Kids Summer Group Music for Kids ages 2 and 3: Targeting Social Skills!
Music can be a wonderful tool in the development of social skills. Group music provides opportunities for participants to engage and participate at their own level of comfort/ability. In group music settings I offer many opportunities for passing and sharing instruments. Passing instruments creates the opportunity for group members to acknowledge their neighbor (as well as incorporates cross lateral movement!). It offers a structured activity for engaging with the person to either side and helps to create awareness of others.
In group settings I often offer the opportunity for each person to have a solo on a special instrument. Having one special instrument, such as a large drum or xylophone, that gets passed around while other group members play something quieter (egg shakers, pat legs) teaches turn taking, promotes awareness of others and helps to build self-esteem.
A third way music can encourage social development is through synchronized movement. Rhythmically moving in synchronicity can aid in developing prosocial behavior. It helps kids to become aware and empathetic towards others. During group music I always include at least one movement song, either movement to recorded music with specific movements, or a brain dance that includes specific rhythmic movements.