3 Ways Kids Unknowingly Learn Math through Music

Playing music improves math skills for young childrenResearchers, scientists, and teachers have long recognized the link between music and math, but the benefits seemed to be long-term – later when children were learning math in school.  The exciting reality is that even very young children are unknowingly learning math as they participate in early childhood music and movement classes.

#1 – Geometry

Children develop important foundations in geometry through circle dances, plays instruments, and moving body in different ways. Movement combined with words and labels like “in and out,” “up and down,” or “around and through” are helping build the spatial awareness and spatial-temporal reasoning skills that are fundamental to geometry, as well as a child’s future potential career as an engineer, a scientist, a math teacher, or even an athlete.

#2 – Patterns

Music and math are both full of patterns.  Out of simple rhymes, chants, and games of pat-a-cake grows an ability to understand and manipulate patterns of big and small blocks. Moving in a different way for each section of music helps children begin to identify through movement the parts (or patterns) that make up the whole. Listening for and responding to short patterns in music also expands a child’s understanding of the patterns in math.

#3 – Numbers

Many children’s counting rhymes, singing songs, and enjoying fingerplays that are a part of an early childhood music curriculum like Kindermusik include numbers.  Getting “two instruments” from the instrument basket or counting steps in a circle dance combine  music and early math concepts. Through these activities, children gain valuable early exposure to basic math skills like counting, sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence.
The science and research backs it up. Children will be stronger mathematicians if they are engaged in music making at a young age. Music and movement classes are great preparation for success in math – not just listening to music but actually playing and making music!

Find out how Kindermusik classes can give your child experiences rich with mathematics-learning opportunities at www.Kindermusik.com.

 

4 Benefits of Music for Big Kids

Kindermusik_SoundtrackForAnySeason_web-250x250-250x250Growing up, but not all grown up yet – thankfully!  The early years of childhood pass so quickly, and before you know it, your child has officially earned “big kid” status.  The turbulence of the toddler years and the exuberance of the preschool years are past, and your big kid can mostly be described as composed, calm, cheerful, and capable.  Big kids are eager, curious learners, and they love to share their ideas.
For a big kid, self-esteem, feeling capable, and doing things the “right way” all go hand-in-hand.  They thrive on structure and affirmation, but they still need time to play and have fun.  Big kids love being part of a group, and they crave friendship and acceptance from their peers, preferring to play and interact with others than to be by themselves.  And while their thinking can be black-and-white, cognitively, they have made huge leaps in their ability to problem-solve and think more abstractly.  Big kids tend to ask alot of “why” and “how” questions because they love to know a lot of facts.  They love simple games, and having lots of time for creative play is very important.  Movements are much more poised and controlled, and big kids loving showing off their new-found physical skills.
It is truly the age of opportunity for these learners-in-waiting.  But it also a time not to be rushed through or passed over.  The big kids years are a special time to settle in and enjoy the last phase of early childhood and to provide your child with experiences and opportunities that will set him up for success in school, in music, and in life.
That’s where Kindermusik comes in, providing a weekly class that satisfies the need to be part of a group, to learn new things, to play games, and to express oneself through music and movement.  And in the middle of all of the fun and music-making, a very strong foundation is being laid for a successful transition to music lessons a little later on.
Here are four invaluable benefits of music for big kids:
1. Music exposes big kids to big, new ideas.
At this age, these eager learners are ready to be introduced to rhythms and rhythm patterns, music symbols, keyboards and dulcimers, and writing and composing their own music through hands-on and developmentally appropriate experiences.  They can follow the story line of a work like “Peter and the Wolf” and identify the various motifs and instruments that are the hallmark of this beloved musical tale.
2. Music teaches big kids to be good listeners.
Focused listening and discriminatory listening are a big part of music.  Listening for certain things in music or to certain music sounds as well as being able to distinguish between musical sounds and instruments develop listening skills. And while being a good listener is a musical skill, it’s also an extremely valuable life skill.
3. Music helps make the cognitive connections needed for nearly every kind of intelligence.
We all want our kids to be smart and to be successful, and music is the one common contributing factor in almost all of the nine types of intelligence.  According to articles like this one and this one, it’s early experiences with music that best spark the brain connections and neural networks that actually shape the brain and impact how it will function later in life.
4. Music is one thing that stays in a child’s heart for forever.
There are lots of choices for early childhood – dance, sports, gymnastics, and more!  But music is the one love, the one ability, that a child has the potential to carry with them all the way through their entire lives.  Developing in your child a love and appreciation for music at an early age is a life-long gift you can give, and it’s something that will also carry with it special memories of the loved ones who made that gift possible.
BenefitsOfKindermusik_BigKidsMusicClasses_InfographicFor parents…
You want to give your child every advantage, and there’s truly no greater advantage you can give than music, especially in a program like Kindermusik.  It’s the right activity at the right time, when your child is poised and ready to soak it all in and be enable to apply that knowledge to music lessons and musical experiences in the future.  Kindermusik truly is the perfect foundation for lifelong learning.
And yet as profoundly as Kindermusik affects your child’s musical development, the musical learning is fun, pressure-free, and exactly what your child needs at a time when they can benefit from it the most.
“Music develops the appetite for learning and creates habits of self-discipline and personal tenacity which carry over into every facet of school.  Young musicians are skilled at concentration, alertness, memory, and self-control.  These attributes are basic for success in higher education, but more importantly, in succeeding at life.”
 The Joy of Inspired Teaching, by Tim Lautzenheiser, p. 55

Young Child students play glockenspiel dulcimer drum and recorder
Expose your child to the benefits of Kindermusik, the world’s leader in early childhood music and movement curricula.  Try a Kindermusik class today!

4 Benefits of Music for Preschoolers

Kindermusik_SoundtrackForAnySeason_web-250x250-250x250Imaginative.  Adventurous.  Exuberant.  Brash.  Social.  Silly.  Musical.   Preschoolers are the living definition of all of these words… and more!  It’s what we love most about this delightful age.  Their energy, curiosity, and delight in living life out loud are fostered by an increasing sense of independence and self-confidence.  They are developing their individuality and want to be noticed and acknowledged.  Preschoolers are social butterflies, and their social skills are blossoming, as are their growing abilities to cooperate, problem-solve, share, and make friends.
Play is the preschooler’s work.  In fact, there is no better way for these eager and curious thinkers to learn, grow, and develop than through play – play alone and play with others – including mom and dad!  The expansiveness of the preschooler’s personality overflows into his vocabulary and self-expression.  Preschoolers love playing with words, and they like to talk. A lot.  And if you’ve heard it once, you’ve answered it a thousand times – this is the age of “why.”  It’s how they learn and interact.  Their movements become more expansive too, and the need to move is because of their boundless amounts of energy.  (And you thought you were tired chasing them as toddlers!)
But perhaps the best way to sum up the preschooler season of childhood is with the word “readiness.”  Preschoolers are on the verge of so much potential.  They are ready – ready to try new things, take turns, be challenged, and work cooperatively with others.  Simply put, they’re ready to get ready!
With music as the vehicle, Kindermusik helps your child be ready.  Ready to face life head on, ready for school, ready for new adventures, and ready for that next step in music.  Movement, imagination, play, creativity, exploration, interacting, and ensemble all set the stage for making sure your child has every advantage in a very critical season of childhood – that wonderful transition from baby to big kid that we call “preschooler”!
Here are four of the most powerful benefits of music for preschoolers:
1. Music encourages children to move. 
Movement and music are as closely connected as movement and learning.  At a time when there are increasing concerns about how long these young children are being required to sit still, being able to move to music is a gift.  Here’s how a Washington Post reporter summed it up in her recent article, “In order for children to learn, they need to be able to pay attention.  In order to pay attention, we need to let them move.”
2. Music fosters a sense of community and belonging.
At the core of every human being is a desire to belong.  When that need to belong is fulfilled, it contributes to healthy emotional development and well-being.  Self-confidence grows as a child learns to function within a group.  And there’s no happier group experience than making music together!
3. Music provides an outlet for self-expression.
With gifts, experiences, thoughts, and ideas that simply overflow, a music class offers a secure environment for each individual child to explore, learn, and contribute.  The value is in the experience itself with play, discovery, singing, story telling, and new challenges as the tools that open the door for self-expression, meaningful learning, and a lifelong love for music.
4. Music readiness and academic readiness go hand-in-hand.
The same skills and experiences necessary for a child to be ready for music lessons when they are older are the same skills and experiences that enhance and even accelerate academic readiness and success.  Listening, identifying patterns, problem-solving, creative thinking, and self-confidence are skills that music develops – skills that are also a measurable contributors to academic achievement.
For parents…
preschoolerYou want to give your child every advantage.  And yet, you don’t want to let him or her grow up too fast.  Childhood is meant to be savored and enjoyed, a time that you share experiences and create memories that stay in the heart for years to come.
Kindermusik helps you linger in those precious moments of childhood and make the most of the preschool season with your child.  With a class structure that includes time apart and time together, Kindermusik is perfect for the preschool season of childhood.  You’ll love watching your child blossom, and you’ll love the way your time together in class and your music-making at home brings you together in new and special ways.
And the icing on the cake is knowing that you’re giving your child a gift that truly lasts a lifetime – the gift of a musical foundation and love for music that uniquely prepares your child like no other single activity can.

Kindermusik is where music and learning playExperience the benefits of Kindermusik for yourself.  Contact a local Kindermusik educator and visit a free class today!

What You Need for Your Child When Your Child Needs It Most

Every stage, or “season,” of early childhood has its triumphs and its challenges.  At Kindermusik, we believe that music and movement should be a huge part of both the celebrations and the everyday moments of each stage of childhood.
That’s why Kindermusik classes are not just filled with happy music and delightful activities for kids, but are also full of practical tips and musical helps for parents.  And it all comes packaged in such a way as to also give you invaluable insights into the way your child will grow and develop into the special individual he/she is meant to be.
Village baby with new logo
Babies need nurture.
The first years are all about connections and learning.  A lullaby will become a beautiful ritual before nap time.  A sweet little finger play makes bath time extra fun.  A quick dance around the kitchen provides a needed distraction around supper time.
In Kindermusik, we’ll teach you all of the songs, fingerplays, and dances you need, but we’ll also give you the time to settle in and savor these precious early years.  The window for learning is open the widest right now, and there’s nothing more powerful than music and movement.
Our Time girl with new logoToddlers need engagement.
Busy brains and busy little bodies need something to keep them active. And yet they thrive on predictability and routine.  Despite attempts to be fiercely independent, these busy little people still need you and they still need lots of cuddles.  And they do love their music!
We’ll help you add plenty of activity to your week – in class and at home.  And we’ll give you the music to dance to, the songs to sing, and the lullabies to hum, along with the insights you need to better understand this beautiful little person that is your child.
IT girl with new logoPreschoolers need adventure.
More than at any other stage, play is your preschool child’s work.  Play is how they’ll learn best.  The preschooler enjoys action and adventure, and he/she is eager for the kinds of rich experiences and interactions that will best help get him/her be ready for school, for music lessons, and for life.
Pretend play, big imaginations, socializing, and new musical concepts – all of these and more are how this stage of Kindermusik helps your child thrive and flourish.  Best of all, Kindermusik allows you to be part of the grand adventure of preparing for some very exciting transitions.
YC boy with new logoBig Kids need opportunity.
Your child seems so grown up all of the sudden, but he/she is not as grown up as you might think.  Now more than ever, your child needs to move, to explore, and to have fun even while being challenged with new ideas and ways to learn.  Your child is more than capable of learning the more specific musical concepts that will continue to foster a love for music and prepare him/her for that next step to formal music instruction.
As we capitalize on your child’s love of learning and making music with friends, we’ll also keep you involved through pressure-free music-making and simple activities at home.  You’ll learn right along with your child, and you’ll have the resources you need to make time for music and enjoy time with your child.
Try A Free Kindermusik Class
We’d love for you to come see for yourself how Kindermusik meets your child’s musical and developmental needs at every stage in early childhood, from newborn to age 7.  Try a free class today!
 

Shared by Kindermusik educator Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful Upstate South Carolina