Music and movement are magical ingredients to learning for both the child and parent. A baby’s first communication is through movement. A toddler immediately responds to lively music with silly gyrations and flailing limbs – and while these movements usually make us giggle, to him they are serious attempts to coordinate movement with rhythmic patterns. The preschooler seems to be constantly moving – leaping off couches, rolling down hills, and spinning around and around until she falls down in a giggling flop on the floor.
Movement is fundamental for the development of the central nervous system, and science proves it. But what’s more, movement and rhythm are also essential for the development of the soul. These are things that can’t be measured with research and studies.
When a parent moves with her infant, a special bonding takes place that is key to social and emotional growth. When a parent sings to her child, not only are language skills being developed, but also a sense of love, comfort and harmony. The special touching, laughing, and rhythmic moving that takes place in a music and movement class lays a very strong and much needed foundation for a happy, healthy and joyful life!
Here are just a few of the ways that Kindermusik children learn through the interactive music and movement activities of the Kindermusik classroom:
- Intentional touch is designed to provide stimulation of the nervous system, relaxation and bonding.
- Activities involve unilateral, bi-lateral and cross-lateral movements that help develop the brain and muscles.
- Movement and dance steps allow the caregiver and child to experience different rhythms and locomotor movements.
- Synchronized dances develop sequencing, provide reassuring repetition and social interaction.
- Expressive movement provides variety, creativity, and opposing feelings such as fast and slow, high and low.
- Rocking and swinging stimulate the vestibular system, which is so important to balance and even eye movement.
- Props, such as the “humongous” scarves and parachutes, provide tactile and visual stimulation.
So put on your Kindermusik CD at home and don’t worry about performing the dances “just right.” Don’t even worry about right and left! Simply move to the music and have fun! It all makes a difference.
-This post was adapted from a past issue of Kindermusik Notes and was originally written by Anne Green Gilbert, Director of the Creative Dance Center and Kaleidoscope Dance Company in Seattle, Washington, and a consultant for Kindermusik International.