Kindermusik and the Music City: Betsy Flanagan Speaks at the National Head Start Conference and Expo

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Next week, Kindermusik International’s Director of Professional Development, Betsy Flanagan, will present two sessions at the 43rd Annual National Head Start Conference and Expo in Nashville, Tennessee – the Music City. Think about that nickname – it’s quite appropriate that she’ll be speaking about the benefits of music in learning and reducing stress in the classroom. In addition, Betsy will address music’s power in daily transitional moments, like leaving home for school. Click here to let us know you are coming![/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”mulled_wine”][vc_column_text]For the better part of a year, Betsy Flanagan has headed professional development for Kindermusik, but for the past 14 years, she’s guided the direction of Musical Pathways Foundation as founder and director, a non-profit organization that offers Kindermusik curricula to families just north of Madison, Wisconsin. A seasoned speaker, she brings her considerable education, knowledge, and experience in the musical education of young children to the NHSA conference attendees.

Betsy Flanagan Speaking
Betsy Flanagan providing professional development for Kindermusik Educators

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Music + Movement = Monumental Impact” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%238224e3″][vc_column_text]Betsy shares that different aspects of music and movement activities has a positive impact on all domains of learning – physical, social, adaptive, and cognitive. Beyond this, it reduces stress in just about all situations. But how? Betsy tells us, “Music helps children learn to keep their emotions in check: as music is filled with transitional movements from verse to refrain, Self-Regulation skills are practiced, and when young children are allowed to practice through play, learning soars.”

It seems to be that magic combination of group music making, coupled with physical movement, that builds a sense of safety. “Using music activities on a daily or weekly basis, helps children feel the security of a playfully structured environment,” says Betsy.

Music and movement – it’s a powerful combination.

“I have not found another teaching tool like music that
-captures a group of children’s brains for extended periods of time
-while also firing their brains on all cylinders,
-all domains,
-while being easily repeatable
-literally lowering the stress in the environment
-and simultaneously speaking to all learning styles at the same time.”

       – Betsy Flanagan[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Benefits of music activity[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”The Magic of Music” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%238224e3″][vc_column_text]Because music allows children to increase skill acquisition speed, learning goals are reached faster. And as we have discussed in previous posts, when young children have moments with caring adults – parents, educators, caregivers – the lasting impact is increased.

Have you ever had a challenging time getting your little one to school or picking them up – maybe because he didn’t want to leave a given situation? Well…Betsy has just the prescription for that! Music Rituals, songs coupled with short activities, can ease these moments. “Hello Song is the easiest tool to incorporate for pick-up time at school and for when family members return home. Hello songs that include verses with touch, smiling, and hugging are most effective for refilling the child’s love tank after having missed the parent/family during the school day, or missing the parent who has been gone to work all day. Music is important in this function, as music not only fires the entire brain, but it is also inherently easily repeatable with built-in verses and refrains…and fun of course!”
[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]As you might imagine, these rituals help build positive connections between parent/child and teacher/child. “The connectedness, the synchrony that children feel when engaging with others in music activities, is priceless for relationship development. Trust and a feeling of safety between two people is required to develop a relationship, and music activities supply those elements,” says Betsy. [/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=” Conference Session Takeaway” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%238224e3″][vc_column_text]What does Betsy for hope those who attend her sessions as learning outcomes?

1. Attendees will learn to integrate impactful music & movement activities into their lesson plans and home visits to accelerate learning, increase joy, and reduce stress.

2. Attendees will receive all songs presented to allow for immediate application in their programs.

3. Attendees will understand each activity’s developmental benefits as related to the Head Start Five Domains.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]So…if you are at the National Head Start Conference and Expo next week, join Betsy for these exciting sessions! Click here and we’ll save you a seat! If you are unable to attend the conference, contact us about how the Kindermusik curricula and our highly rated professional development can benefit you, your students, and your school.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Betsy Flanagan obtained her Bachelor’s in Music Education (summa cum laude), Kindergarten thru 12th Master’s degree from Illinois State University in Choral Conducting and Vocal Performance, and has completed her Doctoral coursework in Choral Conducting from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana where she was awarded a Fellowship on staff. Betsy has taught children of all ages and backgrounds in public grade schools, high schools, universities, summer camps and also privately in her home studio for over 30 years, providing her students high quality instruction together with passionate motivation.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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