Build New Skills With the Power of Music

Encouraging our children to get involved in the arts is one of the best ways to support their creative, social and emotional development. It also helps set them up for academic success. Incorporating music into your child’s daily routines and learning provides an excellent opportunity to combine those growing social and academic skills with sensory, interactive fun.

By listening to, learning about, and creating their own music kids can gain self-confidence while establishing their own style of self-expression. Music is proven to help young children build and reinforce skills like sharing, critical thinking, and self-regulation and enhances their sense of belonging to a community. It also broadens their horizons, introducing them to cultures and languages outside their own.

Older children can benefit from listening to music during study sessions, helping them focus on a task, retain information, and improving their mood. Playing musical instruments and singing can evolve into a career as a composer, singer, conductor or even a rock star! Or, create a lifelong passion as a well-loved pastime.

With the resources below, learn more about the value of music to children’s intellectual and emotional development and explore PBS LearningMedia collections featuring music and music theory from across diverse cultures. Then, try out digital and hands-on activities to drum up a love for music in your household or classroom.

Jump to article sections:

The Value of Music Creation & Participation

Helping Kids Express Themselves Through Music

Grades PreK-K
Get ready to rock and roll with three ideas for how your family can use music to understand and express feelings.

The Simple Power of Singing to Kids

Grades PreK-3
The act of singing is a great way to connect with children and boost memory and learning. And it’s fun! Here are three reasons we should sing to our kids.

Boost Memory and Learning With Music

Grades PreK-5
Learn how tapping their toes to their favorite song can boost mood and memory in children with these interactive activities.

Why Does Music Affect Our Moods So Much? | PBS NewsHour

Grades 6-12
Why does music affect our moods? Students John Barnes and Brigitte Bonsu of PBS NewsHour’s Student Reporting Labs explore with expert interviews, scientific research and their own journeys in music.

Musical Collections on PBS LearningMedia

Teaching with Tunes

Grades PreK-5
Invite your students to sing, dance, and learn alongside their favorite PBS KIDS friends! Discover new and fun ways to integrate music into lessons, routines, and activities to inspire everyday learning. The curated songs center around themes like: social emotional learning, literacy, math, science, and life skills. Bring music into your classroom as you teach with tunes!

Austin City Limits: Lessons From the Show

Grades 1-12
These units include excerpts from Austin City Limits performances, accompanied by three lessons for multiple grade levels to help instruct and explore a variety of musical skills.

Sound Field

Grades 6-12
Sound Field is hosted by LA Buckner and Nahre Sol, accomplished musicians and music teachers exploring the music theory, production, history and culture behind our favorite songs and musical styles. Pop, classical, rap, jazz, electronic music, folk, country and indigenous music are covered with highlights on the connections between genres.

Broadway or Bust

Grades 6-12
Students and coaches participating in the National High School Musical Theater Awards share their experiences of the stage. Learn how to improve skills as a performer, with this collection of resources from Broadway or Bust.

The Metropolitan Opera

Grades 6-12
Watch full-length opera broadcasts from the The Metropolitan Opera’s Live in HD series. Educator Guides for each featured performance provide teachers with tools to make opera accessible and entertaining for their students that draw on literature, history, foreign languages, and the humanities. Opera really can be for everyone!

Local Melody Makers


Local musicians and stunning scenics take centerstage on SOUNDSCAPES. Filmed at the historic Strand Center Theatre in Plattsburgh, NY, SOUNDSCAPES is a showcase of talented artists who call the North Country home. Enjoy a variety of genres ranging from jazz to bluegrass and more all paired with stunning scenic footage of our region. Watch performances from the entire first season online, anytime.

Spotlight Special: Creating an Adirondack Folk Opera

Explore the creation of Promised Land: an Adirondack Folk Opera and learn about the creative process, and people, behind the making of the production. The opera relates the story of the 1840’s Adirondack settlement, named Timbuctoo, with themes including civil rights, voters’ rights, and racial issues in the era before the Civil War in America – topics that remain poignant in modern times.

Spotlight: Philippe Van Eetvelt – Painting with a Piano

Painting with a Piano chronicles artist Philippe Van Eetvelt’s inventive painting style. Van Eetvelt uses the keys of a piano, and a machine he created to mix color with music, to paint. Producer Paul Larson speaks with the international artist about his bright canvases that sometimes explore dark themes. When he’s not examining the relationship between music and art, the painter from Montreal treats subject matter including women in society and the end of humankind on earth.

Books, Games & Activities

Make Music With Everyday Objects

Grades PreK-K
There are so many ways to make and experience music. One possibility is to explore how different items around your house sound as musical instruments.

Sounda-pal-ooza Game

Grades PreK-K
Explore the sounds and pitch of different instruments in this musical game from The Cat in the Hat.

Create a Hero Song

Grades PreK-2
Help your child identify and celebrate one of their personal heroes with this easy activity! This activity is a wonderful conversation starter to help children talk about why they are inspired by their hero. Once they share their ideas, your child can make up a hero song for the person they admire.

Carmen’s World Orchestra

Grades K-2
In this game from Let’s Go Luna, Carmen is putting on a concert with instruments from Mexico, India, and Egypt. Players can interact with Carmen, Andy, and Leo to hear their solos or use instrument buttons to contribute to the concert.

Melody Maker Experiment | The Majesty of Music and Math

Grades 3-12
Grids like the one in this experiment are a common interface for creating melodies. Time moves left to right and pitch goes up to down. Learn to create your own melodies in different keys by adding notes to the grid. Then change it up and start again!