Children between the ages of 4 and 7, or who have finished preschool, take the next big step in their lives in terms of their education: they attend kindergarten. For kids, it’s another opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, and enjoy new activities. For parents and educators, it’s another challenging step toward helping children develop in terms of brain-body functions and psychosocial skills.
Music Learning in Kindergarten
Music has always been an integral part of early childhood development. Music, often together with movement, is used as a learning tool for other skills, such as counting and reading. It also encourages kids to interact with their peers, setting up important social skills and showing them how fun making music is.
When children engage in musical play, they tap into multiple skill sets at the same time. They practice their hearing and seeing skills, develop coordination by moving large and small muscles, improve their speech and communication skills, and learn to recognize and memorize patterns, rhythms and words. In short, music learning in kindergarten supports all learning.
Through music and movement, children in kindergarten learn the foundations of music, such as rhythm, pitch and melody. They are also introduced to different musical instruments and even learn how to play a few of them as part of their group activities. They build confidence and learn to express themselves through music, further developing their creativity along with other cognitive skills used in understanding the basic concepts of music theory.
Music and movement activities in kindergarten help in establishing a strong foundation for music education later on, especially if a child takes serious interest in learning to play a musical instrument, such as the piano, guitar, cello, or the drums.
Best Musical Instruments for Kindergarten
Using musical instruments in a kindergarten is a fantastic way to boost the overall development of children and prepare them for future music lessons. There are many kid-friendly instruments you can use for musical play, and you can even make your own simple instruments (like percussion instruments) out of boxes and pails.
Here’s a list of the fun musical instruments that would be good to have in a kindergarten.
The piano is one of the best first instruments for children learning music. In a kindergarten, children also learn songs and sing with the piano as accompaniment. Even very young children can play piano keys using individual fingers and play popular nursery tunes such as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” and “Happy Birthday.” Check out our guide for online piano lessons.
A keyboard is the next best thing to a piano, should a kindergarten not have space or resources for an upright piano. Children can take turns and also play duets. There are also keyboards that are specially designed for little hands, making them perfect for kindergarten kids.
Another popular instrument for kindergarten music is the guitar. Acoustic guitars are more commonly used in kindergarten settings because they do not need to be plugged in to an amplifier, and it creates a nice folksy sound that’s great for singing along to. You can easily teach kids simple chords and songs with a guitar, plus there are half-size or travel-size guitars that make it more comfortable for children to play.
The ukulele is considered one of the best instruments for children because of its minuscule weight, compact size and pleasant and cheerful sound. With four strings, the ukulele is also easier to learn, especially for small hands.
The recorder is a type of woodwind instrument that is one of the easiest to learn for kids. Most are made of plastic and are inexpensive, which makes them some of the most accessible instruments around.
Hand drums are percussion instruments that can be played with a mallet or with the fingers, fists, and even the elbows and knees. They’re fun musical instruments that can really get kids moving while learning rhythmic patterns.
Bongos are also percussion instruments that are played using the hands. Instead of just one drum, you get two. You can make a variety of sounds with it depending on how you play it. Let kids explore and come up with their own rhythms on the bongo drums and see how creative they can be!
The tambourine is also a percussion instrument. It’s equipped with jingles, which give the tambourine its characteristic sound.
Hand bells are a great way to teach children different notes and how they all come together to form a melody. Hand bells come in a set of eight, with each bell chiming a different note. You can hand eight children a bell each and let them play a scale or a simple song.
Hand Cymbals/Finger Cymbals
Hand cymbals, and their smaller version, finger cymbals, are percussion instruments that are played by striking the two discs together.
Glockenspiel / Xylophone
The glockenspiel has a bright, sweet and delightful sound. It’s played by hitting a set of metal tuned keys with a wooden or plastic mallet. It’s also a great instrument for teaching music to kids. The xylophone is similar, although its keys are made of wood.
Maracas and Egg Shakers
Maracas and egg shakers are similar in that you need to shake them to produce their sound. They’re also easy to hold for small hands.
Those are just some of the top instruments that kids would definitely have fun playing, especially with other children. Playing musical instruments in kindergarten helps children develop a multitude of skills, so make sure you take this opportunity to let them discover the beauty and wonders of music.