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!

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Perseverance in Parenting…When you try something new.

January 24, 2008 at 3:00 am | Posted in Aimee Carter, Babies, Children's Music, Delopmental Stages, Family, FOL, FUN, Kindermusik, Mom's, Music, Parenting | 1 Comment

This post is from Aimee Carter’s Blog, (another Kindermusik Educator) ‘Delightful Sounds’ entitled Hang in there! It was written by one of her Kindermusik Moms who happens to be a wonderful journalist. I found this article very interesting to read as a Kindermusik educator.

Hi! I’m Diane. Aimee invited me to post to her wonderful blog, so here I am.

Today, I would like to post about perseverance in parenting, particularly when it involves introducing a child to something new.
No, this post will not be about broccoli. It’s actually about Kindermusik classes.
I’ve been taking my eldest daughter, Bethany, to Kindermusik classes since she was five months old. She’s now just turned four. So I’ve been through a lot of semesters, and every new semester I meet all kinds of wonderful new moms, moms who want to give their babies the best of everything. They envision taking a music class and cuddling with their child, humming to their child–all bliss and Mozart. But they get to the class with their baby and all of a sudden there is screaming and squirming. The child won’t lay still for infant massage. They won’t cuddle for rocking. They could care less about the books during quiet time. All they want to do is play under Mrs. Aimee’s table, or try to break into Mrs. Aimee’s amazing closet. And slowly, ever so slowly, I see some of those moms start to look disappointed and sad.
At those moments I just want to say: hang in there! Persevere. And so many do. They come back, week after week, and lo and behold what they find: their children acclimate. Even as young as a few months old, these infants start to get in touch with they rhythm of the class. They get less fussy, less weepy, less difficult. The older ones get into the swing of the class in more overt ways. They find their favorite books. They squirm less during massage. They will allow some rocking.
Part of the reason they adjust is because such things are repeated each week. Part of the reason is that mom and dad start trying to work with these things at home. And another part is that mom and dad (and grandma and grandpa) have learned the way their child likes to be massaged and rocked. Maybe baby doesn’t like to be massaged laying on her back; she prefers to sit in lap. Maybe baby doesn’t like to be rocked in the lap; she prefers to be rocked with mom standing up. And slowly, with the power of parenting perseverance (say that 10 times quickly) things get smoother and more fun. More idyllic.
Note: As they get older and more used to class, though, they only get more interested in that table and in trying to break into the closet (or get past Mrs. Aimee’s lovely ocean-scene covered doors to the world beyond).
I’m writing about this today because while my first daughter, Bethany, was a dream child (i.e. the one I was given to trick me into having the second one) my second daughter, Christa, is a free spirit. While Bethany always has, and still will, lay perfectly limp during “infant massage” (even though she is four) Christa has always squirmed. While Bethany will still allow me to rock her to music, Christa has always tried to escape my lap. Christa has, up until today, been more likely to let someone else rock or massage her than me–and Christa has been going to Kindermusik classes (at the start with her sister) since she was an infant in a carrier, six weeks old. Now she is almost eighteen months old (perseverance, anyone?) and today, for the first time, she let me massage her the whole time–albeit laying with her head upside down hanging down from my lap. She also cuddled in my lap for rocking. And she didn’t even try to pry Mrs. Aimee’s outlet protectors out–not even once! She has become a model Kindermusik citizen, after eighteen months of classes!
Most children are not Christa. They do not take this long. Most get in the groove in just a few weeks. So just remember–if at first you don’t succeed, keep trying with whatever it is (even vegetables). Eventually, you and your child will find your way.

Study Links Preschool Behavior to Academic Success

November 30, 2007 at 10:57 pm | Posted in Children's Music, Delopmental Stages, elementary, FOL, Kindermusik, Parenting, School Readiness | Leave a comment

Study Links Preschool Behavior to Academic Success

Nov-26-2007 Salem-News.com

Results found that every seven-point increase in behavioral regulation over the school year predicted between three weeks and 2.8 months of learning gains in vocabulary, math and literacy.

(CORVALLIS, Ore.) – A study by an Oregon State University faculty member shows that preschool age children who do not master basic self-regulation skills such as paying attention and following instructions may fall behind in academic subjects including math and reading.

Megan McClelland, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences at OSU, and her colleagues used a game called the Head-to-Toes Task to assess a child’s ability to listen, pay attention and regulate their own behavior.

The researchers found that children’s performance on the behavioral regulation game significantly and positively predicted early literacy, vocabulary and math skills even after controlling for initial skills in those areas.

These findings contradict a recent controversial study that found weak or no association between children’s socioemotional skills – including attention – and learning.

In contrast, McClelland and other leading child development experts across the country find a direct correlation between specific aspects of school readiness such as self-regulation and academic success.

“How can a child have strong reading or math skills if they can’t sit still, pay attention or remember instructions?” McClelland said. “We found that the gains children made on a five-minute, self-regulation game over the preschool year predicted the gains they made in early reading, math, and vocabulary.”

The Head-to-Toes Task that McClelland and her co-authors used as a measure of behavioral regulation requires attention, working memory and inhibitory control.

More than 300 preschool children were tested at two different sites in Michigan and Oregon. The study controlled for age, gender and other background variables.

Results found that every seven-point increase in behavioral regulation over the school year predicted between three weeks and 2.8 months of learning gains in vocabulary, math and literacy.

McClelland said that some of the new research pointing to the overriding importance of early math and reading skills was based on less sensitive measurement of social skills and self-regulation, compared to relatively strong measures of early achievement.

“I don’t think you can separate a child’s behavior from their achievement during the early years of school,” she said. “When you give a 5-year-old a test to assess early math skills, you might be testing their ability to sit still, pay attention and follow direction just as much as testing their math ability.”

McClelland said the Head-to-Toes Task is a strong predictor of early achievement because it does not rely on parent or teacher reports, which can often be biased. Instead, it independently assessed the child’s ability to follow multiple instructions in the game and tracked their progress over the school year.

McClelland’s findings on the link between behavioral regulation and academic skills came out in the summer edition of Developmental Psychology.

Another paper that assesses the reliability and developmental trends of the Head-to-Toes Task, authored by McClelland and lead author Claire Cameron Ponitz of the University of Virginia, will be published in Early Childhood Research Quarterly in early 2008.

This Study when paired with the study, “The Effects of Kindermusik on Behavioral Self-Regulation in Early Childhood,” which was conducted in 2005 in the psychology department at George Mason University in Virginia; you see a very positive corelation. Consistant and frequent participation in Kindermusik classes will assist your child’s readiness for school and increase the likelihood of academic success.

So when you bring your child to Kindermusik you can be assured of providing him/her with a very valuable skill, plus having FUN! What could be better!

 

Why Music? Here is one school district’s opinion and I agree!

November 23, 2007 at 5:44 pm | Posted in Art, Delopmental Stages, FOL, Kindermusik, Language, Math, Music, Parenting, Physical Education, School Readiness, Science | 1 Comment

WHY MUSIC?

Music is a Science.

It is exact, it is specific and it demands exact acoustics. A conductor’s score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities, volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.

Music is mathematical.

It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.
Music is a Foreign Language.

Most of the terms are in Italian, German or French; and the notation is certainly not English – but a highly-developed kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas. The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.

Music is Physical Education.

It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheeks and facial muscles in addition to extraordinary control of the diaphragmatic, back and stomach muscles, which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Music is all these things, but most of all, MUSIC IS ART.

It allows the human being to take all these dry, technically boring (but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion. This one thing science cannot duplicate: humanism, feeling emotion, call it what you will.
That is why we teach music!

Not because we expect you to major in music.

Not because we expect you to play or sing all your life.

But, so you will be human, so you will recognize beauty, so you will be closer to God beyond this world, so you will have something to cling to, so you will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good – in short – more life.”

The Clarence (NY) School District’s Position Statement on Music
(Text quoted from the district web page)

Smart Moves, Smart Learning!

October 31, 2007 at 10:12 pm | Posted in Babies, books, Carla Hannaford, Dancing, FOL, Kindermusik, Music, Parenting | 1 Comment

Here’s a “foundation of learning” (which we educators call “FOL”) .

 Smart Moves

Did you know that stimulation of the calf muscle aids in language development? Put your child on the floor in front of you so that you can bicycle her legs. Then flex their feet and have your child just push against your hands as hard as she can. I think they just have fun trying to be as strong as you! But the work is good for their brains as well. It actually aids in the language development of children. Why? This information is in Carla Hannaford’s book Smart Moves, Why Learning Is Not All In Your Head.  I recommend this book for anyone who wants to learn more ways to stimulate learning.

This kind of stimulation of the whole body is why children need to be jumping, running, climbing, twirling, singing and dancing and playing in free, joyful situations. And this is why Kindermusik is such a good investment…your dividends increase exponentially.

 Thank you Yvette for your heads up!

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