The Importance of Music in the Outdoor Classroom
Category : Music
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Here at The Adventurous Child, we get really excited about learning. We get especially excited about the fine arts (think music, creative play, and visual arts) because they`re just so much fun! Who doesn`t have fun memories of finger painting, musical instruments, and acting out plays when they were little? Every so often, our blog will examine a different kind of fine art. This article will examine the educational properties of music.

"Music gives a soul to the universe,
wings to the mind,
flight to the imagination,
and life to everything."
~ Plato ~

Music is all around us: the radio is on during your morning drive to work, music is in the wind and trees outside, it`s in the humming of a child as she swings, and it`s in the steady beat of an infant learning to clap. Music is one of the most ubiquitous phenomena in nature, and its also frequently overlooked as a learning device for many subjects.

According to authors Kantaylieniere Y. Hill-Clarke and Nicole R. Robinson,

A childs first exposure to music is in the womb, hearing the repeated rhythm of the mother`s heartbeat. For this reason, children, including infants, are naturally guided through their inner kinesthetic sense to move to basic beats and rhythms, and as they grow older this natural desire increases

This "inner kinesthetic sense" has been linked to emergent mathematics, such as early patterning experiences.A strong beginning in emergent mathematics will provide the foundation for a math education.
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The Adventurous Child offers quite a selection of musical instruments that will encourage childrens sense of beats and patterns. Watch your children have fun with a drum set or a drum panel. The Drums are made in different lengths so they produce contrasting bass tones, making hitting them an interesting lesson in sound differentiation. The drum head can be made of an acrylic material that is unbreakable. Children can use mallets or also play the drums using their hands or other objects found on the playground.

Drums are fun, but they are also educational: "Childrens personal tempo (ability to feel and express a steady beat) correlates with achievement test scores in grades 1 and 2  Of course, its only fair that we warn you, it may not be enough to simply watch your children hit the drums. We wont laugh at you if you make some noise, too.

Have you considered adding chimes to your outdoor classroom? Chimes are truly captivating. They may not be as familiar as drums or violins, but they still feature prominently in music. You may recognize their sound from the popular song "Carol of the Bells" or from the end credits of Sesame Street in the 1980s. These particular chimes make for tons of fun standing alone, or you could add them to The Adventurous Childs drum panel and drum set for a mini orchestra. The Chime Panel has a full scale of eight notes that allow children and adults to play a song and sing along. Children can hear contrasting sounds as they hit each note. What a great lesson in sound imitation!

Recently, one of my co-workers was reminiscing about her musical toys as a child. She had a small xylophone about 12" long. It was the perfect size for her to play with by herself, but imagine if she`d wanted to share her instrument with others! This xylophone is 32" long – perfect for sharing with a couple friends, if youd like. As the children strike different bars, they will learn about cause-and-effect as well as how to make patterns of noise. Check out The Adventurous Child for more information on this xylophone and other neat musical instruments.

According to Bayless and Ramsey, "Music is a true basic, essential to the development of the human personality" . We owe it to our children to open their worlds to the essential gifts of music.