Research and studies have shown time and time again that the use of songs, music, chants and rhymes in class helps child development in a number of ways. Children respond well to music and, at the same time, they internalise language in a natural way.

Some of the ways music aids in development are outlined here:

Music and Emotional Development

  • Music is associated with our earliest memories and has an emotional impact on learners.
  • Music has the ability to comfort and soothe children.


Music and Physical Development

  • Music and movement naturally go together.
  • Children most naturally respond to music by moving and being active with it.
  • Music helps children learn about rhythm, timing, orientation, and coordination.


Music and Cognitive Development

  • Children love rhymes and songs.
  • Music helps make connections in the brain.
  • When children are creative and make up their own rhymes and songs, they are also building their knowledge of words and sounds.


Here are some interesting teacher training videos from OUP on the use of songs in class. The videos feature Devon Thagard, Everybody Up songwriter, who gives his tips on teaching English through songs.

The Benefits of Teaching with Songs

Using songs with mixed-ability students

Classroom Transitions with songs

Food for thought:

Songs, chants, and rhymes help children’s language development, and also their physical development when used in conjunction with dance and mime. The language in traditional songs is rich and colourful and extends beyond the limited range of their own day-to-day experience. The use of rhyme encourages children to explore the sound of words, and the use of imagery enriches their perception of the world and their ability to express how they feel.

V. Reilly and S. Ward, Very Young Learners, OUP


Do you use songs and music in class? Visit out Top Tips section in the Your Turn area and share your ideas with us!


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