination.

- Laura Ganguli, Music Therapist