A Music School In Cyprus For Preschool Children Education Essay

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Music education in early years is preschool children's first contact with music and some scientific research supports that these years are important when it comes to musical development. According to Moog (1976) and Gordon (1988), early childhood is the most critical period in a child's musical growth, because it is a period of rapid change and development and has been identified in literature as the "music babble" stage. Music education excites the interest of children who learn musical skills through singing, listening, dancing, rhythm, movement and musical games. Children create and perform their own rhythmic patterns, discover the world of music and the several sounds of musical instruments through playing, avoiding traditional lessons. The object of music education is to help children to love, understand and enjoy intercourse with music by experimentation and improvisation and search for new forms of expression by using music. There are four noteworthy models for teaching music in early years that are internationally recognised and their aim is the development of the imagination and creativity of the child, through music, movement and singing. Those models were created by the educators: Dalcroze, Kodaly, Orff and Suzuki. A basic element of the philosophical background of all the above significant educators' theories is that all musical experiences should have a lead over comprehension of theoretical concepts. Some of these models will be mentioned further down more analytically.

According to research at the Medical University of Florida, infants who were often exposed to several kinds of music developed significantly higher intellectual and physical skills than those infants who were not exposed to music. Through researches, it is testified that children who are into music from a very early age learn school lessons more easily. They become better listeners and they concentrate more easily. In a research on a student's percentage in a Gymnasium in California , it was shown that students who where musically educated from early years were more organized as to the way they were thinking and they were more intellectual. Children who are taught a musical instrument from a very early age develop physical, mental, emotional and social skills more easily.

By singing, children develop their musical awareness, they cultivate their rhythmical perception and they enhance their oral skills. According to Plato, music education is an imperative need, because more than anything else in the world, rhythm and harmony affect the inner part of ourselves, and each one of us should know how to restrain it.

Music pedagogical systems were created because of the need for a pedagogical method, of a more scientific and complete approach for teaching music, which will combine music with movement , for an easier comprehension of musical concepts in the early years of children. According to Nye & Nye (1985), the comprehension and understanding of music, is the result of cognitive, psychomotor and emotional combination and is not possible for one of them to operate without the other. The importance of movement in music, has been established empirically but also by researchers (Siemens, 1969; Moore, 1984). Music could be more understandable, when children participated through music actions and movements. The pedagogical base of the music-movement system is influenced by the theory of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1764-1827), which rejects memorization and repetition and substitutes them with observation, experimentation and cognition (Aντωνακακης, 1996). According to this theory, great importance is given to children's mood for initiative, the development of creativity, imagination, self-activity and participation in team work. This method emphasizes not only cognitional learning fermentation, but also physical and is based on children's kinetic activities.

Προσχολικη ηλικια: να νιωσουν την διαφορετικοτητα των ηχων και την εννοια της διαρκειας του χρονου(Κοιζα 2008, σ.1)

Î- μουσικη στην Κυπρο κατα την περιοδο της αγγλοκρατιας (παναγιωτου 1985)


The educational drifts of last century created new music education teaching models. In general the original educational type is abandoned and replaced by the experienced approach of instructive objects through child and teacher coordination and through children's self-activity.

The tradition of music education is full of examples from several practices. During the last decades several educators, psychologists and philosophers wondered about the effectiveness and the implications of these practices (Radcliffe 1948, Bruner 1960, Swanwick 1979, 1988, 1999, Ross 1978, 1995,Gardner 1993, Elliot 1994, Plummeridge 1997, 2001). Some of them suggested new student approaches so that students would be able to learn music. Some music educators' ideas will be mentioned further down, which in my opinion are the most representative of the educators and music educators who tried to approach music education in a more contemporary and friendlier way towards their students. Such teaching models are:

Paynter's theory (1970) was related with the changes regarding the thought and practice that happened in music education in schools during the 1960s. As Pegg (1994) stated about 'Sound and Silence' (Paynter & Aston 1970) his aim was not to offer a teaching method but a new comprehensive way of a creative music education which would include all the children. Their projects were about orchestral music and its development throughout the 20th century.

Paynter & Aston wondered how music could be taught in modern schools. They considered that music teachers were specialized educators who were compelled to work in a school system which was serving general education. They supported the general education concept and they encouraged music teachers to focus on their main aim which was the children's overall training. "Education should be child-centred and start from the needs of the individual (Paynter and Aston 1970 p.2). They insisted that children should try out and develop their own critical abilities. This would be possible only if children were given material they could experiment with.

Radcliffe (1948) noted that one of music education's basic problems was its wrong targets. Too much importance was given on the development of ttechniques. Louie de Rousette (1938), one of the "tympani band" torchbearers, believed that students should express themselves through harmony, melody and rhythm. Children should have the opportunities to undertake initiatives and not imitate musical styles.

Bruner believed that learning takes place when students become problem solvers and by exploration, which is part of the teacher's task. As students test hypotheses and develop generalizations, they interact with the environment around them and discover solutions. When they discover their own solutions, they will better remember what was taught (Bruner 2006) .According to Bruner(1960) in "discovery learning", teachers' participation is small and they undertake the part of the instructor. Students create their knowledge with logical conclusions. He supported that the most effective way to learn is by discovering rather than by being told the answer by the teacher. Bruner also gives emphasis to social factors and the impact that parents and educators have on this.

The musical teaching model of Swanwick(1979) is called CLASP and is based on five music activities and aims on students' aesthetic growth. These activities are: Composition, Literature, Audition, Skills acquisition and Performance.

Another teaching model that was developed was by Howard Gardner (1983) called "multiple intelligences" which "documents the extent to which students possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways" (Gardner 1991). He suggests that teachers should be qualified to present their lessons in an extensive range of ways using:

Words, language (verbal-linguistic intelligence)

Pictures, images, shapes (visual-spatial intelligence)

Numbers, maths, logic (mathematical-logical intelligence)

Music, sound, rhythm (musical intelligence)

Self-reflection, self-awareness (intrapersonal intelligence)

Physical skills, body awareness (bodily-kinesthetic intelligence)

Personal interactions, social skills(interpersonal intelligence)

Experience in the natural world (naturalist intelligence)

Although according to Gardner the musical intelligence exists as autonomous, a broader and inhibited music lesson could contribute to the development of the remaining intelligence patterns. If music was taught having in mind creative aims and experienced ways of approach the results would be the overall development of the child.


Emil Jaques-Dalcroze, a music educator from Switzerland, was the first who introduced a music-movement system (Madey, 1978). This new method is called the Dalcroze eurhythmic. It was presented at the beginning of the 20th century in German and French speaking countries. He was a pianist, composer and teacher in a conservatory in Geneva and by observing the difficulties the students had in 'solfege' exercises, he created a method whose principal aim was the improvement of students' performance. He believed that movement and the body were directly influenced by music, because of the melody, rhythm, dynamic and expression music contains. Through a deeper understanding of music, he suggested some movement exercises in order to coordinate muscles with neural resistant and reconcile the spirit with the body (Dalcroze, 1921). These exercises aimed at the reinforcement of a future musician's aabilities and they include exercises for the development of acoustical sensitivity, rhythm sense, feelings sensitization and the ability to express emotions and sentiments. (Αρζιμάνογλου-Μαντζαρλή 2006: 43). In particular, Dalcroze developed a method by which the body is the moderator between music and person (Dalcroze, 1921). Acknowledging the two-way action between the body and music rhythm, he considered rhythm as the basic element of his method. The importance for Dalroze was the relationship between music and movement, as an expression of the unity of spirit, soul and body which ultimately images the completeness of the conscious with the unconscious (Schaefer, 1992).

The Swiss composer Emil Jaques-Dalcroze, combined original music, rhythm, and improvisation with music. According to Kugler(1991), Dalcroze believed that the problem of rhythm absence in children, could be worked out by activating not only the whole body, but also a part of it. He teaches children eurhythmy from an early age, because of his conviction that the human body is a musical instrument which can perform musical concepts and elements of music supports. He supports that the body is the primary musical instrument and the most intrinsic key for the internalization and for the consolidation of musical concepts. He also believed that the development of the domestic hearing and musical imagination should start from a very early age. This is the reason why he uses simple basic movements like walking or running, which are physical modes of the child. He believed that the senses which come from the body physical rhythms empower the rhythmic instinct, creating rhythmic awareness (Seitz, 2002).


The German musician and composer Carl Orff(1895-1982), most famous for "Carmina Burana", originally based on Dalcrozes ideas, inspired and created a music-movement method for children called "Orff Schulwerk", under the subtitle of "elemental music making" and kinetic action. According to Orff, the child has a need to meet stimulus straightforward through games and pleasant active experience. Through music children learn rhythm. This method sees the child as a body, a spirit and an inward wholeness, and aims to help people to explore sounds by offering them new musical instruments and methods. Some musical instruments used in Orff's method - and they are still used in places where this method is still used for teaching - were xylophones and metallophones (soprano, alto, bass), glockenspiels(soprano and alto)castanets, maracas, bells, triangles and cymbals (finger, crash or suspended). Some of the percussion instruments used in Orff's classroom are tambourines, timpani, gongs, bongos, steel drums and conga drums. Orff was more interested in teaching music through playing and experience. The worldwide recognition he enjoyed was because of the fact that he used the creative game as an integral element for teaching music. The new concepts that Carl Orff introduced in music-movement method were improvisation (individual, joint, liberal, leading, musical, kinetic, verbal), the rhythm (music, movement, speech), the original-expressive movement-dance, voice-speech-song, musical instruments In this way, children learn musical concepts through speech, movement, singing, improvisation and with the use of musical instruments. Orff focused on speech because he believed that the gradual transition from imagery to musical instruments was the most natural process for musical experience. This journey in children's verbal kingdom, outside the correct use of aural, offers limitless abilities for musical and rhythmical experimentation-improvisation. From a very early age, children should impulsively get into kinetic activities, using their whole body or some parts of it. These movements, which usually make a sonorous sound (clapping, exclamation), looks like a natural game. However, they could constitute the beginning of a rhythmical-musical education. From a very early age children sing. Their cry is a particular melodic line consisting of one or two notes, usually vowels. The direct intercourse between speech and singing is another important factor that prescribes the incorporation of the speech in the educated-musical activities. Children also are fascinated with sounds. But as far as Orff's instruments are concerned children get excited because of the wide variety of timbre they produce. Apart from the auditory, they also comprise an optical stimulus and they are useful for experimentation and creative process of musical ideas. They help children to comprehend the tonality and they are appropriate for accompanying rhythmic phrases. The hearing of natural sounds, live or canned music is a primitive element for the complete intercourse with sounds. By listening to the sounds of the natural environment, children have the chance to draw, to improvise with Orff's orchestral instruments, for theatrical games, for interpretation with songs, for body movements and more. With the proper education all the children can develop a satisfied a comprehension of rhythm, tonality and music. Orff's method underlines that children should make music on their own, to participate actively in musical activities, before learning any theoretical concepts. He supports that perception comes before knowledge. He moves from simple sonorous exercises, to more complicated patterns of musical creativity. Orff's method can contribute to the general education and engender complemented persons with judgement, creativity, imagination and sensitivity. It is based on the combination of music, movement and literature, on the personal creativity and the game. It initiates children in the music world (knowledge and skills) and it cultivates movement and body expression. Moreover it trains perceptiveness, concentration, preparation, imagination and develop initiative. What is characterizing Orff's method more is that children get close to easy-play musical instruments, like xylophones, metallophones, recorders, cymbals, from the very early years. Thereby, children learn to act musically on their own, to improvise and participate in music. According to Orff, if children are taught basic concepts or skills before they learn how to express themselves by using music, is as if children are taught how to read before they are able to talk. Both Kodaly and Orff were paying attention to music education in the early years, considering this period as fundamental for the subsequent music development of the child. . As an educator and a composer, he encounters music in a Platonic way and meaning, which emphasizes speech (expression of thought). Orffs music movement method was based on music-movement-speech junction. It should hold over a central position in general education in schools and represent a valuable way for the child's inward, constitutional and intellectual completion.


The method of the Hungarian composer and musicologist Zoltan Kodaly believes that music is a communication code, like language. In order to comprehend music a child must have the ability to read an instrument's score and write notes. During musical reading, all the elements that exist in the musical script like rhythm, phrases, harmony, scales, structure and dynamics should be revealed. Kodaly (1974), supports that musicality and knowledge are obtained through the use of voice, which is the first natural instrument of the child. The teaching techniques that are used in Kodaly's method for the development of music comprehension is the "relevant system solfa, (χειρομιμικη ή αισθησιοκινιτικη ασκηση) and rhythmic syllables. Zoltan Kodaly uses elements from Dalcrozes rhythmic, (clapping and moving in the place), but he also uses some elements from Orff's music-movement action, (like some instruments and rhythmic and metric forms). The teaching material that Kodaly's method suggests is based on the traditional music of his country and he supports that this helps to cultivate the musicality of children. According to Emperiadou (1995), Hungarian traditional songs and especially choral songs, traditional songs and traditional rhythms should hold over an important place, as a material in music education of early years. Kodaly supports that the cognition and the sensation of the rhythm are developed through the participation in rhythmical games, meaning that movement is encountered as an element that is developed equivalent with music and helps in the effective learning of musical concepts. Singing is the fundamental key for music actually to become a part of the child.


Suzuki suggests a music learning method proportional with physical and natural learning of the mother tongue in the family environment and he encourages children to play "by the ear" and learn through observation, imitation and repetition. He considers that musical learning starts from 'zero age', from the birth of the child and believes that from the first months of his life the hearing acquaintance is crucial for his future music development.


All children have abilities and capabilities, regardless of their maturation level. Their imagination is developed through the opportunities they are given and the encouragement for creativity. By the time their imaginative ability is free and unaffected, the child's boundaries of inspiration will be gone. Creativity helps in discovering new potentials, relationships and experiences and develops the imagination. Music could act as a determinative factor in the formulation of their emotional world. Through music children can express positive or negative feelings, the results of which maybe a more balanced personality. The introduction of music education in kindergarten makes children more sensitive towards music, helps them comprehend and become familiar with some musical elements (rhythm, dynamics, timbre) and develops their hearing. Especially with music-movement games the child has the opportunity to express itself freely, relax and defuse, cooperate with other children and gradually develop self-control movement coordination. But above all, the aim is the pleasure they get from music, the sensitivity that develops inside them through music and the discipline they obtain from their participation in musical activities whose results are to help them grow up and be happy, more mature and ready to be part of society.


Children's music education is achieved through music actions such us: voice-speech-singing, movement, the use of musical instruments, improvisation, musical games, listening to music, musical stories, imitation, theatre etc. These are also techniques that Orff used in order to teach music to children.


Rhythmical speech, with rhythm and melody, embodies the basic structure of music-movement method. The inherent rhythm of children's mother tongue is used as a starting point for further investigation on rhythm, music and movement. Speech is used for studying notes, followed by words, sentences, poems, proverbs, gnome and then jawbreaker. Apart from the correct use of speech, the use of verbal exercises holds out boundless potentials for musical and rhythmical experimentations. The direct relationship of speech with singing is another important factor that prescribes speech in the set of educational-musical actions.


In the early years singing should be pleasant, with a simple melodic line, clear rhythmical shapes, simple verse and content proportional with children's experience. Most children sing without realising the difference of tonality and how melody moves. They imitate and participate according to speech and rhythm. Singing constitutes the most expressive ability, relieves emotions and calms the child. The combination of singing with the use of musical instruments helps towards obtaining independence between voice and hands.


The most important instrument children have is their voice.


Movement is an important element for music-movement. Without it we would have only music that is learning the names of the notes and how they are written on the stave, to play a recorder as we are taught in conservatory. But in the kindergarten movement is an integral part of everyday. Children move all the time, they have incredible energy, and if we don't help them to drain their energy in constructive works, then they are likely to drain it out into hostile actions. Movements like running, walking, jumping, stretching, pushing and swinging are used in music-movement method accompanied with musical instruments leading children to learn rhythmical values, form, dynamics and measures through practice. Through movement children realize the difference between high and low notes, fast and slow, discriminate the difference between long and short sound. They also become aware of their body and its abilities and they express their feelings. Through team movement activities they communicate, cooperate, guide and follow others.

From an early age children are taken into a set of movement exercises using their whole body or parts of it. These movements, which usually have roaring results (clapping, exclamation, foot beating) look like game. However, they could constitute a significant factor for the beginning of a rhythmic-music education. Movement plays a key role in the musical and aesthetic development of the child. The techniques that are used aim to encourage the creative development of children's movement and are based on imitation, exploration and improvisation.


The instruments that usually are used in the early years are metallophones, xylophones, triangles, bells, maracas etc. and they are used for the theatrecalization (dramatisation) of the songs, whether accompanying the rhythm or to represent pictures with sound. With the use of instruments children explore the sound, the rhythm and they help in practicing the auditory observation, concentration, in acquainting themselves with the rhythm and in acquiring movement coordination. The pieces are easy to play on a simple tonal and they are accompanied with a G-C. With the use of a pentatonic climax children can freely improvise and they are encouraged to play by imitation or from memory.

Construction of musical instruments offers much to the child and most of all the enjoyment of creativity. By constructing musical instruments they mobilize all their competence and they learn to cooperate. They should learn the names of some instruments, what they sound like. If possible some instruments should be brought into the class so the children will be able to see them.


It is an undeniable fact that music and generally arts play a great part in the development of a child's personality. Significant reports exist about the influence that music education has on several sections of children's personality, like cognitional, social, emotional. In particular, it is supported that music can develop children's sociability to a great extent through several activities that provide chances for collective participation, cooperation and interaction. This is the reason why music is important in education and especially in children's social maturity.

Team activities, which children have the chance to make music they can decisively contribute in the creation of positive human relations and in the development of social capabilities, for example collaboration, self discipline and self control (Brown, 1980; Σταυριδης, 1985; Σεργη, 1995). There are several studies which have pointed out the importance of music education during preschool age, school age and adolescence. As far as the importance of music education for social development during the preschool age is concerned, it is mentioned that children's systematic music education affects positively their socialization, self confidence and his social adjustment. (Σεργη, 1995). In a comparative research similar results have been made, in which it has been mentioned that children who participate systematically in musical activities excel in their efforts to start social interaction with other people, while simultaneously they demonstrated more often positive emotional reactions than children who didn't participate in music so frequently (Forrai, 1997). In another research made by Jordan-Decarbo & Galliford( 2001), they found that music has a positive impact on the locomotive, cognitive, linguistic, social and emotional development of a child.


Musical activities could contribute in the physical development of a child with several ways like for example music and movement, singing or playing an instrument. As an activity music and movement offers to the child exceptional ways to correspond to music with their body. This corresponds with the proper movements of the body helps in children muscular development. By singing and the use of an instrument children can support their breathing development, with emphasis given to body's proper position, lungs capacity and diaphragmatic breathing. Also, children with speech problems could be helped because by playing wood wind and brass instruments mouth, cheek and tongue muscles are developed. Music could also be a basic element in educating children with body disabilities, especially by the use of musical instruments. Besides this, music could also effectively contribute in educating children with sensation disabilities. For example, singing could help in blind children's speech and the use of instrument and music and movement could be interesting activities for senses exercising. Moreover, music could also contribute in educating deaf children, by accepting sounds as vibrations through hands and feet.


The principal role of music education is the emotional development of the child. Music has the power to indulge the emotional needs of the child. Children obtain and receive a unique satisfaction from music and the aesthetic experiences they receive could reinforce and enhance their emotional life, so that would be able to encounter to the requirements of the society but also remain civilized and polite with a high sense of respect and appreciation against other people. The language of music does not transfer the meaning that words do, in order the child to be able to define the sense of music individually. Therefore, the interpretation of a musical piece could be varied from one person to another, according to the experiences, the needs or the developmental abilities. This is one of the most magnificent and wonderful issues in music, the fact that each child gets from music whatever he wants, requires and desires, according to his mental or emotional needs. With various musical activities, children find ways to express their feelings and communicate. Each child receives from music what he wants and his response depends from the kind of music and his mood.


Music, like other academic lessons, contributes in the mental development of the child. Music has its own language, thats why the comprehension, hearing, creation and performance of music demand mental process. Thus, music experiences and achievements require the use of several abilities, which are mental functions. In the class, the mental development could be cultivate with several ways, like for example by comprehending the way how musical effect derive or expressing their feelings by using words for a musical piece or with several creative works. Music could also contain elements related to visual, touch or imagination, which usually could be displayed with music and movement, music reading and writing and by using the instruments. This partly explain why the performance of children studying in Hungarian music schools, is higher than those studying in usual schools. The creator of the familiar music teaching system Zoltan Kodaly and Hungarian music education founder states that it has been detected that in those schools where music is a standard and mandatory lesson, teaching every day, children learns better and easier any other lesson. This is not hiding any mystery: because children work with music every day, this motivates and excites their mind, so that this is developed and becomes more receptive. That's why music should be an integral part of music curriculum.


Music develops in a grade degree the sociability of the child, through many activities that provides opportunities for a participation, collaboration, self-discipline, interaction and responsibility. Thus, it performs an important part in education and especially in childrens sociality procedure. For example, the creative team activities, where children have the opportunities to make music, offer in the development of their social abilities and in satisfactory human relations creation, coordinating with self-discipline, self-control etc. Also, in their interaction, children motivate each other, so that they modify, illustrate and reinforce their ideas. Apart from musical activities obvious social impact, that takes part in the class during the lesson, the choirs, orchestras and teaching instruments in small groups, also have social value because they provide opportunities for social dexterity, coordination and communication with other children, in order to achieve a common plan.