Children and the Mass Media

September 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Posted in Delopmental Stages, emergent literacy, Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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How Setting Limits Will Benefit Your Children By Greg Taillon

Gone are the days of children coming home from school, eating homemade chocolate chip cookies and then going outside to play with their friends until it’s time to do homework. Today, older children are often home alone after school. As a result, they sometimes are tempted to spend their time being entertained with video games, watching television, downloading music and chatting on the Internet instead of doing their homework and more active leisure activities. These temptations are all competing for children’s time at the expense of their education, health and well being.

Childhood obesity, school violence, ADHD and poor reading and math skills can all be tied to too much mass media play in childhood. Too many children are neglecting schoolwork and exercise in favor of eating chips in front of the TV. Fast-paced video games and television shows have shortened children’s attention spans. Recreational reading is almost nonexistent. Even worse, the violence children see on TV is being replayed in the schools, and basic reading and math skills are lagging way behind.

Too Much Media Exposure

Children spend more than 38 hours per week being entertained by the mass media – almost four times the amount of time they spend on schoolwork. As a result, academics are suffering. According to research and standardized test scores, American students are struggling to read at proficient levels, and most recreational reading has stopped. Math skills are also lagging. Once children fall behind with basic academic skills, they have a hard time catching up. This will have long-term ramifications on them, as the future will bring about more advanced jobs and fewer qualified people to fill them. These jobs include medical personnel, engineers, college professors and other highly educated or technical professions.

Overexposure to television starts at an early age. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV for children younger than age 2, and no more than two hours per day of high-quality programming for older children. The truth is that many children watch much more than the recommended guidelines.   (read more)

Want to do something about this epidemic? Sign your child up for a Kindermusik class and learn about engaging your child with music in ways that help eliminate this trend! Fall Semester begins September 7th, with classes for children infant through age 7. www.kindermusikofclayton.com/SchoolYearSchedule.htm

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)

Why Emotional Intelligence Matters and the role Music and Movement plays.

August 13, 2009 at 8:51 pm | Posted in Babies, Delopmental Stages, elementary, Parenting | 5 Comments
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Teaching emotional skills is making a big comeback.

Having Fun at Kindermusik

Having Fun at Kindermusik

In the current issue of Scholastic’s Instructor Magazine is a very pertinent article about this topic. Here is an excerpt from the article –

“In an era when high-stakes test scores rule, talking about social and emotional development in children can seem old-fashioned. But lately, the conversation about the so-called soft skills—the personal and interpersonal abilities kids need to maintain mental health and thrive socially, emotionally, and intellectually in a classroom—is being heard again around the nation. ” (read more here)

Kindermusik has developed a wonderful resource for parents regarding this same topic.

“Research demonstrates that involvement in music and movement activities from an early age helps children develop good social and emotional skills. Research also links social and emotional development with school-readiness and even with higher academic testing scores. It’s no surprise. After all, the same skills that foster emotional security and social success – skills like confidence, curiosity, cooperation, self-regulation, and good listening – predict cognitive achievement and academic success as well. ” Check out Music & Social-Emotional Development by Molia Dumbleton, M.A., M.A. and Heidi Gilman Bennett, read the summary here.  Read the full article for toddlers here. and for preschoolers here.

Just another reason Kindermusik would benefit your family this fall. Loving your child is what it’s all about!

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!

The William Tell Mom Song needs to be resurrected!

July 24, 2008 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Delopmental Stages, Family, FUN, humor, Kindermusik, Mom's, Mother's, Music, Singing | 1 Comment
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As we plan for the beginning of school in our area, many mom’s are thinking these things already! Let’s revisit a fun post and laugh for our own sake!

Here are the lyrics to this fun song by comedian Anita Renfroe, as she sings in 2 minutes 55 seconds what a mom says…

“The Mom Song”

Get up now
Get up now
Get up out of bed
Wash your face
Brush your teeth
Comb your sleepyhead
Here’s your clothes and your shoes
Hear the words I said
Get up now! Get up and make your bed
Are you hot? Are you cold?
Are you wearing that?
Where’s your books and your lunch and your homework at?
Grab your coat and gloves and your scarf and hat
Don’t forget! You gotta feed the cat
Eat your breakfast, the experts tell us it’s the most important meal of all
Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall
Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at 3 today
Don’t forget your piano lesson is this afternoon so you must play
Don’t shovel
Chew slowly
But hurry
The bus is here
Be careful
Come back here
Did you wash behind your ears?
Play outside, don’t play rough, will you just play fair?
Be polite, make a friend, don’t forget to share
Work it out, wait your turn, never take a dare
Get along! Don’t make me come down there
Clean your room, fold your clothes, put your stuff away
Make your bed, do it now, do we have all day?
Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay?
Can you even hear a word I say?
Answer the phone! Get off the phone!
Don’t sit so close, turn it down, no texting at the table
No more computer time tonight!
Your iPod’s my iPod if you don’t listen up
Where are you going and with whom and what time do you think you’re coming home?
Saying thank you, please, excuse me makes you welcome everywhere you roam
You’ll appreciate my wisdom someday when you’re older and you’re grown
Can’t wait till you have a couple little children of your own
You’ll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly
But right now I thank you not to roll your eyes at me
Close your mouth when you chew, would appreciate
Take a bite maybe two of the stuff you hate
Use your fork, do not burp or I’ll set you straight
Eat the food I put upon your plate
Get an A, get the door, don’t get smart with me
Get a grip, get in here, I’ll count to three
Get a job, get a life, get a PHD
Get a dose of,
“I don’t care who started it!
You’re grounded until you’re 36″
Get your story straight and tell the truth for once, for heaven’s sake
And if all your friends jumped off a cliff would you jump, too?
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said at least a thousand times before
That you’re too old to act this way
It must be your father’s DNA
Look at me when I am talking
Stand up straighter when you walk
A place for everything and everything must be in place
Stop crying or I’ll give you something real to cry about
Oh!
Brush your teeth, wash your face, put your PJs on
Get in bed, get a hug, say a prayer with mom
Don’t forget, I love you
And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom’s work never ends
You don’t need the reason why
Because, because, because, because
I said so, I said so, I said so, I said so
I’m the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom, the mom!!
Ta da!!!

Thank you Jeanne Lippencott for having these lyrics on your blog!

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 focuses on early Literacy!

March 14, 2008 at 8:48 pm | Posted in books, Delopmental Stages, emergent literacy, Kindermusik, Language, Parenting, School Readiness, Sign & Sing | 1 Comment
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On March 10th Today show host Ann Curry interviewed a family with a 17 month old who can read. She identifies complicated words and even cursive.

“We tried to do everything we could to try to stimulate her language growth,” Michael Barrett told Curry. “From day one Katy has been using sign language with her. We think anything relating to language is a good thing to nurture.”

She is amazing! See the video here…

Kindermusik is one such activity that helps your child’s interest in reading. Language skills are fostered with singing, sound imitation, and vocal play and Music & Movement Story Time encourages emergent literacy skills within the structure of the classroom experience. Our home materials, if used on a regular basis, give parents the tools to continue this learning at home. Kindermusik also offers Sign & Sing to families with children 6 months through 3 years.

 Check out Kindermusik classes for your child. You may be surprised at what they will learn in addition to music! Remember Kindermusik is a whole brain, whole child, whole body experience!

Special Needs in Kindermusik provides pure JOY!

February 29, 2008 at 10:41 pm | Posted in 2008, Autism, Children's Music, Delopmental Stages, Distal Trisomy 10, Family Support, Kindermusik, Special Needs | 1 Comment

Greyson December with Pat 

Greyson in December with Ms. Pat

“Wow, look at what Greyson is accomplishing in class now!” I am so amazed at how music influences the progress of special needs students in my Kindermusik classes. Greyson is one such child. He has Distal Trisomy 10, a rare genetic disorder. Greyson deals with challenges in physical, verbal and visual development. Over the course of the last two years attending Kindermusik classes at our studio I have seen him progress from a child who mostly mouthed instruments, with very little motor ability and almost no communication in class, to a child who not only is moving a lot (with assistance) and playing instruments. Greyson now reaches for the instruments he wants, sings in his own special way, and last night put his instruments away into our box when we finished letting go easily and smiled throughout the majority of class! Last night he wore his brand new glasses in class for the first time. It is an adjustment to have something on your face when you are not used to it. Mom was consistent in her approach and allowed him a break every now and then. By the middle of the class Greyson was looking all around with a much different expression on his face. Recently, before glasses, I observed that Greyson’s desire to keep pace with class activities was increasing. He loves walking around the room at a pretty quick pace holding mom or ‘Grandy’s’ hand and it is a joy to see his progress. The class is very supportive of Greyson’s involvement in class and as you can see he is having a great time!

Greyson Glasses

Greyson with Mom in February with his new glasses on!

Greyson glasses two

Greyson is in Family Time class with brother Ryan enjoying ‘Make Way for Music’!

Music’s effect on all children are evident in studies showing the significance of it’s impact on positive developmental skills in cognitive, emotional, social, physical, and language abilities. In special needs children it’s impact can be even greater!

Autism Speaks … link to help raise funds!

January 24, 2008 at 9:38 pm | Posted in Autism, Charities, Delopmental Stages, Family, Parenting, School Readiness | Leave a comment
The band, Five for Fighting, is generously donating $0.49 to Autism Speaks each time this video is viewed. The funding goes toward research studies to help find a cure. When you have a moment, please visit the link below to watch the video and pass it along. They are aiming for 10,000 hits, but hopefully we can help them to surpass this goal. http://www.whatkindofworlddoyouwant.com/videos/view/id/408214

Your smile counts. The more smiles you share, the more we donate. Join in!

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