Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Musical Play is a natural means of supporting engaged and sustained relationship-based play. When Musical Play is used in a calming and regulating way, the child becomes engaged, able to listen, as well as interact and initiate their own sounds and actions.
Try following the child, matching their energy levels, copying their sounds and actions, and incorporating simple, predictable, playful, songs and musical games.
Because musical form has a clear beginning, middle and end, it has been one of the most important contributing factors helping the development of the child’s concentration.
The child learns to follow the musical form of an activity and sung instructions such as “now get ready to stop!” This helps the child in all daily routines. Musical form helps with problem solving, task organisation, and completion of tasks, by teaching the child to wait and to expect closure. The song can be short and predictable helping the child to anticipate and follow each sequence of the activity: “Roll the ball, and catch the ball, and now get ready to stop!”
The song can be extended and developed helping the child to persevere with an activity, which is never boring if the play is musical.
The same words can be repeated for each verse, until the child can listen and follow the sung instructions. Musical form, repetition and playful songs help provide consistency. This enables the child to anticipate and practice sequences of an activity.
The music becomes an organising factor, helping the child to modulate from one task to another, accepting order and routine, and to communicate creatively, joyfully and playfully. This is why Musical Play is so wonderful, yet so important, for the development of our wee ones.