Using singing games in music lessons to enhance young children’s social skills

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The ability to develop social relationships with peers has long been regarded as one of the most important development tasks of childhood. The acquisition of social skills is very significant during early childhood; however, these skills are rarely taught in Hong Kong kindergartens. Teachers tend to reinforce quiet and obedient classroom behavior. To enhance children’s social skills, music provides the opportunity for not only aesthetic and creative development, but also social development. Music serves to create social groups because it helps each child feel a part of a group. Music can draw a shy, withdrawn child into a group, encourage all children to come into closer contact with their peers, and support social relationships. The paper aims to investigate how children’s social skills and competence are enhanced by incorporating new songs into a musical game. The subjects were twenty children aged from five to six in an Upper level (K. 3) class in a Hong Kong kindergarten. Thirty-minute music lessons were conducted once a week for eight consecutive weeks in the kindergarten. The first four music lessons were taught using a traditional Chinese teaching approach, whereas the last four music lessons were taught with the added elements of new songs and creative movement games. Data were collected through class observations, video recordings, and a checklist of social attributes (McClellan & Katz, 1993). The results of the study revealed that the musical games in the music lessons cultivated young children’s social development and skills. The children shared in a large group, established close connections, and built their confidence, cooperation, curiosity, and communication through musical games and movement. They were given ways to express themselves that improved their self-confidence and self-esteem, establish positive relationships and maintain positive interactions with peers, take turns fairly, accept and enjoy peers in their group, and interact non-verbally with other children with smiles or nods. Copyright © 2008 HKIEd APFSLT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-30
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


Lau, W. C. M. (2008). Using singing games in music lessons to enhance young children’s social skills. Asia-Pacific Journal for Arts Education, 6(2), 1-30.


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