Integrating Music Into Social and Emotional Learning

Summary: This article reports on a strategy where pre-school students learn to identify and manage their emotions through listening to music. The authors suggest five listening exercises ranging from Beethoven to the blues which help young children understand emotional content in the music.

Source: Laura Petillo and Kerry Carley Rizzuto, Edutopia, June 8, 2021

Description: “Many educators embrace social and emotional learning (SEL) for teaching coping skills. Like visual art activities, music education can play a role in healing, particularly when it’s paired with deep breathing exercises. Music is readily available from sources like YouTube, Spotify, and Pandora, which makes it easy to integrate into the classroom, and research shows that general music program activities like improvisation and identifying emotion through music are effective as a form of social and emotional learning.

Studies show that children as young as 3 can notice emotions in music and can even recognize “happy” and “sad” in musical excerpts that are just 0.5 second long. These findings are the backbone of practical applications for using music to support SEL in the classroom—and of the following activities that help preschool children learn how to name and regulate their emotions.”

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