It has been a while since I really reflected on the power of “song.” I experience it daily, but I rarely take the time to reflect on the magical experience of music.
We know “song” has the power to teach, entertain, and unite. Truly uniting with the families we serve should be a core objective of any family partnerships initiative. Families, schools, and caregivers need to have the same united strategies and goals in order to positively impact the lives of young children. The reciprocal sharing of songs can be a great way to align your goals and strategies, both in the classroom and at home.
Sharing songs and music is vulnerable. Anytime we share with someone something that has been meaningful to us personally, it is authentic and intentional, and that is important in our partnerships!
Shared songs and music provide memorable tools for families. As a mom, I searched for simple songs that could help remind us of our home routines, skills I wanted to help develop, etc. When we share songs with families, we are equipping them with those memorable strategies!
Shared songs and music prompt movement experiences at homes and in classrooms. All of our lives need more movement and dance. Shared music gives us a reason to move and create memories together!
Shared songs and music propel cultural identity. Music carries culture with it. When you share songs, you are sharing a piece of your classroom culture; when families share music, they are sharing a very intimate part of their cultures, too.
Finally, children can become the conduit for sharing music between the classroom and the home, which is, well…amazing! Singing is a simple, playful way for children to share something special to their families with the classroom community. A child’s spontaneous song can spark an opportunity for teachers and families to discover what the child enjoys from home or the classroom.
Here are a few practical ways to use music as part of your family engagement strategy.
- Share a song that you use in the classroom for clean-up, transitions, or skill development and learning! Families will love the opportunity to sing that song in their own home!
- Have children “teach” the song to their families! Children will grow their leadership and social–emotional skills when they get to become the “expert” and teach their family a song that they love from the classroom.
- Invite families and children to bring their favorite songs and rhymes into the classroom! Be open to the cultural and familial wealth that will be brought into your classroom as children bring their instruments, their favorite country or hip hop songs, or folk music that has been a part of their family’s culture for generations!
When you share with children and families your favorite songs and music and they share back, you will form a bond and deepen your mutual trust and partnership! Start singing today!
Are you interested in deepening family partnerships in your program?