How can you use music for wellbeing in the early years?
Cache.org claims that “Children’s well-being is without doubt at the core of the Early Years Foundations Stage (EYFS)”, and this has been brought further into the limelight with the challenges of COVID-19. With so much change and uncertainty, it can be difficult to settle a child who is worrying.
In this post, we explore how music is capable of supporting early wellbeing, the science to support this and the PANCo workers who are helping to achieve it.
‘“…Music really is brain food that can nurture children’s development and wellbeing in a way that nothing else can.”
Matt Griffiths, CEO of Youth Music said, “We know that the earlier young children get to make music the better for their personal, social and musical development.’
We all know the happy sensation that arises when our favourite song comes on. The uncontrollable foot tapping and head bopping at our computer. But how does music lift wellbeing long-term for developing brains?
In 2009, Professor Graham Welch, University of London, studied the music skills of over 1200 children in the UK. He asked them personal questions about their experiences of school life. The study found the better the child’s music skills were, the more likely they were to have strong friendships and higher levels of wellbeing.
In part, the science behind the improved language and physical skills that music can bring, explains why music is also linked to better social and emotional skills – because of better self-esteem from being a strong communicator and being physically strong.
But also, music increases emotional intelligence in its own right.
Music activates most of our emotional brain structures (the limbic brain and the amygdala). The management of which, scientist Daniel Goleman deems essential for happiness and success.
In 2012, scientists discovered that when people make music together, the activity of their brain waves synchronise (Sanger, Mullerand Lindenburger). This helps to explain why music-making is such a powerful tool to promote group wellbeing.
The PANCo Pioneers
“We believe that health and wellbeing should be at the heart of every early years organisation and that practitioners should have access to on- demand evidence based, innovative wellbeing training and resources.” purplebeelearning.com
PANCo roles are assigned by individual nursery settings. Usually, one practitioner is sent on training: Implementing the PANCo Programme. They chose activities and resources that they deem appropriate to support their PANCo intentions and monitor them to ensure they continue beyond the initial introduction.
Linda Baston-Pitt, CEO of PANCo discusses ‘the 3 R’s’ for early leadership in her recent blog post: Leading Well Through COVID,
Why Boogie Mites?
You can see Ele, a practitioner at Bright Horizons, Talbot Woods, talk about how Boogie Mites music and movement has affected children’s self confidence and their enjoyment in bigger groups:
The Healthy Living Programme
Check out clips of five songs on the Healthy Living Practitioner Programme:
When you purchase the pack for your setting, you’ll not only get the songs, lyrics and videos, but also notes with extension activities and ideas for your craft table.
Link the song to emotions, as lyrics highlight moving around makes you feel “fit and healthy and happy”.
“When the children have had a busy period doing creative activities or playing outside, I tend to calm them all down by introducing the song Happy Cat. This is a lovely relaxing song where the children can be cats, lions, frogs and butterflies. I even find it relaxing too!”
Claire Hickley, Yellow Dot Nursery Otterbourne
“Surprisingly, it seems to be particularly popular with those children in our setting who are otherwise quite reserved. They all come alive when they hear the Boogie Mites music and have a new found confidence in themselves and their abilities”
Emma Berry, Manager Scamps Pre-School East Worthing Community Centre
You can centre a whole day of activities on just one song from the programme. Explore healthy eating, exercise, self-care, nature, growing your own food, recycling…
For enquiries, please email Sue Newman, Boogie Mites Director, or call her on: 023 92 817274.