Using Music as a Teaching Tool

girlsingingEvery one of my kids have always made up little songs to narrate their daily lives.  It’s been hilarious and entertaining to listen to, but it’s been fascinating, too. Did you know that there’s a connection between music and literacy?

Music has been a storytelling tool for thousands of years. Songs have been passed down from generation to generation as a way to teach skills, impart cultural mores and teach children where they come from. That power of music as a teaching tool has lived on even as music and stories have been written down. 

When you sing things, you remember them better.  And when you manipulate the tempo, rhythm and harmonics of what you sing, you make it even more memorable. 

So how does this relate to sneaking in learning? Well, your child learned her ABCs by singing and she learned nursery rhymes and fingerplays, too. Time to step it up a notch by adding music into your daily experience.

You can start by:

  • Making up a phone number song to teach your child her phone number. 
  • Teaching something new to the tune of a familiar song like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Encourage your child to participate by relying on your child’s instinct to finish a musical phrase by leaving her hanging at the end of musical phrase. She’ll be driven to finish the melody and fill in the rhyming word or necessary information!
  • Reading  books that are based on familiar songs, like “There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly” or “The Wheels on the Bus” (or “The Seals on the Bus”) and then singing the song that goes with it. Look for the differences between the book and the traditional song. 

About Amanda

Amanda Morin is author of The Everything Kids' Learning Activities Book, a former teacher/early intervention specialist and mother of three. She is the writer and editor for’s Kids’ Learning Activities site, a regular contributor to PopSugar Moms and her parenting articles have been featured on and, among other sites. Amanda knows that hands-on, fun activities are the best way to promote learning and wants to provide parents with the information they need to find products that promote fun learning.

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