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  • Writer's pictureDr. V.S. Gayathri

Music & Movement Activities To Develop PreWriting Skills!

A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute indicated that musical experiences in childhood can accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills.

Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness, including intellectual, social-emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words.


Music and movement activities can greatly support the development of pre-writing skills in children.


1. Fine Motor Skills: Many music and movement activities involve using small muscles in the hands and fingers, that are essential for pre-writing skills. For example, playing musical instruments like drums, xylophones, or shakers where children need to manipulate objects with precision, strengthens their hand muscles and improves dexterity. These activities help prepare children for holding and controlling writing tools like crayons or pencils.


2. Hand-Eye Coordination: Dancing to music or playing rhythm instruments involves coordinating movements with auditory cues. This enhances hand-eye coordination, as children learn to synchronize their movements with the beat of the music or the rhythm of the instrument. Improved hand-eye coordination is important for tasks like tracing lines and shapes, as well as forming letters and numbers during pre-writing activities.


3. Spatial Awareness: Music and movement activities often involve spatial awareness, as children learn to move their bodies through different pathways and directions in response to the music. For example, dancing around obstacles or following choreographed movements in a group requires spatial orientation and body awareness. Developing spatial awareness is important for understanding concepts like directionality and spatial relationships, which are fundamental to writing and drawing.


4. Bilateral Coordination: Many music and movement activities require bilateral coordination, the ability to use both sides of the body together in a coordinated manner. For instance, clapping hands, tapping rhythm sticks, or playing hand games involve using both hands simultaneously. Bilateral coordination is essential for tasks like holding a paper steady with one hand while writing or drawing with the other hand, facilitating smooth and controlled movements during pre-writing activities.


5. Rhythm and Timing: Engaging with music helps children develop a sense of rhythm and timing, which is beneficial for pre-writing skills. For example, following a steady beat or rhythm encourages children to pace their movements and control the speed of their actions. This translates into writing readiness by helping children maintain a consistent pace while tracing lines and shapes, as well as forming letters and numbers with appropriate spacing and rhythm.


By incorporating different music and movement activities into daily routines, parents can ensure an enjoyable experience for their children that supports the development of essential pre-writing skills, laying a strong foundation for future literacy and academic success.



Some simple music-bases activities that you can encourage your child for:


1. Drumming allows children to explore rhythm and to practice an important pre-writing skill. The ability to distinguish a particular noise (in this case the bangs of a drum) is great preparation for phonics (which involves identifying specific sounds in words).


2. Tracing musical notes can be a good idea to understand the basics of music and also learn the chords early in life.


3. Let them try any musical instrument they wish to. Because you never know in which their interest will grow. And, every instrument has a unique way of utilizing finger movements which can help them develop better fine motor skills.


Music and movement activities are not only fun but also crucial for children’s development. Along with physical coordination, they also help in sensory stimulation, cognitive development, emotional expression, and social interaction.


So, add the magic of music into their learning process during their years of growth and development, and see wonders happen!

 

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