How Will You Celebrate National Screen-Free Week?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


April 30th through May 6th is being presented by CCFC (Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood) as National Screen-Free Week. According to CCFC, Screen Free Week is…

“Screen-Free Week is a national celebration where children, families, schools, and communities spend several days turning off entertainment screen media and turning on life. It’s a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend time with family and friends.” (CCFC)

This article is a perfect example of why it is so necessary to limit a child’s media consumption, and it comes from a great site called, “Emma’s Children”:
http://emmaschildren.wordpress.com/2011/08/30/screen-time-tv-computers-and-your-kids/
…and here’s an excerpt:

Here’s Our Top 5 Tips for Getting Your Child’s Viewing Habits Under Control…..

  1. Set a time limit before they even turn on the TV or computer. It helps if they have a visual such as a timer and reminders about how much time they have left. When the timer goes off, so does the screen. This should go on without question. No negotiations! The easy thing is you can always unplug the electronics if they resist.
  2. Homework and chores must be done before TV or computer time. Check their homework and ensure they finish chores. Viewing time will be much more rewarding for both of you.
  3. Present your child with alternatives when time is up. This may make the transition easier and they are less likely to argue. Games, reading, arts and crafts, sports – plan something out that is readily available to them.
  4. Know what your child is doing. Check out their online activity and have them explain the game to you and whether or not it is online or a disc, etc. Do they play or chat with other people? Use your safety judgement. Violence is out and age-appropriate is in, especially with things they show on TV.
  5. Have a solution for their protests. Yes, they may be in the middle of a game or show but they should have known their time was coming to an end. Ask them to save the game they are playing or suggest you record the rest of the program. DVR is a great option, too.

*** MORE TO COME ***

Quite Possibly the Best Way to Keep Tantrums at Bay (Sign Language)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Today I wanted to start collecting some really good resources on a topic that’s very near & dear to my heart, baby sign language!  I can’t even tell you what a HUGE fan I am of this concept; it’s easy, everyone can do it, the educational and developmental benefits are incredible, and best of all…it takes away a lot of baby’s frustrations, which means fewer tantrums.  Even if you start to teach your child signs and later decide it’s just not for you, the exposure to the concept of signing will have done nothing but good (you don’t have to worry about screwing your kids up for life if you don’t complete an entire signing “program”!).

These days there are MANY different books, videos, and classes you can invest in to learn the secrets of signing, but the basic premise on which they are all built: speaking is a physiologically-complex task that requires the coordination of several fine motor skills (movements of the tongue and lips, breath control, vocal cord tension, etc.), while signing uses only gross motor skills of the hands and arms.  Believe it or not, as soon as you are able to make & maintain eye contact with your baby (generally 2-3 months), you can start teaching them to sign!  It’s important to note that most babies won’t begin to sign back to you until they are 8-10 months; however,.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the actual signs used; the majority of programs today use a slightly modified version of ASL (American Sign Language), but the more Montessori-style idea of allowing the child to guide the process and create their own gestures (which the parents then adopt) is quickly gaining popularity.  Both methods can be equally effective in terms of establishing communication; however, if your ultimate goal is to continue to teach signing as a second language, it is more effective to use the ASL-based system from the beginning.

Seriously though, I could go on and on about what an AMAZING tool signing is, but I’m sure you would like to hear from some more qualified experts!  :)  Here are a few sites that I found helpful when I was learning how to sign with my daughter:

 

Resources & Information:

1.  http://www.babies-and-sign-language.com - 

2.  http://www.babysignlanguage.com/

3.  http://www.happinesspages.com/baby-sign-language-FAQ.html

4.  http://www.webcrawler.com/info.wbcrwl.303/search/web?q=baby+sign+language+chart&gclid=CMTB4PKu1a8CFUPf4Aod1V7Weg

5.  http://blog.southeastpsych.com/2011/06/14/baby-sign-language-opens-doors-to-early-communication/

6.  http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200501/the-hands-babes#n%20one%20study,%20140%20pairs%20of%20parents%20were%20randomly%20asked%20to%20use%20hand%20signals%20or%20provide%20plenty%20of%20verbal%20stimulation.%20The%20babies%20whose%20parents%20signed%20to%20them%20later%20scored%20higher%20on%20repea

***MORE TO COME***
If you know of any good references, I would LOVE to hear about them!  Feel free to post them in the comments section below….

Come Try a FREE Preview Class!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


I know I’ve been M.I.A. for several weeks now, but I’ve only been away because I’ve been so busy getting ready for our studio opening & first round of classes!!!  I am super-excited to announce that classes will be officially starting on Monday, April 30th.  To help  celebrate, I’m offering every new student a chance to try a FREE preview class.  :)

If you’re in the Philadelphia area & interested in trying out the World’s leading developmentally-based early childhood music & movement program from children ages birth – 7 years, send me an email or message me here.  I will be happy to reserve a spot for you in one of our classes.

Brain Child or Whole Child? The True Value of Music for Preschoolers

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


I found this article today as I read through one of my new favorite blogs, http://creativewithkids.com, and it was just too good not to share! The article is not from this particular blog, but from one of the author’s affiliates, http://www.notjustcute.com; these two blogs are working on doing a whole series on, “Parenting with Positive Guidance: Building Discipline from the Inside Out” which has some pretty interesting stuff in it! I definitely recommend checking it out.

KM Preschool Classoriginally posted in March of 2009,
by Amanda Morgan, Creator of NotJustCute.com.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “Music is the universal language of mankind.” It is a transcendent medium, one that takes on a variety of forms to meet the intrinsic needs of each person. It is enlivening and motivating. This we can all agree on. What has been debated in recent decades is the relationship of music to learning.

Early studies presented the concept of the “Mozart Effect”, claiming that simply listening to Mozart made people (particularly children) smarter. The study had shown enhanced performance on certain measures after a period of listening to Mozart. What followed was a firestorm of (good-intentioned as well as money-motivated) promoters of the idea that listening to music would make children smarter. Many began to believe that simply playing great musical works in the presence of infants and young children would boost their IQs and give them the fighting edge in the race to becoming the uber-brilliant brain child apparently desired the world over.

To the dismay of purveyors of music as a magical brain supplement, more recent studies have shown that the connection between listening to music and test results may be more likely the result of a favorable, perhaps relaxing, environment, not of a permanent increase in brain capacity. Likewise, studies showing the connection between children who take music lessons and high academic scores, have been challenged by further research claiming this connection has more to do with other factors that allow the child to participate in those lessons (parent involvement, socio-economic factors, etc.).

To many interested only in “bottom line academics”, the more tenuous the connection between academic performance and music becomes, the less value is placed on the inclusion of music in an education setting. Music begins to be seen as a distraction from education, rather than a pleasurable contributor to it. How unfortunate! While it is becoming more and more clear that music does not contain a silver bullet formula, automatically transforming all in its presence into elite academicians, its value in the lives and education of all people, and particularly young children, is no less validated. Here are a few reasons we, as parents and teachers, should still fight to include music, and its nearly inseparable counterpart, movement, in the lives of our children.

Music is Part of the Human Experience.
If you want to create a super-computer, focus only on input and information. If, however, you would like to contribute to the development of a human being that can think, feel, and create, provide and discuss experiences filled with beauty and wonder. Give them opportunities to express opinions, emotions, and imaginative thoughts conjured up by music. Let them absorb a variety of sounds and musical genres and give them the opportunity to respond in their own ways, whether by dancing, drawing, talking, or just being and feeling!

Music Enhances and Enlivens.
As humans, music effects us. The next time your favorite song comes on the radio while you’re driving, look down at your speedometer and notice whether you have changed your speed. I think the best excuse I’ve ever heard from a friend for getting out of a speeding ticket was “the music made me do it.” When the officer further queried as to exactly what music had created such excitement, the answer was, “The Mormon Tabernacle Choir”. Perhaps it was the novelty, or just a shared affinity, but it worked!

You can be aware of this influence on children as well. The mood of their environment and the tempo of their own movement can be ramped up or slowed down by the music that plays around them. More than once, I have responded to an overly rowdy group of children by simply changing the music that played in the background to a slower tempo.

Music helps children to focus and gets them ready to listen. One way to do this is to come up to where they are, and bring them down to you. This means you begin with music and/or movement that is fast-paced and active, and gradually bring it down to a calmer, slower level. The song, “Candy Man, Salty Dog” by Sharon, Lois, and Bram(available on iTunes), is an excellent example of this. By coming up to their level, or even bringing them up a level, you work out pent-up energy and match their feelings and movements to the music. Once the children are tied in this way, it is easy to bring the music down and have them follow.

Music is an Attention-Getter.
There was a reason the Pied Piper was able to lure the children of Hamlin away with music. Children seem to be hard-wired to seek out musical experiences. In fact, it has been shown that infants actually prefer and attend to their mothers’ singing voices over the same mothers’ speaking voices. Children are easily drawn into musical activities, particularly if they are active participants. If you are trying to get the attention of a group of children, try singing instead of speaking, or involve them in a rhythm game where they watch and follow your beats and patterns.

Music is often used for transitions in a classroom setting because the children quickly respond to the message and mood of the music. Music can be used to begin the day, start clean up, or gather children for group time. It signals to them where they should be and what they should be doing. And more than that, it’s inviting so they want to be there, and they want to be doing it.

Music is a Tool for Teaching.
Because children WILL listen, and because they are actively involved, they are more likely to learn what is being taught through music. Musical elements and the multi-modal nature of music participation also aid in memory and recall. New vocabulary and facts, even phone numbers and days of the week, when set to music, are more easily remembered than those simply memorized by rote. Just try teaching the letter names and order to a child without singing the time-tested ABC song!

Music is a form of deep, personal expression. Music also readily lends itself to promoting listening skills, discussion, and learning new vocabulary, all of which are literacy goals for preschoolers. In fact, both the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the International Reading Association (IRA) recommend the inclusion of music as a way to build prereading skills, particularly phonemic awareness skills. Songs and fingerplays reinforce language elements, such as rhyme, alliteration, fluency, and rhythm/syllables. The mere act of listening to music and detecting the changes and differences in sounds builds auditory discernment, an important element in active listening, phonemic awareness, reading, and language.

Music Builds Creativity.
While creativity is rarely, if ever, measured by the standard exams given in our schools today, it is one aspect that separates good students from brilliant minds. Children who are given opportunities to develop creativity can apply learned facts in more valuable ways than simply filling in bubbles on test sheet. These students synthesize and apply information in meaningful, literally creative ways, turning the information into “product”. All the while, the creative process infuses an element of passion into the creator’s work that makes the work motivating, and even fun!

It has been said that Thomas Edison, while prolific in his accomplishments, never really worked a day in his last 50 years, because the creative process is not viewed by the creator as “work”. Children who have the flexibility of thinking that allows them to see problems in new ways and find solutions in new sources will be the “Edisons” of tomorrow!

Music is not the subliminal brain suplement that many had hoped for, but it is a beautiful and enriching part of the human experience. Our children will not become nobel laureats simply because we bathed them in the sounds of Bach, but through a variety of musical experiences, their lives and their learning will be greatly enhanced.”

Great Articles to Read:

The Cognitive and Academic Benefits of Music to Children: Fact and Fiction

Authors: Rudi Crncec, Sarah J. Wilson, & Margot Prior

Educational Psychology, Vol 26, No 4, August 2006.

PreK Music and the Emergent Reader: Promoting Literacy in a Music Enhanced Environment

Author: Donna Gwyn Wiggins

Early Childhood Journal, Vol 35, No 1, August 2007.

Here’s the link to the original article on Amanda Morgan’s blog:

Brain Child or Whole Child? The True Value of Music for Preschoolers.

Go ahead, Let them Play!!!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,


Kindermusik with Amanda:

education

This is a great post that introduces the rapidly-growing trend of using “Tools of the Mind” curricula in early childhood education…..the curricula are designed as play-centered activities to supplement the traditional literacy and numeracy programs. The idea is that guided free play allows children to develop abilities in creative problem-solving, conflict resolution, emotional self-regulation and creativity/self expression in ways that traditional classroom teaching methods cannot.
I think this is a fascinating and wonderful step forward in our attitudes toward early childhood education, and in raising happy, healthy children. So go ahead……let them have that extra 5 or 10 minutes to play before bed, it may be one of the best things you do for them!

Originally posted on Psychologymum:

Sand Play Therapy/ Sandspieltherapie nach Dora...

Sand Play Therapy/ Sandspieltherapie nach Dora M. Kalff (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are sound educational reasons as to why a play-based approach is a good idea in the early years of school. Youngchildren may switch off from learning if all activities are teacher-led and they have to sit and listen for long periods of time. Play also develops children’s thinking skills. Children learn to think through problems, rather than learning facts. Knowing facts is not that useful in new situations. On the other hand, teaching children to be able to think creatively about a problem, without worrying whether they are right or wrong is a valuable skill. Many schools now teach thinking skills in their lessons but young children learn this through play. Fisher (1992) analysed the results of a number of studies into children’s play and concluded that children who are engaged in more pretend play perform better on…

View original 620 more words

Emotional Freedom Techniques – a natural toddler tranquilizer?

Tags

, , , , , , , , , ,


My post for today really doesn’t have anything to do with music, but it certainly involves movement and the importance of intentional touch exercises for young children…..

I came across this article while browsing through one of my favorite toddler activity sites, http://www.clever-toddler-activities.com/, and I just had to share it!  In all my research (and believe me…I’m an information junkie!), I had never heard of “EFT” (Emotional Freedom Technique) before.  I’m not sure I’m a true believer yet, but if this super-simple ritual actually helps even a little bit, it could have amazing implications for the emotional health and stability of your entire family!                                                                       I, for one, am eager to read more on this subject…..anything that helps de-escalate temper tantrums, and brings a few moments of zen into our house, has my seal of approval!

**sigh**   If only I could get my 2-year-old to stand still for a few seconds, maybe I could try this out….

“These amazing easy to learn (and do) emotional freedom techniques help your child to cope with the little bumps in life – both physical and emotional!

What I’m about to tell you is so amazing the parent herself didn’t believe it…..               I was in the park the other day and watched the heavy swing gate smash a toddler‘s middle finger. Of course he cried. His mother sat down beside me and, looking at the finger said “Oh that’s bad! That nail is coming off.” It did indeed look gruesome. There was broken skin on both sides of the finger.

A toddler girl crying

I told her “I know a technique that helps calm children. Would that help?” She nodded. I continued “I’ll say a poem and it will give instructions about tapping on different parts of the head and body. If you tap on those parts as I say it, it may help him. Start tapping on the side of his hand underneath his little finger – his karate chop point.”
And so I told the poem whilst the mum tapped – or in other words administered emotional freedom techniques (EFT) to her chid.

The Happy Tapping Poem!

By Don White
Happy Tapping is lots of fun
You can do it on your own – or with anyone!
Tap tap tap on the top of your head,
Tap tap tap do just what I said!
Tap on your eyebrow just near your nose.
Then the side of your eye where the hard bone grows.
Now on the bone – under your eye,
You’ll feel really good – by and by,
Now under your nose – but over your lips.
Tap tap tap – with your fingertips!
Now under your lip – but over your chin,
Just on the bit where your chin goes in.
Now under your collarbone – but over your chest,
Under the bump of the bone is best!
The last on the list is under your arm,
To make sure you get it right – slap with your palm!

If you still don’t feel good – don’t go to bed,
Start tapping again on the top of your head!

All Smiles!  Even before the poem finished he looked at me with a happy grin! No more tears – even when the mum decided to wash the finger in a bucket of water. She dried it with a tissue (not gently), he dipped it in the water again and the dipping and drying was repeated three times. All the while he was smiling away, thinking it was great fun. His finger still looked gruesome but he didn’t appear to feel it even when his mum put pressure on it to dry it!

I said, “Look he’s smiling!” and she replied “It must have distracted him.”  But ……. that’s not actually how emotional freedom techniques works.

What Had Happened? The poem gives instructions to tap on the meridian end points which are acupuncture points discovered in ancient China. When we feel pain the energy pathways in our body gets stuck. The tapping creates a vibration along the meridians and so the energy that was blocked gets freed.

EFT-tapping points

Try It!   You don’t really need to know how emotional freedom techniques works for it to work. Why don’t you try it next time your toddler has a bump?

Or better still use it as an action rhyme so it’s already familiar when you need it for upsets. It’s fantastic to add to your travel activities for kids ‘bag of tricks’ because it helps to stop that ‘Are we nearly there yet?” jitters.  You could paste the poem on to a word document and print it out to have at hand when you need it. But you’ll soon find you learn it, with its jaunty rhythm. :-)

Emotions You could also say the poem when your toddler gets emotionally upset. After validating her feelings “I know you want to go outside but the baby is sleeping and he hasn’t had much sleep today so we’ll go out when he’s woken up.” You can start chanting the rhyme whilst tapping on yourself. After a few repetitions she will be able to copy some of the points.

Bedtime     I’m sure you’ve noticed the last two lines: “If you still don’t feel good – don’t go to bed, Start tapping again on the top of your head!”

The reason is: tapping just before bed is a good habit to get into whatever the age of the child. The tapping will help to dislodge the energies that have got stuck during the day and help your toddler to sleep.  It is especially useful if your child has difficulty sleeping. Try it – you’ll be amazed!

It’s Perfect for Adults Too!   When you see how well this works for your little one you’ll be using it on yourself I’m sure.  It’s perfect for getting over those emotional humps that come about when our toddler ‘pushes our emotional buttons’ and we might do things we regret. I know it’s awful, and we’ve all had this to some extent or another, so I urge you to check out this helpful page and explore how emotional freedom techniques can give you emotional freedom so you can be the parent you really want to be, and help you cope with that toddler behavior.  I sure wish I’d known about it when my children were little. :-)

Disclaimer;  While EFT has produced remarkable results, it must be still considered an experimental technology. By using EFT as suggested in this site you agree to take complete responsibility for your emotional and physical well-being. Clever-Toddler-Activities.com cannot be held liable for how you choose to use these methods. If you feel in any way reluctant to use these methods for yourself or others, please refrain. Instead, consult a qualified professional. ”                                                                                 -http://www.clever-toddler-activities.com/emotional-freedom-techniques-1.html

Why is a play-based approach in schools a good idea?


English: Children in a kindergarten learn to c...

Image via Wikipedia

There are sound educational reasons as to why a play-based approach is a good idea in the early years of school. Young children may switch off from learning if all activities are teacher-led and they have to sit and listen for long periods of time. Play also develops children’s thinking skills. Children learn to think through problems, rather than learning facts. Knowing facts is not that useful in new situations. On the other hand, teaching children to be able to think creatively about a problem, without worrying whether they are right or wrong is a valuable skill. Many schools now teach thinking skills in their lessons but young children learn this through play. Fisher (1992) analysed the results of a number of studies into children’s play and concluded that children who are engaged in more pretend play perform better on tests of cognitive, language and creativity development.

Many schools in America are now implementing a ‘Tools of the Mind’ curriculum, which places great emphasis on play. The curriculum promotes make-believe play and suggests that children should develop play plans. Children and teachers sit down together in advance of play and talk about what they want to role play. For example, the children might plan that they are going to go to the moon and what they will need to get there. The children decide in advance what roles they are going to play, with rules about how to act (the astronauts have to carry out certain tasks such as collecting samples from the moon).  The theory is that the play plans help children to think ahead and also to avoid conflict during the role play. Children are also encouraged to use symbolic props rather than real ones to develop their imagination, so for example, the children might use Lego or wooden blocks to represent the trains. Teachers encourage the children to say what they are doing during the play to develop language skills. Bodrova and Leong (2001) argue that play helps children to learn self-regulation so that they are better able to control their emotions and aggression. The ‘Tools of the Mind’ curriculum also encourages children to write on their play plans to help them develop their writing skills. Diamond (2007) found that children in ‘Tools’ classrooms had better self-regulation and achieved more on standardised tests than matched children in a traditional classroom.

Research also suggests that children need to have time for free play without constantly being involved in activities. Children can become anxious if they have too little time for free play. Barnett (1984) assessed children on their level of anxiety on their first day at nursery school. It was found that the children who were able to play freely had lower levels of anxiety than those who had to listen to stories. This supports the idea that play allows children to work through their conflicts and anxiety. Warren et al. (2000) found that the themes expressed in the play of 35 children aged 5 corresponded with the children’s anxiety at school and at home. Play was a way for the children to work through their worries. Another case, reported by Axline (1947) demonstrates the importance of play. At the age of 5 years old, a boy called Dibs was referred to Axline, a clinical psychologist specialising in play therapy for very disturbed behaviour. Dibs’ parents thought he might be brain damaged. Axline watched Dibs’ play carefully to look for emotional reasons for his disturbed behaviour. Dibs often played with dolls that represented his family and in one instance, he buried a doll representing his father in the sand. This was interpreted as hostility towards his father. Axline was able to uncover Dibs’ conflicts and problems through the therapy. Dibs’ relationship with his parents improved as did his behaviour at school. Dibs’ IQ was tested after the therapy and he scored in the top 1% of the population. By then he had no emotional difficulties.

I do think it is important to teach children to read, write and count at school at an early age, if they are willing. Research suggests that disadvantaged children can particularly benefit from learning literacy and numeracy at preschool. However, it must not be forgotten that children can learn through play. Perhaps the middle ground is for schools to adopt a ‘Tools of the Mind’ approach, which promotes more thoughtful, planned make-believe play alongside literacy, when children are young.

Interview with Don Campbell – Mentions KINDERMUSIK!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,


Cover of "The Mozart Effect for Children:...

“Don Campbell is a recognized authority on the transformative power of music, listening, and The Mozart Effect®. In Campbell’s unique view, music is not only a rich and rewarding aesthetic experience but an easily accessible bridge to a more creative, intelligent, healthy, and joy-filled life. His singular mission is to help return music to its central place in the modern world as a resource for growth, development, health, and celebration.” 

http://www.mozarteffect.com/MoreOnTME/AboutDon/AboutDon.html
WebMD Live Events Transcript  Event Date: 09/11/2000.

Moderator: Hello and Welcome to the Parenting Today Program on WebMD LIVE. Mr. Campbell, it’s a pleasure having you here today. Before we begin taking questions, would you tell everyone a little bit about your background and area of expertise?

Campbell: I am a classical musician, teacher, and journalist. Having written seven books on music, health, and education, I have been guest faculty for seven years teaching psychology and music at Naropa University, and have been key noter and guest lecturer at over 500 musical, medical and educational institutions.

Moderator: Why do you think music is of special importance in early childhood development?

Campbell: Music stimulates the brain, the emotions, and the body simultaneously. Auditory impulses structure the way we learn to communicate. In speech, movement, and expression, music holds many nutrients for the developing mind of children. It is my work to inform and inspire parents, healthcare providers, and early childhood educators on these great benefits.

Moderator: Tell us about the origins of “The Mozart Effect.” When and how did Mozart’s music begin to be used for health an educational purposes?

Campbell: In 1957, Dr. Alfred Tomatis, a French ear, nose and throat specialist who began experimenting with children with music with speech and communication disorders. By 1965, he had invented a device called the electronic ear, which took out most of the low frequencies of music, and would send high frequency messages through the right ear, to the left brain for re-patterning the perception of auditory stimulation. By 1980, there were 200 centers worldwide working with autistic, dyslexic, and head injured children and adults. He discovered that Mozart’s music was the best organized for orderly time/space/spatial perception. In the 1990′s, new research suggested that some of Mozart’s music may be beneficial for developing spatial intelligence.

Moderator: Is Mozart the only classical composer you recommend? Is there a place for using popular and folk music with our children as well?

CampbellThere is a place for all music in our lives, as long as it is not too loud and injures the cochlea. Classical music is well ordered, and Mozart represents that in the music he wrote as a child and young adult. Romantic music, such as Beethoven and Brahms have far more emotional and heroic energies. It is important to remember that no music is an instant cure-all. But the making and listening to music at appropriate times can be quite miraculous. When there is stress or pain, music, and music making can help release the stress of pain. It is most useful at naptime, bedtime, and creative play time. To a young child, the music is movement. It is participating and flowing with the activity and stimulation, or the deep relaxation. Every parent can be aware of the environment, the sound environment, for their child. If there are TV’s, computers, radios, and even refrigerators heard in a child’s room, it can highly disrupt their sleep pattern. Especially if a child is ill. The ear easily receives auditory stimulation in the last trimester before birth. Many children are hypersensitive to sound, and find each and every sound distracting. Thus, they are often unable to focus on one activity at a time. This is common with children with attention deficit disorder and dyslexia.
…..
tenuli_webmd: I understand that studying music has a positive effect on a child’s math abilities. Can you explain the connection?

Campbell: Math is a very broad term. The earlier a child studies music, the more rhythmic integration, movement, and  learning about proportions in time space perception, strengthens the young brain. In over 1,000 American communities, early childhood music programs, such as music together, musicgarten, and kindermusik, provide parents and children with exceptional programs for developing mind and body integration. In the elementary years, playing an instrument and reading music assists in the overall development of the speech and movement, as well as language and math perception. Music is magical because it reaches multiple levels of neurostimulation simultaneously. However, I know of no studies that deal with calculus, trigonometry, and Mozart, other than anecdotal reports from college students who find Mozart’s music beneficial during study.

candymay_webmd: At what age is it good to get your children into taking up a musical instrument? And is one better than another?

Campbell: The earlier the better for musical participation. Yet never force an instrument on a child. Suzuki violin is a wonderful way to train the ear, hand, and heart coordination. Rhythm instruments are good in preschool years, as well as a lot of singing. It is important for children to have some musical experience while in elementary school with instruments, while the brain can so easily form memory and movement patterns. Every child will be a little different.

candymay_webmd: Earlier you said having the child’s surroundings quiet is good, but I’ve heard it’s a good idea that you should get your child used to noises around the house, so that they sleep and don’t wake up at every little noise?

Campbell: The ear, mind and body are extremely adaptable. My concern has been that we are creating an over stimulating atmosphere for our children. When there is too much stimulation, year after year, we often find a teen or young adult who is unable to sit still, deeply relax, and find a deep comfort in quiet. Later on this can bring on high blood pressure, strokes and heart conditions. I believe our schools and communities are loud enough, and want to be sure children know quiet as a part of their life, before tension overwhelms them.

Moderator: Do you really think music can make you more intelligent? If so, how?

Campbell: Yes. The rhythmic quality of music stimulates and activates the lower part of the brain stem systems. The harmonies of music, and the rhythm of these harmonies at times has an emotional response within the body. The melody, and tone color bring direct responses as well as text and language in music from the neo-cortex. Intelligence in the new millennium, I believe, will be judged on the children and families who are able to integrate knowledge and information with a healthy relaxed body, and be able to socially integrate it emotionally. Music prepares the brain and body for connection. And we are at the beginning of learning how to ask integrated questions about memory and intelligence. I know from my experience with the Guggenheim education project in Chicago, we were able to improve spelling almost immediately by using music and movement. Not as a gimmick, but as an integrated tool for the mind, voice, and the body to learn simultaneously. I speak of this clearly in my new book.

Moderator: Why are so many schools across the country cutting their music programs if music is so vital to a child’s development, self confidence and intelligence?

Campbell: For the past many decades music has been referred to as only art, entertainment, and a thrill. Only in the last 15 years have we begun to see how organized auditory stimulation in the form of music has great inroads for developing neuro-connections for multiple purposes, such as linguistic vestibular, and kinesthetic integration.

sggoff_webmd: How much time in a week do you recommend a child should be involved with music?

Campbell: It depends on the child’s age.  Remember, all speech has musical qualities. The younger the child, the more chant, tap, and play. In preschool, I think there’s a place for a song every hour or two, or a nursery rhyme with movement. It’s not just music time, but remember, music is time. In early elementary school, the majority of games have musical qualities or elements within them. So I would like to see a little music for waking in the morning, music in the car, music at bedtime, as well as a 20- or 30-minute music class. But remember, this music is not for the child alone, it helps reduce stress and inspires moms and dads.

Moderator: Can you suggest three to four easy ways in which music can be integrated into the modern family to maintain wellness, motivation and inspiration?

Campbell: Yes. Wake up to good music in the morning. Bright, fresh, even a little Eine Kleine Nacht musik (“a little night music” is the translation) for waking up at breakfast is wonderful. Musical time for creativity, drawing and naptime. I have an album called “Relax, Daydream and Draw.” Perfect for that afternoon slow-down time. Music in the car, and then one special album that the parent and child choose together for three or four months at a time, this album is the nighttime album. It’s played when the lights go down, when we put our pajamas on; it’s low in the background with nighttime stories. That music is an indication that it’s time to sleep. I have an album called “nighty-night” for babies. Modify with the environment, what the child likes, and select from your own CDs. In more daytime practicality, something that’s very helpful to a young child learning to read is reading to them with a slow constant beat in the background. Tapping in the background helps a child find a place for words.
…….
Moderator: We are almost out of time. Before we say goodbye, is there anything you would like to add on the subject?

Campbell: Just remember that music helps before and after surgery. It can reduce pain, and music is more than we ever believed possible, as a tool for learning. Support your local symphony orchestras, and there is evidence that music helps grow the mind and body. That’s the use of the Mozart Effect. Don’t let it slip from your schools, and don’t let a song be forgotten to pass from your lips. Keep tuned in, and tuned up. ……”
-http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=54039&page=3

 

English: Mozart Autograph of hin C major flute...


Music Benefits the Brain, research reveals

Tags

, , , , ,


Brain

Image via Wikipedia

A great little article that gives a very brief overview of some of the non-musical benefits music has on our brains and our ability to learn…..

“(NaturalNews) Northwestern University scientists have pulled together a review of research into what music — specifically, learning to play music — does to humans. The result shows music training does far more than allow us to entertain ourselves and others by playing an instrument or singing. Instead, it actually changes our brains.

The paper, just published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, is a compilation of research findings from scientists all over the world who used all kinds of research methods. The bottom line to all these studies: musical training has a profound impact on other skills including speech and language, memory and attention, and even the ability to convey emotions vocally.

So what is it that musical training does? According to the Northwestern scientists, the findings strongly indicate it adds new neural connections — and that primes the brain for other forms of human communication.

In fact, actively working with musical sounds enhances neuroplasticity, the brain’s ability to adapt and change. “A musician’s brain selectively enhances information-bearing elements in sound. In a beautiful interrelationship between sensory and cognitive processes, the nervous system makes associations between complex sounds and what they mean,” Nina Kraus, lead author of the Nature paper and director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, explained in a statement to the media. “The efficient sound-to-meaning connections are important not only for music but for other aspects of communication.”

For example, researchers have found that musicians are better than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words. Their brains also appear to be primed to comprehend speech in a noisy background.

What’s more, children who have had music lessons tend to have a larger vocabulary and better reading ability than youngsters who haven’t had any musical training. And children with learning disabilities, who often have a hard time focusing when there’s a lot of background noise, may be especially helped by music lessons. “Music training seems to strengthen the same neural processes that often are deficient in individuals with developmental dyslexia or who have difficulty hearing speech in noise,” Dr. Kraus stated.

The Northwestern researchers concluded their findings make a case for including music in school curriculums. “The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development,” they wrote.

In addition to musical training, listening to music has also been shown to have some remarkable beneficial effects on the body. For example, as NaturalNews has previously reported, Tel Aviv University scientists found that premature infants exposed to thirty minutes of Mozart’s music daily grew far more rapidly than premature babies not exposed to classical music (http://www.naturalnews.com/028011_music_premature_babies.html) and researchers at the University of Florence in Italy documented that listening to classical, Celtic or Indian (raga) music once a day for four weeks significantly reduced the blood pressure in people suffering from hypertension (http://www.naturalnews.com/023479_blood_pressure_hypertension.html).”

- Friday, July 30, 2010 by: S. L. Baker, features writer

http://www.naturalnews.com/029324_music_brain.html#ixzz1nCzeV62L

Excited to Get Started…


This is my first attempt at blogging, but I’m getting more and more excited about it!
I have some AMAZING articles to share, sage parenting advice (from the experts, of course!), tons of great activity ideas for the whole family to enjoy, and as you might have guessed, an incredible amount of good things to say about my newest passion in life, KINDERMUSIK!!!

Right now I am in the process of generating all the necessary information for my pages & posting. Bare with me for a few more days (while I get myself organized), and my blog should be fully functional….I’m getting there, slowly but surely!

In the mean time, if you would like any additional information about the classes I am offering beginning the first week in April, or about my program in general, please feel free to email me:

info@kindermusikwithamandajoy.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.