Music and Language (I) – Why We Use Music?

We love using music in our Chinese immersion classroom. Therefore, we have written the following two blogs which are about why and how we use music in our classroom.

Music and language interweave with each other and play a profound role in human’s development. For one reason, the music system and the language system share a lot in common. For example, they both have rhythm, tonality, pauses, and stress. For another reason, the combination of the two systems can produce positive effects on both systems. For instance, when we combine music and language to become a song, the language becomes more vivid and easier to express emotions.

For children learning their first language, scientists believe that children’s imitation of the rhythm and musical contours of the language even comes before the speaking of the words. When an infant is listening to a song, he/she does not only learn to discriminate between sounds, but also to acquire the language in a musical context. In other words, music can catalyze children’s language development.

It is not only true for children’s first language acquisition. As we are using music in our Chinese immersion classroom, we notice a lot of advantages in our children’s Chinese acquisition through music, too. In the next blog, we will talk about how we use music creatively in class.

-Chinese with Meggie Language School, Austin, Texas