But academic accomplishment isn’t the only benefit of music learning. Music stimulates all fields of child development andskills for school readiness: intellectual,social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. Children develop skills to learn the sounds and meaning of words, build motor skills, practice self-expression, and improve memory skills by singing and dancing to music.
Toddlers and Music - Toddlers love dancing and moving to songs. Toddlers love repetition in songs, which promotes their use of words. Encourage toddlers to copy rhythms by clapping or tapping objects.
Preschoolers and Music - Preschoolers love to use their voices and sing. Great preschool music includes repetition of melody and words, strong beat, and interactive lyrics. Preschoolers enjoy acting with their imagination to songs with their bodies or props.
School-Age Children and Music - Most young school-age children are intrigued by kids’ singalong songs that involve counting, spelling, or remembering a sequence of events. School-age children begin expressing their likes and dislikes of different types of music. They may express an interest in music education, such as music lessons for kids.
More on this topic: Tired of the same old nursery rhymes? Check out the ska-pop-dance party celebrating kid's band Josh and The Jamtones!
Interested in music classes for babies and music lessons for kids in Wellesley, Natick, Newton, Weston, Westwood, Framingham, and Needham? Click Here For Classes!
Researchers at McMaster University have discovered that very early musical training benefits children even before they can walk or talk. They found that one-year-old babies who are involved in interactive music classes with their parents smile more often, communicate better and show earlier and more refined brain responses to music.
1. Music Supports Early Stages of Language Development - Vocal play is a pivotal part of babies language development. Cooing and babbling are all part of it. During music class, babies practice using their breath and facial muscles to make sounds. They also experience waiting and responsing, which mimicks conversation. Babies may also develop better memories and listening skills, which are vital to learning language.
2. Music lets babies experience patterns - Patterns help babies connect to and explore the world. Dr. Patricia Kuhl states, "All music involves patterns, so the effects we see in the baby brain could hold true for all music. We think infants in the music group learned to detect patterns and that pattern perception is really important for learning, not only in music but broadly."
3. Music and movement develop motor skills - Researchers have found that babies in music classes showed better early communication skills, like pointing at objects that are out of reach, or waving goodbye. Babies are exposed to a large variety of motions throughout a single class, such as clapping, shaking intruments, waving, and jumping with their caregiver.
4. Music Helps Babies Gain Active Listening Skills- Like reading, singing is an activity that requires listening. It's another opportunity for your baby to begin to understand language and feelings expressed through language and sing-play. Babies enhance thier discriminatory listening skills and learn to tune into important sounds, and tune-out distractions.
Kara Kulpa talks about using imagination to engage preschoolers in fun and dynamic music classes.
Kara Kulpa is a Boston based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with a degree in Music Therapy. Kara is the Outsourcing Director for Preschool Music Programming, Preschool Music Enrichment, and Preschool Music Teachers at Jammin' With You!
JWY!: What got you started in teaching preschool and kids music classes? KK: I have a degree in music therapy and practiced for awhile before I moved to Boston. I met Josh at Jammin' With You! and he got me started doing JamBaby classes. I thought it was so fun! I then taught a JamKids class at Beaver Summer Camp for 3-5 yrs olds and had the time of my life. I decided from that point that this was what I wanted to do.
I began booking preschool music classes all over the Newton, Natick, Sudbury, Framingham, Brookline, Wellesley, Weston, Needham, and Wayland areas. One aspect of my education that helped me a lot with successful classes, is the behavior management techniques I learned through being a therapist. Before the students can enjoy the music, you first need to engage them, and keep their attention. It takes a specific skill set it takes to get 15, four-year-olds focused on you. You’re not performing for them, you’re playing with them.
Watch Kara Kulpa at Beaver Summer Camp!
JWY!: How do you use imagination in your music classes? KK:The engagement with imagination is something that sets Jammin’ With You teachers apart from run of the mill teacher. Imagination is systematically taken out of us as we get older. We think of things as more and more specific and lose a little imagination. There’s a lot more room for creative thinking when you're kids. For example, I know I'm handing out scarves but I need to train myself to show that I’m actually handing out ice cream, maybe even broccoli flavored ice cream. The kids will be right there with you, being silly and imaginative.
JWY!:What are the different programs you bring into schools? KK:In a daycare setting we bring a combo of JamBaby and JamKidscurriculum. We’re getting up and moving around, working on impulse control, learning colors, and incorporating curriculum in fun and engaged way. If the students are learning about nature in class, the teacher will sing a nature song where the students can apply their new learning. We also use transitions between songs to reinforce learning, for example asking for only the green shakers when cleaning up. We're globalizing learning throughout each step of the class.
JWY!:What is one of your favorite songs to perform with kids? KK: There are so many songs I love to do, but one of my favorites is "I'm Just a Cowboy". When I do this song, I set it up by saying “We’re gonna go on an adventure, does anyone wanna go?” "We might encounter some things that might be scary, but we are not scared, show me brave faces!" "We’re not even afraid of rattle snakes. Can I hear, rattle snakes?" I shake bag of shakers and we pretend they are rattle snakes then pass them out. "Everyone hold onto your reins!"
Throughout the song I add in different imaginative concepts. We pretend we're coming into town, and we wave and say "howdy ma'am". Then we merge onto highway and pretend we're going faster and faster. The possibilities are endless!
Check out Kara's demonstration of I'm Just A Cowboy!
Jammin’ With You! uses music as a creative tool to help children stay connected to their inner artist. JWY! creates music-driven adventures led by expert teachers, playful and innovative teaching approaches and a commitment to bringing the arts into the lives of families everywhere. Bring Jammin' With You to your school!