Young children learn best by doing. Music and movement promotes active involvement in developing
vocabulary and mastering a wealth of skills and concepts. Many of the songs and activities on this
website can support pre-school through third grade curriculum.
Increasing a child's vocabulary is one of the many benefits of music and movement activities. Words
that describe movement are a fundamental part of language. Therefore, to enhance a child's movement
vocabulary is to enhance a child's overall vocabulary.
Examples of these words are included in A Movement Vocabulary For Young Children from Hap Palmer's
MA thesis. This vocabulary, including words that describe actions, space, energy and time, is incorporated in
the Lyrics and Activities
of many of Hap Palmer's songs.
Integrating Music and Movement With Academic Curriculum
Music and movement can support the academic curriculum from pre-school through third grade.
The activities use a variety of sensory modalities to engage the learner and make learning fun.
For example the teaching of word families can be combined with movement skills by playing a freeze dance
based on movements from the "-op" family. This activity reinforces phonics skills as children hop, pop, stop,
mop, chop, flop, and bop with the music.
You can find many activities for reinforcing reading and math skills through music and movement
in the Lyrics and Activities section of this web site.
Teaching the Whole Child
Music and Movement is a way of teaching the whole child:
As children improve vocabulary and language comprehension they also improve movement skills, developing
coordination, balance, strength and endurance. In this way, children are learning to move and moving to learn at the same time.
When a wide range of movement skills are applied to creative movement they expand the range of expressive
possibilities enabling children to communicate through movement and respond to the mood and quality of literature,
art, and music.
Music and movement activities also involve relating to others. Children share space and work individually, in partners and
in small groups. They share ideas thoughts and feelings through the mediums of music and creative dance.
Most of the activities are non competitive and non-comparative. Each child can experience success at her/his level of
development. Success and accomplishment lead to a healthy self-image.
Teaching the whole child engages the learner. In Hap's article from the NAEYC journal, The Music, Movement and Learning
Connection, he shares some of his early learning experiences that lead to his commitment to music and movement in early