Celebrate Inventors Month with the benefits of music

Benefits of Play for Children

Happy Inventors Month! In 1998, the United Inventors Association of the USA (UIA-USA), the Academy of Applied Science, and Inventors’ Digest magazine started Inventor’s Month as a way to celebrate the various contributions of inventors. Inventors make our lives easier from electricity to indoor plumbing to modern medicine to peanut better.
The list of top inventors probably includes Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie, every childBenefits of Play for Children. Wait. “Every child?” Yes! Children make great inventors. Think about it. An inventor is someone who creates some new process, appliance, machine, or thing. To a child, everything is a new process—from learning how to eat, roll over, stand, walk, talk, roll a ball, and more. Children also discover new uses for everyday objects. A laundry basket becomes a turtle shell, a stack of pillows turns into a mountain worth exploring,  a baby spoon makes a great instrument, and blocks become, well, just about anything!

3 ways to encourage children as inventors

  1. Participate in the arts. Research indicates that STEM graduates (those majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics fields) showed an increased involvement in visual arts, acting, dance, and creative writing. Even better, 93 percent of those graduates participated in music classes as a child.
  2. Combine music and learning. Music is more than, well, music. The benefits of music include supporting the social-emotional, physical, and the cognitive development of children. New research found that science-themed music videos boost scientific learning. We already learn our ABCs through song, so why not learn about gravity, phases of the moon, the life cycles of frogs, and all about magnets, too?
  3. Play together. Children learn through play. Provide the children in your life with hands-on playtime with caring, loving adults. Playing together helps children learn about their world and their place in it.  One of the greatest inventors of all time, Albert Einstein, understood the benefits of play. After all, he said, “Play is the highest form of research.”

4 musical activities to celebrate Inventor’s Month

Kindermusik@HomeFor Babies: (From Cuddle & Bounce, “Bluebird, Bluebird”—Crinkly, Furry, Bumpy, Strange)
Touch, squeeze, feel, pat. Babies explore their worlds with their hands (and sometimes mouths). With an adult there to exercise diligent supervision, of course, there are plenty of ways to introduce new and interesting textures and sensations to a baby.
For Young Toddlers: (From Sing & Play “Family All Around Me”—Fill & Empty)
Fill it up, dump it out. Fill it up, dump it out. Sound familiar? Fill and empty is an enduring ‘play scheme’ among toddlers, and there are so many variations on the theme! Here are a few fresh ideas that will engage toddlers.
For Older Toddlers: (From Wiggle & Grow “Beach Days”—Let’s Make…A Beach in a Bottle! 
Kindermusik@HomeYou know that feeling, when you’ve spent a great day at the beach and you just wish you could bottle it and bring it home with you…?
For Preschoolers: (From Laugh & Learn “Outside My Window”—Be a Sound Inventor: Weather Sounds)
You won’t believe how easy it is to make these weather sound effects! This friendly tutorial teaches you how to imitate the sounds of light rain, heavy rain, thunder, and wind.

Do you want to bring the power of music to your child and family? Find a local Kindermusik educator today! 

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, whose oldest daughter learned about the phases of the moon through song.  


Putting the Arts in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Music and Math share more in common than just the letter M. In an earlier post, we highlighted three of the ways music supports math learning—counting, spatial awareness, and pattern recognition. Learning the building blocks of math—such as size, measurement, pattern recognition, and counting by rote—start at birth–and the arts naturally engage young children in the learning.


In recent years, many teachers, schools, and entire districts began focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) classes to help prepare children for living and working in our increasingly technology-centered world. However, many educators see the need to add the “Arts” into the equation. (Of course, we absolutely agree!) STEAM integrates and uses the arts in the STEM curriculum to help children express—and understand—STEM concepts. Children naturally learn by using their whole bodies and all of their senses. Experiencing concepts such as size by pretending to move like an elephant, mouse, or giraffe makes a complicated concept three-dimensional. So, children can feel it, relate to it, and understand it!
The National Park for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap, recently launched an Early Childhood STEM Learning Through the Arts initiative. Through teacher training and research, Wolf Trap is helping to strengthen the understanding of how the arts can (and should) be used in early childhood education to teach science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

Using music to express STEM concepts

Music’s proven connections to math can support young children’s math development. For example, children hear, feel, and experience the patterns in music when swaying to a legato section or bouncing to a staccato section or when they dance and sing a song with a verse then a chorus then a verse then a chorus. Try these Kindermusik@Home activities for kids that use music to help them experience patterns.

For babies:

Peas & Carrots Kindermusik@HomeKitchen Dance: Something about the kitchen brings out the dancer in all of us. Moving with a baby is so important. So put on any music you like and get moving! Plus, dancing to music can help even babies hear, feel, and experience patterns.
For toddlers:
Kindermusik@Home Jelly in the BowlThe Jelly in the Bowl:

A kid-favorite, “Jelly in the Bowl” is easy to remember, easy to do, and hard to resist. After a few times, children will understand the pattern of the song and start giggling right before favorite parts.
For preschoolers:
Jumping beans Kindermusik@HomeQuarter Notes & Quarter Rests:  Get your listening ears on, because this game will introduce children to the sound of a quarter note and the “no-sound” of a quarter rest . . . then test children’s ears on how well they recognize them when they’re assembled in patterns!

ABCMMEINTL_LOGO_LiteracyLanguage_OneLineOur early childhood curriculum, ABC Music & Me, uses music and movement as a fun, engaging, and natural way for children to learn. Want to learn more about using music to support STEM learning (and early literacy and language!) in early childhood education? Email us info@abcmusicandme.com. 

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, long-time supporter and believer in the power of the arts.

Where are the future scientists? In a music class for kids!

Future scientist?
Future scientist?

At first glance, music classes for kids might not seem like the best place to look for future scientists, technology experts, engineers, or mathematicians. Well, look again! New research indicates that an early childhood music class is exactly where we should look.
Researchers from Michigan State University recently published a study that found that 93 percent of STEM graduates (college students who majored in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) reported musical training as a child compared to only 34 percent of the average adult. STEM graduates also showed an increased involvement in the visual arts, acting, dance, and creative writing.

Benefits of music for children continue through adulthood

“The most interesting finding was the importance of sustained participation in those activities,” said Rex LaMore, director of MSU’s Center for Community and Economic Development, in a press release. “If you started as a young child and continued in your adult years, you’re more likely to be an inventor as measured by the number of patents generated, businesses formed or articles published. And that was something we were surprised to discover.”
According to the research team, participation in the arts, such as music classes for kids, encourages “out-of-the-box thinking.” The STEM graduates reported using those skills they learned in music or art classes—such as analogies, playing, and imagination—to solve complex scientific problems.

Music and learning in early childhood education

3_why_music_rectangle_yellowIn Kindermusik, we know children also use exploration and problem solving to learn what an object does and how it works. We call that process epistemic play. In our early childhood curriculum, we provide many opportunities for children to explore objects in order to better understand how they work. While trying out all the ways to tap, shake, or roll an instrument or stomp, tap, tiptoe our feet, children gain a foundational understanding of how things work. Plus, all this epistemic play supports a child’s overall cognitive development.

Learn more about using music in the early childhood classroom to support the cognitive development in children, including early math, science, literacy, and language skills.

To experience the benefits of music with your child, find a local Kindermusik educator in your area.