Language Acquisition to Early Literacy   The Role of Music
Babies develop sense of hearing while still in the womb. Babies hear and respond to music, which is their first language
Babies are drawn to oral language through rhythm, repetition, and rhyme. Songs have rhythm, repetition, and rhyme built in.
Babies and young children retain language based on repetition. Finger plays teach vocabulary Songs have repetition built in
Finger plays sung invite children to join in, vocabulary is better retained.
Young children begin to learn that words are made up of smaller sounds Melodies divide words into smaller parts, and present language in patterns that make sense  to the brain example: Alphabet makes no sense until presented in a song where the letters are learned and retained in a pattern
Young children notice print, understand it links to words they hear; follow print to learned nursery rhymes and songs to connect the two. Children already know melodies to nursery
rhymes, and can participate in “reading” For example: children are more likely to sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, than say the words if simply read from a book
Children learn sounds of letters and phonemes in preparation for learning to read Songs naturally divide words into syllables and sounds, so they are internalized. The built in repetition and rhyme increase understanding and retention.

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