Using Music to Teach About Relationships
Relationships can be difficult, despite your age. Lately, research has been done on music developed to help children with conflict resolution, social relationships, and school performance. A small college in Portland, Oregon, created a CD specifically for 360 children in first and second grade. The children were given a CD with nine songs that included activities to be done in the classroom. The themes were as follows:
- using manners
- putting forth your best efforts
- dealing with your fears
- thinking positively
- conflict and communication
- managing and expressing feelings
- celebrating differences
- caring and respect
- friendship and reaching out
Teachers in the classrooms were required to assess the children four times within the year using the behavioral and emotional screening system, or BESS. The college students, parents of the children, and the school’s principal all provided feedback throughout the process.
Many noticeable improvements were seen in the first and second graders. Teachers noted that the students used the tools they learned effectively when it came to bullying and teasing. They began resolving their conflicts by discussing their feelings with others and better understood how to use the Golden rule. Students were also exhibiting a positive attitude more often and staying on task. Their overall self-control and concentration was also improved.
Music is a wonderful teaching tool in any class. Not only can it make the classroom feel more upbeat, but it can also be used as a way to help children better understand complex concepts and enhance their cognitive abilities. Music helps to stimulate areas of the brain that are responsible for motor control, hearing, and language development. It also sustains our attention and is highly pleasurable. Music gives a sensation that is similar to other pleasure producing stimuli, but has no addictive properties. So, it is not only useful for learning, but adds joy and pleasure to our lives.
Studies continue to show that music is a great way to teach children skills they need. The skills not only help them with their social and emotional skills, but can help boost their academic performance. Now, if everyone would start understanding the benefits music can bring to children, may be more music will be used in schools and out throughout the day.