Creating Connection in Your Learning Environment using Music and Movement
Creating a sense of calm, safety and connection in our learning environments is more critical now than ever before, with so much chaos and uncertainty in children’s lives.
A simple way to create connection, and so many more benefits, is by incorporating music sessions into your daily routine.
Circle time or mat time are great ways to raise the room’s energy and create shared experiences for children. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of using music sessions and give you some tips for creating great music sessions – leading to a more calming and connected learning environment.
Due to illness and quarantine requirements, many workplaces are faced with the constant challenge of having multiple staff absences. This unsettling change can be difficult in childcare centres, where educators are responsible for the care and well-being of young children.
It is essential to find ways other ways to create a sense of calm and connection throughout the centre, even when primary care staff are absent.
One way to do this is by incorporating music sessions into your daily program.
A regular music session with mat or circle time creates a comforting, connecting consistency in a child’s day. It’s easier for educators, too, when there’s a plan – our brains like a certain amount of regular “as usual” programming. It helps us feel safe at any age.
With constant change, our brain can release cortisol and create stress. Routines help during this period because patterns become habits, and habits release endorphins and dopamine which are the happy hormones.
Circle time is a terrific connection routine to adopt in your learning environment!
A great way to raise the room’s energy and create shared experiences for children.
When children know what will happen when they sit down, it helps them to feel calmer and more stable. This stability creates a beautiful connected platform for learning, allowing brave and courageous behaviour to emerge. Additionally, incorporating music into your circle time routine can help to create a more connected environment as children can all join in at their level and even if they appear to be watching from the sidelines they are still involved in the learning experience.
Here are some tips to create fun music sessions to create a more stable, happy and connected learning environment:
- Follow a routine for your circle time starting and ending with the same songs. This gives children a sense of stability as they know what is happening.
- A fun way to start a music session is with a HELLO song or using kindyRock’s SIT ON THE MAT AND CLAP. Ending a session with a fun moving song such as THE KINDYROCK HOEDOWN and then a GOODBYE SONG will easily signal that circle time is over and everyone can be ready for the next activity.
- Use songs that are EASY for children and teachers to engage and learn with. Songs with simple melody lines such as MUDDY CLOTHES or WHAT COMES NEXT are fun to listen to and easy to sing as well. Even if someone doesn’t know the songs they can pick them up virtually on the spot.
- Props are really great for changing things up in your lesson. You can even use the same songs (such as SIT ON THE MAT AND CLAP or MUDDY CLOTHES) with scarves or instruments.
- Choose some favourites such as JIGGLE YOUR SCARF and the KINDYROCK TWIST and use them often, so children have a sense of sameness, then add in new ones as well to create both repetition and variety, both of which are needed for healthy learning environments.
- Choose movement songs that match the age group. JUMP UP AND DOWN is perfect for toddlers and AT THE ZOO is better for 3 to 4-year-olds.
- Once children get past 3 years old their brains are ready for imagination songs like I TURNED INTO A DINOSAUR.
- Take turns leading the songs, great for well-known echo songs; or take turns choosing the next action for a song like, MY LITTLE HANDS.
Regular music sessions will bring magic to your centre because music affects us in many ways.
Music together creates a shared experience, and shared experiences build connections – between children, children and staff, and even within the team. Everyone is connecting on many levels – emotional, physical and mental.
It doesn’t matter whether the children (Or educators!) know the words, they can sing along or have a more passive part of the experience; music creates the experience and connection no matter what stage of development.
And it affects the group – in beautiful, uplifting shared moments.
Have you ever been to a stadium and “felt” the crowd when there is a team song?
Because music has its own vibration, connecting and resonating with all present.
You can create similar activities and feelings within your learning environment.
You can raise the vibe through music.
It’s releasing the happy hormones, creating consistency and is a whole lot of fun!
If you haven’t already, bring music into your centre as a regular activity. It doesn’t have to be expensive – use the resources you have available.
And it’s not about being perfect; just let the children (and staff) enjoy making their own noise!
So what are you waiting for?
Let’s get back to regular music sessions and embracing connection in your centre!
It doesn’t matter whether you have a group of children or just one; music will bring the joy and happiness we all crave. It’s the perfect addition to the day!
It’s a time for children to come together, share their experiences and be present with each other. It’s an opportunity for everyone to connect on a deeper level and build relationships.
It will work wonders for the overall environment, raising the vibe and bringing a sense of safety and calm within your centre.
Get started today!
We’d love to hear about your experiences, let us know how you go.
We’d love to invite you to join our next FREE educator training where you will learn songs and many tips to create fabulous music sessions with confidence and ease.
Our membership platform for early learning professionals has lots of extra resources to add to our music. Lesson plans, activity ideas, extra training and more.
To get a sample, check out our free songs with teaching notes on this page!