Earth Day Helps Teach Music to Children

Thursday, April 22 marks the 51st year that Earth Day has been celebrated around the globe to demonstrate support for environmental protection. As Spring brings warmer temperatures, Earth Day creates a good opportunity to use nature as a backdrop for teaching children’s music classes.

From Rimsky-Korsakov’s Flight of the Bumblebee to Louis Armstrong’s What a Wonderful World, throughout time humans have been celebrating nature with music. Some of the earliest recorded songs  are a tribute to seasons and weather, not to mention traditional folk and tribal songs that have been sung since the earliest languages. Today, humans continue to celebrate nature through music, and Earth Day presents a good opportunity for teachers of children’s music programs to weave nature into their curriculum:

Ideas for Using Nature to Teach Children Music

  • Teach Music Classes Outdoors – As we receive guidelines for safely returning to the classroom, there are many outdoor options for resuming in-person music instruction. Children, just as the rest of us, are looking for excuses to get outside and play!
  • Listen to the Music of Nature – Whether using actual sounds outdoors or recordings, getting children to quietly listen to sounds of nature will not only give them an appreciation for the environment, but also teach them how to be still and pay better attention. It may be birdsongs, the wind through the leaves, or a babbling brook that will help train them to concentrate on an isolated sound.
  • Imitate Nature, in Both Movement and Music – Children love to imitate things in nature, especially animals. They will get great enjoyment out of hopping and croaking like a frog, or flapping and clucking like a chicken. Teach rhythm and time through a fun activity by asking them to do this while music plays.
Exploring the Meadow in Music Makers: at Home in the World class.
Exploring the Meadow in Music Makers: at Home in the World class.

 What Earth Day Can Teach Children About Music

Everyone can agree that being good stewards of our environment is important for the long-term health and well-being of humankind. With all these fun activities that teach children about how nature and music go hand in hand, consider mentioning that nature is not something that should be taken for granted. Empower music students with simple suggestions on how they may help make a difference in taking care of our environment, such as recycling and throwing trash away properly.