As research continues to shed new light on how children learn best, standards and teaching methods evolve to both incorporate those latest insights and to meet the needs of today’s students. This year 45 US states and the District of Columbia implemented the Common Core State Standards to help prepare children for success in the classroom and beyond. When used in conjunction with a Common Core curriculum, music can be an effective vehicle for teaching children early literacy and language, including phonological awareness and vocabulary acquisition.

How to use music in a standards based curriculum to teach phonological awareness and vocabulary acquisition

  1. Phonological Awareness: Songs with rhyming lyrics can help children build phonological awareness. Where spoken language is comprised of a stream of connected phonemes, music is comprised of a series of discrete musical notes or tones. Understanding a spoken sentence requires successfully auditory processing of the individual phonemes combined with the intonation communicated by pitch, and hearing music requires listening for the individual notes combined with their rhythmic values. Because of these fundamental similarities, the human brain processes music and language in some similar ways.
  2. Vocabulary Acquisition: According to educational researchers, there is substantial evidence that children acquire vocabulary incidentally by reading and listening to oral stories and song lyrics could provide a source of new vocabulary. With the addition of movement activities, children learn new vocabulary through hearing, singing, and doing.

Common Core Curriculum uses music as the vehicle for learning

ABC Music & Me, a standards-based curriculum, aligns with the Common Core State Standards as well as Pre-K national and state standards. Our Common Core curriculum uses music as the vehicle for teaching children early literacy and language. See how our Common Core curriculum aligns with state standards: 5 ways ABC Music & Me helps teachers meet the Common Core State Standards.

For more information about using ABC Music & Me in your classroom or school to help meet the Common Core State Standards, email us at

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