Music for Language Development

Young children are developing their language skills with every interaction, every conversation, and every activity all day long. Super boost their language development by sharing songs and fingerplays! Singing songs and speaking poems and fingerplays introduces children to new vocabulary, supports their aural memory, and helps their brain organize words into recognizable patterns – all things that children need in order to communicate effectively. And it’s playful and fun, so children (and teachers!) love it!

Add music into your daily routine to support language development:

  • Greet each student with a short Good Morning song as they enter your classroom and start to unpack their belongings.
  • Start your Circle Time by singing or chanting about an article of clothing for each child. Invite the other students to sing with you. For example:

                       ♫ I see Jamal and he’s wearing blue pants, blue pants!

                       I see Jamal’s blue pants! Woohoo! ♫

  • During Circle Time, share at least one finger play and one song. See below for a video of Music Mary demonstrating “Chop, Chop, Chippety, Chop” – a wonderful poem to use during the colder months!
  • Throughout the day, use familiar music to signal a transition. This music can be recorded or sung by you and your students. Try Music Mary’s “Autumn Song” on our new YouTube channel for a gentle song to sing together and signal that it’s time to change activities.
  • Sing movement songs with your students that are gentle, playful, and tell a story. “Take Your Feet Out”, “Gray Squirrel”, and “Bling, Blang!” are examples of wonderful movement songs that encourage new language skills.

How do you know if it’s boosting your students’ language development? Watch for these clues. Your students will:

  • Start to ask for specific songs and poems specifically with the words from the song/poem.
  • Create their own songs and chants for different activities.
  • Communicate with you and their peers, using new words.
  • Sing songs and speak poems alone, without adult support.
  • Find it easier to put words in the right order when communicating.

Music Mary demonstrates the poem, “Chop, Chop, Chippety, Chop” and how it supports language development. This playful poem integrates steady beat, crossbody motion, and rhyming words, while encouraging creativity and imagination to make a big pot of soup!