Movement, and Art in the Curriculum CHAD 109 Instructor, Jan H July 10, 2009 Music, Movement and Art in the Curriculum Music, movement, and art should be a part of every school’s curriculum. Unfortunately, it is being cut at an alarming rate from many schools across the United States mainly due to lack of funding. One might ask, “Why is music, movement, and art so important”? Well, I am going to explain some of the many reasons it is of benefit to every child, and why it is so important to the classroom. Children are all unique and all learn in different ways.
Some children learn by eating or listening to someone read to them. Some children learn better by visuals, while many children learn more by doing. Consider this, the more senses involved in the learning process, the greater the impression it makes and the longer it stays with us. Faith (1990, p. 160) tells us we retain 10 percent of what we read; 20 percent of what we hear; 30 percent of what we see; 50 percent of what we hear and see at the same time; 70 percent of what we hear, see, and say; and 90 percent of what we hear, see, say, and do (acting out, traumatizing, dancing, painting, drawing, constructing).
This is where music, movement, and art come in! According to Klein (1990, p. 27), teachers must think in terms of educating children…. She insists: “If we want them to be healthy, active, creative, thinking citizens of a democratic society, who can make intelligent choices and decisions, then we have to have programs that encourage such behavior. We cannot Just sit them down and talk at them. If we want children to be thinkers, problem solvers and decision makers, we have to give them opportunities to think, to identify and solve problems, and to make decisions. By incorporating music, movement, and art into our classrooms we are giving children a better opportunity to learn in a different and fun way. (Pica, 2004) Music and Music and Movement By shortening’s intellectual development. By moving and singing children are actively developing their minds. Evidence shows that activities involving music engage the left, right, front and back portions of the brain. In fact, studying music involves more right- and left-brain functions than any other activity measured (Haberdashery, 1999). Music has been found to be mood-altering.
Teachers can use music to bring peace to an over dimidiated classroom or to bring energy back to the classroom after a low point in the day. Music can help with transitioning from one activity to another in a smooth manner. However music is chosen to be used in the classroom, it is sure to be of help to the children as well as the teacher or caregiver (Pica, 2004). The most obvious reason music and movement should be in the curriculum, would have to be for the physical activity. Young children are watching television 24 or more hours a week (Bar-or et al. 1998). By the time a child graduates from high school she or he will eave spent 15,000 hours in front of a television and only 12,000 hours in the classrooms (Cooper, 1999)! This is outrageous! Studies show that up to 50 percent of American children are not getting enough exercise (Tars, 1992), with girls getting much less activity than boys. 40 percent of 5- to 8-year-olds show at least one heart disease risk factor, including hypertension and obesity, which has been linked to television viewing and is on the rise (Bar-or et al. 1998; Person, 1980; Ross, Pate, Lehman, & Christenson, 1987). With these statistics it is evident that more movement is needed in our curriculum. Music, movement and art in the classroom also are beneficial to social and emotional development in children. These activities help children learn to work together, interact with each other, foster creativity, and help to improve self esteem. By working on group activities children get chance to learn how to interact and socialize with each other in a fun and non-competitive way.
By completing these activities children are also boosting self esteem and get a feeling of accomplishment (Pica, 2004). By incorporating music, movement and art activities back into the curriculum we are encouraging creativity, giving children a different ND fun way to learn, helping them to develop their minds, fostering social skills, and setting positive routines for physical fitness. There are so many positive outcomes from these activities. Not only do children enjoy these activities, but they are beneficial to their development as well.