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Doctoral Student Laura Petillo and Professor Carley-Rizzuto Publish on Social Emotional Learning

Laura Petillo, a doctoral student in Monmouth’s Education Leadership program with a focus on P-12, and Kerry Carley-Rizzuto, Ed.D., associate professor of Early Childhood Education, published an article on the benefits of music in preschool classrooms for social emotional learning. The article, published on June 8, explores creative strategies that help children self-identify feelings through music’s connection to emotions. 

The methodology employed in the study is supported by research from neurological and psychological studies. Social emotional learning concepts are supported through Judy Jablon’s work in Powerful Interactions. Additionally, music’s connection to social emotional learning is supported by the Brattico functional MRI study of happy and sad emotions in music as well as the Dalla Bella study of the distinction between fast and slow tempo on children.

The Pre-K lessons included in the article are intended as fun experiences for children, for which the teacher only needs wi-fi and a bluetooth speaker. Activities include singing the blues with Muddy Waters, practicing mindfulness with Bossa Nova legend Antonio Carlos Jobim, and bonding with Beethoven in his fiery fifth symphony. The lesson plans also utilize social emotional learning methods to release tension, identify strong feelings, and dancing for self-expression.

The article is published on the Edutopia website, a resource for teachers and educators created by the George Lucas Educational Foundation. The foundation, which is currently celebrating its 30th year, highlights educators and researchers who embrace forward thinking in preschool and K-12 education.