Music for Love, Joy, & Connection

When we sing together, dance together, and enjoy music together, our bodies release certain types of hormones and chemicals (dopamine, oxytocin, and endorphins, oh my!). These make us feel good, make us feel connected to the people around us, and make us feel safe. Isn’t that amazing?!

Simply singing a song together every day is one of the most powerful tools in your teaching toolbox. Sing to connect with your students and let them know that they are a loved, respected, and cherished member of your classroom family.During this month of cut-out hearts, pink and red stickers, and all the glitter, how can you tap into the power of music to foster more love, joy, and connection with your students? Try these three things:

1) Sing, sing, and sing some more!
Do you know the song “Tony Chestnut,” also known as “Toe, Knee, Chest, Nut”? I love singing this song with young children, and especially at this time of year. It’s sweet, playful, and has all the good stuff – steady beat, movement, a great story, a simple melody, and a game.

Click here for a sneak peek into the My Music Starts Here Classroom Program for the video where I introduce ‘Tony Chestnut’. **Be sure to watch it before the end of February, when the sneak peek will expire!**

Watch it on your own and then sing it with your students or watch it with your students and learn the song along with them! Either way, share a moment of joyful music-making with your students. It’s good for your heart and for theirs!

2) Be an active music-maker.
At the end of morning circle time, or as a whole group activity before centers, choose a piece of music from our Active Listening playlist and guide your students to keep the steady beat by patting their laps. “Baby Elephant Walk” by Henry Mancini is one of my favorites for this activity!

Or play the Steady Beat/Freeze Dance game with Music Mary and Tevin! Watch it on your own time and then play your own version with your students, or, watch it in class with your students and play along! Making music together with your students lays the foundation for love, joy, and connection.

3) End your day with music!

Singing circle games are one of my favorite musical activities to share with young children. They are so fun and inclusive and playful! I also love them because of everything children are learning while playing them. They are singing, telling a story, following a sequence of motions, and learning how to be a cooperative member of their classroom family by gently holding hands and walking in a circle. It’s a team effort and they have to work together to make it happen.As one of your last activities for the school day, play a singing circle game with your students to send them home with a joyful heart. “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” “All Around the Mulberry Bush,” “Loobee Loo,” and “Bluebird, Bluebird,” are great examples of singing circle games perfect for young children.