Music lessons provide a workout for the brain

March 23, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Posted in Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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17:22 13 March 2009 by Andy Coghlan

Scans of the brains of child musicians before and after musical training have yielded compelling evidence that proficiency and skill relies on hard graft, not innate genius.

Earlier studies have shown that adult musicians have different brains to adult non-musicians. But the latest results settle arguments about whether the brain differences were there from birth, or developed through practice.

“This is the first paper showing differential brain development in children who learned and played a musical instrument versus those that did not,” says Gottfried Schlaug of Harvard Medical School.

Schlaug’s team tested musically untrained six-year-olds from the Boston area, 15 of whom then received weekly keyboard lessons for 15 months, and 16 of whom didn’t. When they compared magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans taken before and after for both groups, they found that auditory and motor areas of the brain linked respectively with hearing and dexterity grew larger only in the trainee musicians.

At the end of the training period, the musicians also outperformed the others at specific tasks related to manual dexterity and discrimination of sounds. But the two groups were matched on more distantly related skills such as arithmetic. Schlaug says that the same pupils are being followed in case it takes longer for these more “distant” skills to emerge. (read more)

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Many Irish Blessings to you!

March 17, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Posted in Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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March is Music in our Schools Month!

March 16, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Posted in Brain Development, Children's Music, Delopmental Stages, Drums, FUN, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Music Together, Whole Body, Whole Brain, Whole Child | Leave a comment
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March has been officially designated by MENC: The National Association for Music Education for the observance of Music In Our Schools Month® (MIOSM), the time of year when music education becomes the focus of schools across the nation. MIOSM began as a single statewide celebration in 1973, and has grown over the decades to encompass a day, then a week, and then in 1985 to become a month-long celebration of school music.

As a part of Music in our Schools Month, West Music has featured a very cool curriculum… Drumming up Character. Their featured article of the month has to do with how music and movement teach character as well.

Teaching Character Education Through Music & Movement

By Lindsay Rust, Dancing Drum

“Music teachers are familiar with the many academic and social benefits of a well-rounded music education. However, what deeper life lessons are we transmitting over the weeks and months of music class? Surely, some of the most lasting impacts of our time with our students involves deepening their character development.”  (read more)

In the Kindermusik classroom we are constantly working on these benefits as well. Many of the developmentally appropriate activities aid your child in communication skills, listening skills, language skills, social skills, as well as, physical skills, emotional skills, and of course musical skills! Come and try us out!

Baby CAN learn ASL and Communicate Faster and Better!

March 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Posted in Babies, Brain Development, Delopmental Stages, emergent literacy, Hearing Impaired, Kindermusik, Language, Parenting, Sign & Sing | Leave a comment
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Sign & Sing Class

Sign & Sing Class

Dow Jones MarketWatch
3/12/09, 7:25 AM EDT
Parents can begin communicating early with babies by teaching them American Sign Language
By Debbie Cafazzo
TACOMA, Wash. – At 3 months old, Regan Finn started signaling to her parents when she needed a diaper change. At about 5 months, Katie Mingus could tell her parents when she needed help with something. And when she was 8 months old, Andelyn Boothby could ask clearly and politely for more milk.

Child prodigies?

Hardly.

The babies’ parents attribute their children’s early communications skills to the use of American Sign Language, or ASL. Neither the children nor their parents are deaf. But these Pierce County, Wash., parents say learning sign language helped boost their children’s language development, both in sign and in spoken words.

“I went into it skeptical,” says Jim Finn, Regan’s dad. “But I’ve been blown away by the results.”

Finn and his wife, Jody, who studied ASL in college, began signing to Regan from birth.

Every time they changed her diaper, for example, they made the sign for change. Eventually, Regan, who is now 20 months old, started making her own version of the sign.

“It probably saved us untold diaper rashes,” says Finn.

Rebekah Mingus, mother of Katie, who is now 17 months, says that learning to sign with her daughter probably sidetracked many tantrums. And Michelyn Boothby, Andelyn’s mom, says she was astounded at how fast her daughter, now 18 months, began stringing words together in sign language.

“It floored me,” she says. “Before she was even a year old, she was putting words together.” (read more)

As I have been teaching Sign & Sing created by Kindermusik and Signing Smart I have seen many of the same phenomenums. Signing children, talking earlier, parents amazed at what their children communicate, happier children due to lack of frustration, it is truly amazing! We are offering our Sign & Sing B, for children who already have begun signing and parents who want more, next Wednesday, March 18th at 9:15am. Our next Sign & Sing A will be scheduled as soon as we have interest.

Are you interested? Link through our website and let me know!

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