Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | March 29, 2011

Teaching children with music

Hi everyone,

Today’s post continues a contribution from my colleague Kathy Goforth from Jolly Good Spellers.  Today she is sharing ideas on how to use music to teach concepts and spelling.

Here are some ideas you can use to teach your children concepts. Use the song “Row your Boat” and sing letter sounds to it. This is how it would go:”A says (sing short a sound 8 times to go with the song) but it can also say (sing long a sound 8 times to go with the song), then repeat this for the rest of the alphabet.

To teach spelling words, you can sing simple words like IS to the tune of We Wish You a Merry Christmas. Can you think of how to do that? Hum the tune first, and then add the spelling word: “I-S spells is, I-S spells is, I-S spells is I-S spells is!”

How about teaching vocabulary? Recently, I taught the new vocabulary word “migrate” to the children using the theme song from the movie Madagascar, which they all knew. “Migrate,” meaning “to move,” was incorporated so the song was “We like to migrate, migrate.” The children sang this as I turned them into birds, seals, whales, and reindeer and they moved to a different place in the room! The children sang this song the rest of the day!

One more idea is to show your child how to read a thermometer: Here is a rap song. Clap an AAB pattern for practice first (an example is to clap your hands twice for the AA part, and then tap your knees once for the B part of the pattern). Now add these words: Hey, Mr. Snowman! You look cute! You don’t need a warm snow suit. When the mercury goes down you come out to play (act this out by stooping down to the ground). But when the mercury goes up, you melt away! (come back up as you say “up”, then pretend you are melting!)

Try these ideas and see if your child learns the concepts! These are difficult concepts for young children, but I have found they are excited about learning them, when they are taught using music!



  1. Hey Cathi, I remember back in 7th grade with Mrs. Bahr and learning the books of the Old Testament by singing a song. And I still know them from singing the song 🙂

    • Great example Brenda!

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