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Singing Ourselves: How to Offer Music to Children

by Kelly Matthews
January/February 2012
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/singing-ourselves-how-to-offer-music-to-children/5020352/

Many child care programs have embraced technology when it comes to music, setting up listening centers as well giving children access to CD players and iPods. But in seeing
children plugged into technology, often alone, I have to ask: When do children hear the voices of their caregivers singing? What benefits are children missing out on by passively listening to music rather than participating in creating it? And finally, how do these experiences influence children's relationships with song as consumer or participant and their relationship with us?

When Singing Became Real for Me

I have to admit, I didn't come from a musical family. Outside of "Happy Birthday," we didn't sing. And even "Happy Birthday" became a comedic, purposefully off-key silly thing something not to be taken seriously or embraced in any real way. It was the thing you did before the cake happened, and better get it done quickly before the ice cream melted. Early in my early childhood career, I would dutifully put on the children's music CDs and cassettes and we would sing and dance along to Raffi and the other early childhood troubadours. This may be your experience too.

Then, in 2003, I met Tom Hunter. ...

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