Friday, March 28, 2014

Come Join us for a Kindermusik Monday's with Mommy at the LaCenterra Shopping Center on April 7th at 10am.  Make an egg shaker and explore the wonders of spring and baby animals through musical play!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Once There Was A Snowman--FREE Music Download!

Here is a really fun song to use at Christmas with your children.  Have them curl up in a small ball on the floor and start singing the song and grow as the snowman grows, then melt back to the floor as the snowman melts in the sun!  ENJOY!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Early Language Development:  Feel the Rhythm and the Beat!

baby playing drumMusical learning and early language development go together like a newborn and a swaddle or a toddler and the words, “I do.” Young children rely almost exclusively on what they hear in order to acquire language. Scientists now know that our brain processes music similarly to how we process language.
In early language and literacy development, young children need to understand that words—like music—are made up of discrete sounds. In early language development, this is called phonemic awareness. Later children use that knowledge of sounds to build words and read. Research shows that children with strong phonemic awareness are more successful learning to read than others.

Ability to move to a steady beat linked to language skills

Under the leadership of Dr. Nina Kraus, a new research study published in The Journal of Neuroscience found that teenagers with more musical training experienced enhanced neural responses to speech sounds when compared to others.
“We know that moving to a steady beat is a fundamental skill not only for music performance but one that has been linked to language skills,” said Nina Kraus, of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University in Illinois in an article for the BBC, “Moving to the rhythm can help language skills.”
In the study, participants were asked to tap their fingers along to a beat while their accuracy was measured. Their brainwaves were also measured to observe how the brain responded to the sound.
“It turns out that kids who are poor readers have a lot of difficulty doing this motor task and following the beat. In both speech and music, rhythm provides a temporal map with signposts to the most likely locations of meaningful input,” Dr. Kraus told BBC News.

Musical learning and language development in Kindermusik

Kindermusik provides many opportunities for children to discriminate similarities and differences in sound. So, while children gain musical skills participating in our early childhood curriculum, they also make gains in phonological awareness and early language and literacy development. For example, when parents lift their children high “up, up in the sky” or “twirl around like a leaf” while singing the songs in class, children learn the word and understand the concept. Or when we recite nursery rhymes together or tap out the beat to a song, children hear the music of language. Children’s brains make a connection based on what they experience (being lifted high or twirling around) and hear (“up” or “twirl”). Later, children will discover those words correspond to marks on a page which eventually leads to letter recognition and reading. (Reposted from the Kindermusik Blog, Minds on Music.)

Friday, November 1, 2013

4 Ways Music Helps Prepare a Child for School

1) Music gives children many opportunities to practice active listening skills. Developing strong active listening skills prepares children for classroom learning, including language and literacy development. During the school years, children will spend an estimated 50 to 75 percent of classroom time listening to the teacher, to other students, or to media. When children intently listen for the sounds of a specific instrument in a song, use wood blocks to produce a Staccato sound, or move smoothly with scarves when they hear the music change from Staccato to Legato, children are practicing active listening.

2) Music and movement helps children learn to tell their bodies what to do, when to stop, when to go, and when to move to another activity. Self-regulation is the ability to control one’s own thoughts, feelings, and actions and can be a key ingredient to successfully transitioning into Kindergarten. So, in our music classes when we play a “Stop & Go” game, participate in circle dances, transition from one activity to another, and even share instruments, children learn and practice self-regulation skills. Those same skills will help children pay attention in school and act and behave appropriately, even among the many distractions found in a typical classroom setting.

3) Music leads children to experience patterns through movement, listening, and playing instruments. Rhythm patterns are combinations of long and short sounds and silences. In our preschool or toddler curriculum, educators may lead the class to “step, step, step, stop” or “ta, ta, ta, rest” with rhythm sticks. This helps children learn rhythm patterns (quarter note, quarter note, quarter note, rest), a basic musical concept. Plus, whole body involvement with patterning not only lays an early foundation for reading music but also for math and literacy.

4) Through vocal play, children learn to form vowels and consonants, say words and phrases, and imitate rhythm and vocal inflection. Our music classes curriculum provide many vocal play opportunities through songs, chants, and carefully-crafted activities, such as mimicking the high sounds of birds or the low sounds of frogs. Vocal play using glissando also encourages the expressive qualities of children’s speaking and singing voice as well as vocal range.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Ocean in a Bottle

We just finished our Creatures of the Ocean class. Here are the instructions for making an ocean in a bottle. If you want to down load the Slippery Fish/Octopus song we used in class click HERE. The song is called Octopus and is on Charlotte Diamonds, “10 Crunchy Carrots” album.

What you need:
•  Empty 2 liter plastic bottle with a lid
• Clear vegetable oil or mineral oil
• Water
• Funnel
• Blue food coloring
• Small star fish, shells and other sea creatures
• Glitter
• White craft glue
• Hot glue (get an adult to help with hot glue)

1. Wash and dry 2-liter bottle and remove all labels.
2. Fill bottle halfway with tap water.
3. Add a few drops of blue food coloring and swirl around to mix.
4. Add a little glitter.
5. Add sea cratures.
6. Using funnel, fill the bottle the rest of the way with vegetable oil.
7. Make sure the rim and cap are dry, then apply white craft glue around the rim. Seal cap.
8. Have an adult use a layer around the outside edge to keep it from leaking.
9. Turn the bottle on it’s side and gently rock the bottle to create your very own waves!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Creativity & Kindermusik

The importance of developing childhood creativity is discussed in the July 10th issue of Newsweek.  The article affirms what Kindermusik parents already know, that pretend play helps develop a child’s creativity.  In Kindermusik we are nearly always pretending.  The article states, “Preschoolers who spend more time in role-playing (acting out characters) have higher measures of creativity: voicing someone else’s point of view helps develop their ability to analyze situations from different perspectives.” The article also discusses how role-playing helps a child explore and understand emotions.  Singing about emotions is a safe and appropriate way to learn about being, sad, frustrated, angry, etc. and also about happiness, fun, and love, etc.

Kindermusik’s home materials offer your child a chance to pretend play and explore emotion every day.  To help them explore and understand emotions have them sing songs showing different emotions with their faces and through their voices.  Encourage them to change the words to the song to better communicate emotion and give the song additional meaning.  You can also use musical play to help develop creativity. You are improving your child’s problem-solving abilities every time you help them explore an instrument or the various sounds an object can make, (What is another way you can play the sticks? While driving in the car, your children can explore the different types of body percussion they can produce. Make sure they explore making quiet body percussion or they might drive you crazy!)  Many Kindermusik songs naturally encourage role playing with movement, (How else can you move like a monkey?) When we explore props in class we’re always trying to figure out new ways to use the prop, (What else could this hoop be, how else could you move it?).  Participation in Kindermusik fosters the development of creativity, problem solving, and emotional understanding!  
To read the actual article click HERE(It’s a bit long but has some points worth thinking about.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Our Time! Edible Crab Craft

We had so much fun today making an edible crab in Creatures of the Ocean today.  I wanted to share the idea on my blog.  You can down load the crab song HERE
At Music-n-More Studio we create personalized musical experiences that help your children learn and grow. We believe that music helps create happier, more capable and confident children. Call Ms. Mindy at 281-650-5050 to schedule a time to come and try a free class. Our studio is located in Ms. Mindy’s home at 22723 W. Waterlake Dr., in Richmond, TX (near the intersection of 99-Grand Parkway and Westpark Tollway). Come and see how much fun you and your children can have learning and growing through music.