Glen is a long term TPK dad and grandad. Both of his boys attended preschool here back in the early 2000’s. Now, he has the privilege again of sending his granddaughter to TPK. Music is a large part of his life that he is excited to share with all of you!
Music is a powerful tool to add to your preschool and kindergarten parenting toolbox. I hope this blog will inspire you to add music to your play time, car time, and all the time with your children.
When people ask me “Who are you?”, I will often provide a list – I am a follower of Jesus, husband, father, grandfather, engineer, and musician. Okay, I’ll admit that last claim is shaky. On the one hand, I will most likely never play a professional gig. On the other hand, I always carry guitar picks with me in case I run across a lonely guitar begging to be played. In the end, I love music. And I’m in good company – God loves music, too. He has given us over 150 songs in the Bible (called Psalms) – songs of praise and songs of sadness. He shows us a love song in Song of Solomon, and the Bible is filled with songs sung by some of its greatest characters – Moses (in Exodus 15 and Deuteronomy 32), David (in 2 Samuel 22), and Mary (in Luke 1). Throughout His word, God urges us to praise Him with music, to make a joyful noise. God loves music.
You probably already know that children love music as well. I have led preschool worship for almost 20 years, and I can’t imagine a more enthusiastic group of participants. Three- to five-year-olds are the best audience! They are excited to sing loudly, eager to learn new songs, especially if the songs are filled with motions, and enthusiastic to repeat songs over and over. You can use this enthusiasm to help teach your children and to help them grow and develop. During my 20 years of preschool ministry, I have used music to teach complex Bible passages that are difficult even for adults. For example, every one of the preschoolers I sing with knows the fruits of the Spirit (“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” Galatians, 5:22-23). I teach them with a cute song – you can find one version at https://youtu.be/DFumjSll68s (sorry about the ads). I also teach the books of the Old and New Testaments using songs. When a friend and I were leading worship at AWANA, we helped the boys and girls learn their memory verses by incorporating them into songs. We would take a familiar tune and write the Bible verse into the song. The teachers at TPK do the same thing. One of the best examples is how the 4 year-olds learn the characteristics of an insect (sung to the tune of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes):
Head, thorax, abdomen (abdomen); Head, thorax, abdomen (abdomen); Six legs, antennae, and sometimes wings; Head, thorax, abdomen (abdomen).
When children learn concepts, Bible verses, lists, and other items through song, these memorized items seem to remain with them for a long time. As I teach middle schoolers on Sunday, I can still see them going through the books of the Bible songs when we do Bible drills. The list of Bible books is imprinted on their brain and it provides a ready reference for them, even 10 years later.
So why does music make such a big difference? I wasn’t sure (since I’m only a musician and not a Music Therapist or a Neurologist) so I looked up some great references (you can read them too; they are in the end notes). These experts provide lots of insight on how music impacts the preschooler. Some of these impacts are listed below: