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Learning Through Music: Using Preschool Music Activities to Enhance Preschool Learning

Updated: May 8

preschool music activities for learning through music

Picture your classroom – a symphony of activity! Little ones are building block towers, creating masterpieces with crayons, or giggling with friends. Suddenly, you need their attention. Do you yell? Wander the room tapping shoulders? Turn off the lights? While these methods might work, there's a more engaging option at your fingertips – music!


Unlike our adult world of constant talking, children thrive on sensory experiences. That's where music comes in – a powerful tool that captures their attention and boosts learning in many different ways.

Singing songs, dancing, and exploring with instruments aren't just fun for our little one, they're a pathway for learning.  There are so many amazing benefits incorporating music into learning.  Music helps captures attention, fostering engagement with tasks, and reduces stress. It builds phonological awareness skills by exploring rhythm and beat, can help boost memory, and evokes creativity.


So crank up the tunes, sing your hearts out, and let's explore how to incorporate music throughout your day!

The Benefits of Learning Through Music

preschool music activities

Incorporating music into learning offers so many amazing benefits to children. Research suggests that engaging with music activates a wide range of brain regions, including those involved in language processing and memory.

A form of sensory learning, music promotes cross-activation, in which learning experiences enter the brain through a variety of different pathways.  Singing and dancing can make different parts of the brain work together to learn new things! By incorporating songs, rhymes, and rhythmic activities, we're not just creating a joyful environment, we're giving developing brains a powerful boost in learning new concepts and building key literacy skills.

Other Benefits of Learning Through Music in the Preschool Classroom

  • Boosts Phonological Awareness: Songs and rhymes naturally emphasize sounds, syllables, and rhyme patterns. Learning through songs builds the foundation for recognizing and manipulating the building blocks of language, a crucial skill for early readers.

  • Enhances Memory and Recall: The catchy melodies and rhythms of music act as memory anchors, helping children retain information more effectively. From learning the alphabet to mastering simple counting songs, music makes memorization engaging and fun.

  • Develops Language Skills: Singing exposes children to new vocabulary and word patterns. Additionally, following along with songs and rhymes encourages active listening and strengthens their ability to process spoken language.

  • Promotes Social and Emotional Development: Group music activities foster a sense of community and belonging. Singing and moving together allows children to express themselves creatively, build confidence, and develop social skills like cooperation and turn-taking.

  • Improves Motor Skills: Dancing and moving to the beat refines gross motor skills like balance and coordination. Clapping and tapping along with the rhythm strengthens fine motor skills, which are essential for writing and future academic success.

  • Builds Emotional Connection: Music can evoke emotions that enhance learning and foster a deeper connection to the subject matter. A lively song about the rainforest can spark a sense of wonder, making students more receptive to learning about different ecosystems.

  • Sparks Creativity: Moving and grooving to songs encourages students to express themselves creatively.

  • Enhances Cultural Appreciation: Immersing students in a variety of musical styles allows them to actively engage with different cultures, building bridges of understanding and appreciation.

  • Works as a Stress Reducer: Calming music can be a powerful tool for transitioning between activities, reducing frustration and promoting a sense of well-being throughout the day.

Interested in the Reseach? Click below for a Research Review


Engaging Preschool Music Activities that Enhance Learning!

Learning through music and preschool music activities

  • Sing-Along Routines: Infuse everyday routines with music! Create silly songs for getting in line, creating a circle, lining up.  “Line up! Line up! Everybody, everybody line up, line up!”.  

  • Storytelling with a Twist: Add sound effects with instruments during key moments in the story.  

  • Movement Breaks: Everybody loves a good dance party!  Beat the wiggles with music-based movement breaks! Dance and freeze is a fan favorite!  

  • Homemade Instruments: Spark creativity with homemade instruments! Use pots and pans for drums, shakers with beans in plastic containers, or decorate cardboard boxes to be guitars.   Add them to your favorite songs and poems.  

  • Theme-Based Songs: The internet is your friend. There is literacy a preschool song related to any possible theme! Get Google-ing to enhance thematic learning and boost vocabulary. Or, grab a copy of our Little Learner's Playlist, which features over 400 songs, sorted by curriculum theme and holidays. Get it HERE!

  • Moving Little Minds Alphabet Motion Cards: Get moving and grooving while learning the letter names and sounds through song and body motions. These are tried and true in the classroom and WORK!

alphabet flashcards

See more ideas in our latest INSTAGRAM post!


Music Across the Curriculum!

Click below to grab a copy of Moving Little Minds using Music Across the Curriculum. Learn how we can incorporate music into our learning in fun and engaging ways!

learning through music in preschool

Do you love these resources? Be sure to like this post to show your appreciation!

Music Across the Curriculum
Download PDF • 381KB

Our Favorite Music-Focused Products and Books!

preschool music products


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We believe that every child deserves a bright future, and this begins with a strong foundation in early literacy skills.  At Moving Little Minds, we are dedicated to providing research-based literacy activities in fun and engaging ways!  By merging instruction with play, we ensure that children are reaching their full potential and embark on their educational journey well-prepared for the future! Let's build those KEY emergent literacy skills together.

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Chen-Hafteck, L., Kuhn, L. J., Roos, L. E., Anderson, A., & Shumka, E. (2020). The Role of Music in Preschool Children's Creativity, Executive Function, and Socio-Emotional Development. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 596.

Collins, A. (2014). The Impact of Music on Childhood and Adolescent Achievement. Music Education Research, 16(2), 158–170.

Upitis, R., Abramson, R., L’Abate, L., & Riccio, C. (2017). The Effects of Music Instruction on Emergent Literacy Capacities among Preschool Children: A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 17(3), 374–395.

Williams, K., Berthelsen, D., Viviani, M., & Nicholson, J. M. (2017). Effects of Music and Movement on Physical Activity Behavior in Preschool Children. Journal of School Health, 87(7), 524–530.

Zhao, C., & Trainor, L. J. (2015). Music and Early Language Acquisition. Frontiers in Psychology, 6, 1714.

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