New Research: Teaching self-regulation increases school readiness

“To researchers’ awe, music and movement experiences help children better self-regulate behavior and enjoy a safe, creative outlet for self-expression. Studies point to a specific cluster of social-emotional skills—called self-regulation skills—as particularly important for a variety of school successes.”  (Dr. Debby Pool, Vice President at Kindermusik International)

According to a new study from Oregon State University co-authored by child development expert Megan McClelland, children with strong self-regulation skills – skills that “help children pay attention, follow directions, stay on task and persist through difficulty” – transition more successfully into Kindergarten.

At-risk children participated in an intervention program that utilized movement and music-based games to help children develop and learn self-regulation skills. These music games were designed to help children learn to stop, think, and then act, three steps that are part of the self-regulation process.

“Most children do just fine in the transition to kindergarten, but 20 to 25 percent of them experience difficulties – those difficulties have a lot to do with self-regulation,” McClelland said. “Any intervention you can develop to make that transition easier can be beneficial.”

Here’s a music and movement game from Kindermusik@Home that gives kids fun practice with those all-important self-regulation skills:

Head and Shoulders 1-2-3Want to learn more about using music in your school to reach children from underserved populations? Visit

Contributed by Kindermusik educator Theresa Case, whose award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios is located in beautiful upstate South Carolina.




5 Ways to Celebrate Spring with Music and Movement

5 Ways to Celebrate Spring with Music and Movement

At Kindermusik, we’re all about great ideas and helpful tips that make parenting just a little bit easier and a whole lot more musical.  And now that Spring is just around the corner, we thought we’d share some music and movement ideas for celebrating spring… and creating some very happy memories!

5 Ways to Celebrate Spring with Music and Movement

Cute child in puddle1. Go for a listening walk.
There are all kinds of sounds to be discovered outside, especially in the Spring time.  Listen for, imitate, and then talk about the sounds that are all around.
2.  Take advantage of springtime showers.
Those brief, light spring showers do more than bring May flowers… they also leave perfectly sized puddles that are great for jumping, stomping, splashing, and giggling!
3.  Blow bubbles on the porch.
There’s nothing more delightful than bubbles.  But bubbles aren’t just for fun, they also help little eyes learn to track and follow moving objects and little eyes and hands to improve eye-hand coordination.
4.  Do a happy dance in the house.
Turn on your favorite music and float like a cloud, sway like a tree, fly like a bird, or wiggle like a worm.  (This would be a great follow up to your Listening Walk, and it’s a fun thing for the whole family to enjoy!)
5.  Work on some spring cleaning together.
We think music makes everything better, and that includes spring cleaning.  Give your child a soft cloth or small duster and let them help.  Sing and dance the chores away!

And for more fun ways to celebrate Spring and all things new…


FOL Fridays: Body Management

Discovering and exploring movement provides young children with profound learning experiences.  They are delighted to practice and show off their emerging skills, and they will seek out opportunities to practice these skills frequently.  It is during this time that the foundation is laid for body-management activities needed in childhood games, recreational activities, and eventually sports (Carson 2001).
Ideas for parents:  One fun way to explore movement ideas together is to play a simple “Copy Me” game.  The first person moves and the partner copies.  Take turnings being the one moving and the one copying.  This game is likely to become quite hilarious with preschoolers and big kids who will have fun coming up with the silliest ideas ever!  Add a little music, and you’ve got the inspiration for some happy, fun music and movement activities that will keep you entertained and physically active!