Evaluating Preschool Music Curricula
A Parent Guide: Questions to Ask when Selecting your Child’s Preschool
The answers reflect excellence standards as set by the Music Educators National Conference and published in The School Music Program: A New Vision
What are the principles of your music program?
The years before kindergarten are critical for children’s musical development.
• All children have musical potential that they ought to explore daily
• Young children are capable of developing critical thinking skills through musical ideas
• Children should experience age-appropriate musical activities and materials—created and modeled by trained, enthusiastic and responsive adults
• Young children should not be encumbered with the need to meet performance goals—learning should be process-oriented (exceptions include skits, sing-alongs, and the Suzuki method of private instruction which encourages performance on piano, violin or guitar)
What is your preschool’s music curriculum?
Developmentally appropriate early music experiences should occur in safe, teacher-supported environments where children can “work” at the skills relevant to them. Children need:
• Individual time with musical instruments and materials
• Group music time to experience the social and interactive benefits
• Enthusiastic encouragement for students’ questions and suggestions—which stimulate their critical thinking skills, confidence, and leadership abilities