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What’s in a Nursery Rhyme Song? 4 Benefits of learning traditional songs

July 14, 2020

Nursery Rhyme Songs bring special benefits to young children.

Traditional Songs become that way because of they are valued over time.

As young children we have all learnt nursery rhyme songs and raps.

There are many good reasons to continue this tradition and teach our children and grandchildren these same songs. Obvious reasons spring to mind: these songs are generally simple, easy to learn, easy to sing and short enough to recall quickly.

This makes them an ideal “go-to” for busy parents who need a quick song when it matters most.

A favourite is “The Wheels on the Bus” when travelling those last 50Kms with the age old “Are we there yet?” coming from the back seat.

Wheels of the Bus Music Matters

Wheels of the Bus Music Matters


BENEFIT 1: Nursery Rhymes rhyme!

Traditional nursery rhyme songs usually do actually rhyme.

This is one of their major attractions. Kids love to hear rhyming words.

I introduced myself to a Kindergarten class of 4 and 5 year olds this morning as “Miss Heather”… a very fun-neutral thing to do.

However when I went on to say “Heather rhymes with weather, leather and feather”, they all laughed out loud. An expected response.

Singing Rhyming songs gets kids thinking about language at an early age.

The words tumble out in a natural way, and the ending of each line can be anticipated.

This way parents can have fun leaving off the last word and letting their children sing it themselves… boosting memory and creativity. The nonsense rhyme “Hey Diddle Diddle” is a great rhymer!

Hey.diddle.diddle Music Matters


BENEFIT 2: Range of voice

Nursery Rhymes use a wide range of interval pitches. Singing at and between different pitches encourages clear diction.

“The Bear Went Over the Mountain”, whilst not listed strictly as a traditional nursery rhyme, is a good example.

Try singing it and see if it doesn’t make you think ahead about the intervals needed to sing in tune at the same time as getting each syllable out cleanly.

The Bear went over the mountain


BENEFIT 3: Creativity

You may not spend your singing time creating new songs, but when you take a raw nursery rhyme song as a starting point it can end up being any song you like. What about these words to the tune of  “Mary Had A Little Lamb”?

“Lily has a little dog, little dog, little dog, Lily has a little dog, it always loves to bark” Ask your pre-schooler to help you make up words to a well know tune.

The words can be silly, or sensible or anything you both decide they should be. In this way children learn that music is a creative activity.

Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary Had a Little Lamb


BENEFIT 4: Most early instrumental lessons are based on or around some kind of nursery rhyme.

When you child takes up piano, guitar, drums, singing lessons or any other instrumental instruction it is most likely that there will be some nursery rhymes thrown in.

If they already know a wide variety of these songs, it makes learning the instrument much easier as a beginner. Even adults get a lot of enjoyment from playing simple, well known tunes in their early lessons.

It makes sense. Familiar tunes are easier to sing and to play. Its as simple as that, but might save you months of music lesson fees just because you bothered to share nursery rhymes with your babies from an early age.


Twinkle Star


Image: Thanks to Let’s Play Music

Of course there are many other benefits from learning nursery rhymes. if you would like some ideas of how to use these special songs at home in games please call me today. I am happy to chat over the phone or in person.

Your child’s first music lesson is always free. Call today 0418 563 226


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