The Power of Musical Play

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When thinking about “playing” music, many often think about listening to their favorite band or performing on an instrument. However, the term can also refer to playing with music, taking a hands-on approach to create something new. Educators have long recognized the importance of play in learning, and music educators have begun including creative music play in their classrooms. This musical play can take many of forms, such as student groups making a rock mash-up; an individual creating a multi-track, split-screen music video; or musicians performing in a virtual ensemble. Engaging in music play is a more informal, vernacular approach that allows students to develop many skills valued in 21st Century society, like collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking. More importantly, though, the real power of play with music is that it provides opportunities for human connection, artistry, and expression that individuals can take with them and use throughout their lives.

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