Singing with Children: The Climate and Culture of Song in Early Childhood Classrooms

Date of Award


Document Type

Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)




This study examined how singing was used to set the tone in classroom in one program designed for infants, toddlers, and preschool-age children. Several observations ranging from thirty to sixty minutes were completed using running records of children’s behavior. The singing and speaking practices of teachers were also examined. In addition, surveys were used to collect information on the teachers’ beliefs, practices, and attitudes toward singing in an early childhood setting. The main findings show that the children responded to singing and speaking indiscriminately; they would follow their teachers whether they were spoken or sung to. However, the teachers chose to sing more often than they chose to speak when requesting child follow them. The singing used during observations was characterized as simple, soft, and warm, allowing a presence and connection to be formed. This indicates that using songs for proximity has more value than using song for manipulation or entertainment in a classroom.