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Music and SEL: An Emotional Alliance

How do you manage your emotions? This can be a difficult concept for children to understand especially while learning how to navigate social relationships within and outside of their school environment.

Feelings of joy, sadness, frustration, and anger are expressed in different ways, especially in children. Fortunately, music and movement can be used to understand and express these emotions. With the help of social emotional learning tools and resources, children have the opportunity to refine the ways they address, explain and manage their emotions. Here at Keys 4 Success we believe music and movement education, infused with social emotional learning tools, can be a helpful resource in helping our children better navigate their social relationships and manage their emotional bodies.

We promote social emotional learning within our curriculum by having students work in teams on musical projects and performances. Singing, dancing and making music together in collaborative and cooperative ways are great ways to leverage social emotional tools to teach social connection and encourage optimal brain development.

We also make time to have students listen to various forms of music. Here students can learn to understand and describe different emotions evoked by the music. These exercises can be excellent for promoting further discussion on the various ways music can impact our emotional bodies.

A read aloud accommodated by music is another great way for children to be engaged in storytelling. The music helps students identify the emotions of the characters and situations found throughout the story.

Our students need the tools that allow them to manage the mental and emotional challenges that arise throughout their lives. Social-emotional competencies empower children to grow self-aware and confident, to manage difficult emotions and impulses, and to embody empathy, which translates to improved behavior as well as academics.

It’s important to give our children access to quality programs that continue to impact their lives as they navigate life inside and outside the classroom.

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