Several educational centers for children these days are incorporating music. The two main forms of music incorporation are music time and music programs. Here, we discuss the difference, and which one we think is more beneficial.

Music Time vs Music Programs: We called preschools around the country and asked the most important question: "Do you offer a music program at your school"?

There are several day cares, schools, and centers for kids that have a designated time in the day where teachers play with musical instruments such as shakers, maracas, showing kids traditional nursery rhymes. Music is a great way to connect with students, create friendships, improve hand-eye coordination, explore different topics, cultures, the list goes on.

But when we asked these different places if they offer music programs at their schools, they said no - they offer music time but not a music program.

So what’s the difference and is one better than the other? From speaking to different schools, we’ve come to this conclusion:

Music Time

Music time is an unspecified period of time, used as a filler, an engaging transition activity, and a way for teachers to get to know and connect with their students. There’s no specific goal or outcome here, and there is no curriculum either. Music time is simply a short, fun period of time for kids to gather, sing and dance to traditional nursery rhymes like the Wheels on the Bus. It’s ultimately an activity any teacher can use to connect with their students as well as engage and excite them!

Music Program

Music program is defined as classes with structures and goals - essentially Music Time with a curriculum (This is what EchoKids provides). Music programs are designed to teach kids about music through a structured plan startinng with the foundations like pitch, rhythm, and introducing various instruments. This could include the use of musical games, certain time increments dedicated to specific learning activities, and different ways in which knowledge can be tested like "pop quizzes" in class and more - quiz type varying on the age of the children in the class. Those who offer music program are generally more structured and during the day, so the class is divided according to age; youngest being 3 months old and could be as kids in high school. The goal of music programs is to educate and engage, rather than just engage so it requires time, resources, and flexibility in changing the curriculum according to age groups. Check our schools and centers page for some example activities here!

So which is better?

Ultimately, it’s up to the school and what they want to offer their students. Music programs entail that a curriculum is provided, since it will guarantee kinds’ growth in their musical knowledge. Sing-alongs, music appreciation, games, and introduction to instruments are just some examples of what music programs offer. At EchoKids, we’ve seen kids grow significantly at schools we’re partnered with, in which music is tied into their curriculum. The structure and organization provided by a music program as opposed to music time is what really allows students to focus and practice discipline while also enjoying the subject of music. As a result, we know music programs are greatly beneficial for students, contributing to their growth not only within music but also in general.

For schools: Click here to learn more!

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Shizuno Furuya (Founder)
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