How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition in an article on The Dana Foundation website.

September 17, 2009 at 7:02 pm | Posted in Brain Development, Children's Music, Delopmental Stages, Kindermusik, Music, Whole Body, Whole Brain, Whole Child | 1 Comment
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Posner-PatoineBrain_contMerri Williams, fellow Kindermusik Educator and friend shared this very interesting article and I must do the same!

How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition
By Michael I. Posner, Ph.D., and Brenda Patoine
Does education in the arts transfer to seemingly unrelated cognitive abilities? Researchers are finding evidence that it does. Michael Posner argues that when children find an art form that sustains their interest, the subsequent strengthening of their brains’ attention networks can improve cognition more broadly.

If there were a surefire way to improve your brain, would you try it? Judging by the abundance of products, programs and pills that claim to offer “cognitive enhancement,” many people are lining up for just such quick brain fixes. Recent research offers a possibility with much better, science-based support: that focused training in any of the arts—such as music, dance or theater—strengthens the brain’s attention system, which in turn can improve cognition more generally. Furthermore, this strengthening likely helps explain the effects of arts training on the brain and cognitive performance that have been reported in several scientific studies, such as those presented in May 2009 at a neuroeducation summit at Johns Hopkins University (co-sponsored by the Dana Foundation). (read more)

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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!

Even newborns can follow a rhythm, article by Robin Nixon

January 29, 2009 at 12:08 am | Posted in Babies, Brain Development, Children's Music, enroll, Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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Here is another study pointing to the importance of recognizing babies are musical. It is my opinion what we cultivate from the earliest ages and stages is what lasts into childhood and later adulthood. That is why something like Kindermusik is so valuable to both parent and child. The parent is given the tools to cultivate a sophisticated understanding and desire to express in a musical way. Even if they are not musical as an adult, Kindermusik CD’s and activity books, literature books and instruments allow the parent to lead the way. It is such an exciting and productive process. Read the article here.  Robin Nixon calls attention to a quote from the article,  by Henkjan Honing of the University of Amsterdam assistant researcher in the study.  “While spoken language can take more than a year to develop, “music is one of the earliest things parents have with their children,” Honing said.” Nixon surmises “scientists have shown, at birth we already have sophisticated methods for interpreting the world.” Rhythm, steady beat, musical interpretation; all impact how successfully your child learns. Won’t you help your child reach their musical, intellectual and athletic potential and sign up for Kindermusik today?!

Parents are you looking for ways to improve your child’s success?

June 22, 2008 at 12:37 am | Posted in Brain Development, Children's Music, emergent literacy, FUN, Kindermusik, Music Making, Music Together, Musical Instruments, Parenting, School Readiness, Singing | 2 Comments
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Kindermusik ~ Why enroll?

Mom and Baby                                                             
A recent study found that repeated enrollment in Kindermusik improves a child’s ability to plan, guide, and control their own behavior. 
• “Children currently enrolled in Kindermusik showed higher levels of self-control than those never enrolled and those previously enrolled ….This suggests that in order for children to reap the benefit of increased self-control as a result of Kindermusik participation, it is important to have repeated and recent Kindermusik experiences and remain enrolled in the program.”
• “Four-year-old children who had been exposed to Kindermusik for longer periods of time are better off in terms of self-control namely a child’s ability to plan, guide, and control their own behavior-than similar children with less Kindermusik history.”
• “These experiences, stop-go, high-low, fast-slow, short-long, and loud-soft, whereby children’s motor behavior is guided by the music, appear to be good exercise for young children’s emerging self-regulatory skills.”  

The study, “The Effects of Kindermusik on Behavioral Self-Regulation in Early Childhood,” was conducted in 2005 in the psychology department at George Mason University in Virginia. Results were made available to Kindermusik in May, 2005. The study was conducted by Adam Winsler Ph.D and graduate student Lesley Ducenne in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University. The 15-month study included 91 children between the ages of 3 and 5 who were split into three groups:  23 students currently enrolled in Kindermusik, 19 students previously enrolled in Kindermusik, and 49 students of similar family backgrounds from local preschools who had never had Kindermusik. The children were observed doing a variety of tasks that required selfcontrol such as slowing down their motor behavior, delaying their gratification, refraining from touching attractive but forbidden toys, quietly whispering, and compliance with instructions to initiate or stop certain behaviors. Parents also completed surveys.

The study was supervised by Adam Winsler, Ph.D, Applied Developmental Psychology in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University.

Girl and Xylophone

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

The concept of Freezing in place … :)

April 5, 2008 at 4:30 am | Posted in Brain Development, FOL, FUN, humor, Kindermusik | 2 Comments
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In our Kindermusik classes, especially Village (baby) class we explore the idea of playing with start and stop in many of our activities. This game we play with an activity utilizes a part of the brain that also is used for transitions, and turn taking. Anticipation is built as we wait for a cue from the children to move on with the activity. We additionally explore this stop and go aspect in the music we enjoy often in class. Music is sound and movement, and it is silence and stillness. Just as we experience art in terms of where it begins and ends in space, we experience music in terms of where it begins and ends in the time that surrounds it. 

Watch the following video as it explores the concept of stop and go in New York’s Grand Central Station as 207 individuals simultaneously FREEZE in place for five minutes. IT is the ultimate stop and go activity!

Thank you Lori Burkhardt for this great link!

April is Autism Awareness Month

April 1, 2008 at 11:13 pm | Posted in Autism, Brain Development, Delopmental Stages, Kindermusik, Music, Special Needs | Leave a comment
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Yes, April is Autism Awareness Month and there are many things occuring in the media to call attention to Autism Spectrum Disorders. It is becoming much more common for Autism to touch everyone’s lives in some way.

Kindermusik is uniquely chosen by families of children with autism because of its ability to touch their lives in a variety of ways. The challenges a family whose child is autistic faces deal with communication, verbalization, eye contact, socialization, emotional expression and repetition. The way music and movement are used as a tool to enhance growth in these areas make Kindermusik a wonderful match for increasing skill in the same areas of development while assisting mom and dad with an additional avenue of bonding.

If you are interested in learning more about the impact music has on Autism Spectrum Disorders just google Autism and Music.

Other awareness activities and events are planned not directly related to music’s impact. If you live in the Triangle area you might want to attend a free presentation in RALEIGH, NC – As part of his continuing health series, John C. Pittman, MD, of the Carolina Center for Integrative Medicine (CCIM), will present “Autism Spectrum Disorder: Treating Pervasive Developmental Disorders” on Tuesday, April 8 from 7:00-8:00PM. This free presentation is sponsored by Triangle Compounding Pharmacy and will be held at CCIM’s office located at 4505 Fair Meadow Lane, Suite 111 in Raleigh. Dr. Pittman will discuss how Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and other DAN (Defeat Autism Now) Protocol modalities are being used to help children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Or keep your ears and eyes attuned to CNN’s website for special articles and videos from families impacted by autism.

Kindermusik ~ A Whole Brain Activity

February 7, 2008 at 12:29 am | Posted in Brain Development, Children's Music, FUN, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Musical Instruments, Parenting, School Readiness, Singing, Wendy Jones, Whole Body, Whole Brain, Whole Child | 2 Comments
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Boy thinking

The following article is the result of pairing an article by fellow Kindermusik Educator, Wendy Jones with some thoughts of my own…

“The impact of music on your child’s early development is undeniable and profound. Pick up any paper or parenting magazine and you will find it awash with articles and new studies showing the importance of music in giving your child a healthy start for both mind and body. The same papers are filled with options for children- dance, piano, tot sports or gymnastics, and more. So, how to choose to give our children the best without overwhelming or over-scheduling them? One way of approaching your choices is finding an activity that creates an atmosphere to develop the whole brain and body.”

The idea of “whole brain” means utilizing both left and right brain at the same time. For example, left brain activity is responsible for logical thinking, facts, sequential and analytical thinking, while right brain activity is responsible for utilizing the imagination, creativity, feelings, and intuition. Music classes are one way of utilizing the “whole-brain”. As a result musical activity makes your child learn better. The key words here are “musical” and “activity”; not just listening to music but being involved in music making and musical moving.  

So what can your family do to provide a “whole-brain”, “whole body”, “whole child” experience? Be involved in musical learning and moving. For your youngest member of the family sing, dance, feel the beat, play instruments to the beat and expose them to a variety of quality musical experiences. As your child becomes more able to communicate participating in music and movement is still a key to learning. Now add memorizing of songs, learning about note values, and rhythm values, and facts about the kinds of music you move and sing to and you make it a “whole-brain”, “whole body”, and “whole child” experience. Plus it is just plain FUN! 

There are many articles online about this topic and I recommend if you are interested, that you Google right and left brain, and music and the brain and you will see literally millions of responses. However, there is something right here in Clayton that will assist you as a family to achieve “whole-brain”, “whole body”, “whole child” success! What is it? Kindermusik!

“In each level of Kindermusik’s classes, children and their parents sing, dance, play instruments, explore, make choices, develop new skills, and learn- together. Dancing and creative movement strengthens the body and increases coordination. Singing aids in expressive language development, good speech habits, and healthy lung development. Instrumental play develops eye-hand coordination and the ability to understand patterns and sequences. No rushing from class to class; it’s all right there in every Kindermusik lesson! But most importantly, families are sharing in the development of a love of music and learning, an interest their children will carry with them lifelong.” “I’m learning as much as she is!” comments one mother; “I wish I could have learned music like this when I was her age- this is just what I’d always hoped to find for her. We both look forward to it each week!”

No longer downtown but in the Riverwood Cultural Arts Center on Cunningham Lane, is Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton. There are classes for infants through early elementary age children and they involve the family. Now is the time to look into what is being offered as Spring semester is starting. For the older elementary child and on through adult age there are private lessons. If your schedule is tight and you think you are too busy, you might want to check out the Monthly Specialsone day events and 4 or 5 day classes that allow you to try out Kindermusik without the semester commitment. Don’t forget Summer is right around the corner and there are short class offerings for you to break up the monotony of your summer already waiting online for you to sign up! Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton offers a full range of Kindermusik Core programs, including Village for 0-18 months, Sign and Sing for 6 months-2 ½ years, Our Time for 1 ½ to 3 ½ years, Imagine That for 3 ½ to 5 years, and Young Child for 5-7 year olds. Additional classes for Families and Preschoolers are also available, as well as Monthly Specials to aid you in making a wise choice for your family, and private voice lessons for your older child and teen or even for you.  To learn more about Winter/Spring Semester, Monthly Specials and Summer Schedule opportunities please call Julie Stewart at 359-3473, or 359-0022; you may also email your interest to kmclayton@mindspring.com or check things out online where you can register now! www.kindermusikofclayton.com  Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton is a part of the Riverwood Cultural Arts Center in the Riverwood Athletic Club Development.

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