Special thanks to Jennifer Hayenga for sharing today’s From the Heart segment. She’s very passionate about sharing music with her kiddos, and I sure appreciate her sharing some of the songs that they enjoy in their home, and what her kids have been able to learn by participating in music education – both at home and in class! Jennifer’s family lives in the Dallas, TX area. You’ll learn more about her in her post. Here’s Jenn:
One of the subjects across the board that I see overlooked is music education and the mentioning of children’s music CD’s or songs that parents are sharing with their children. As a gifted educator in science, MS in curriculum, Mom of twins, I see that many skill sets are often introduced to children but few are truly developed. Most parents tend to gravitate towards sampling, allowing the child to decide, since there are so many choices out there.
Music education for children doesn’t necessarily mean playing an instrument or being able to correctly identify one when asked. It is about making neuro-connections with your child’s brain and stimulating the receptive and expressive systems. The receptive system primarily impacts music aptitude which continues to develop until approximately 9 years of age. During this time, music ability increases or decreases from the lack of quality stimulation which is when a child’s singing voice is also developing. From birth through age five, the brain is much more active than later on, making this a crucial time for “laying down the foundation” and “building the connections” that will last a lifetime. In addition, children also build vocabulary through music and learn how to pronounce words correctly which is why an early start is beneficial to proper language development.
Not all children need to be enrolled in a music class for this type of learning to be achieved. Parents can implement these kinds of activities at home teaching their children about macro and micro beats, vocal play, verse variation, fingerplays and more.
Some of my favorite songs are:
“Me, You, and We” by K. Guilmartin
“I Had a Little Frog” by Mary Anne Hrin
“My Ball” by L. Levinowitz
“Apples and Cherries” by K. Guilmartin
“Great Big Stars” (credit unknown)
“Between” by Wayne Brady
“Buzz Buzz “by Laurie Berkner
Laurie Berkner has wonderful children’s music and her CD’s can be checked out from the library for FREE. Another favorite one of ours is Road Trip Sing-Alongs which is a 3 CD set playing familiar songs from your childhood. My twins still love them today. We also play our music at home, in the car and do fingerplays and activities together. My children have just turned 2 and have been singing verses to songs since they were a year and have been doing fingerplays since that time. It has been amazing to watch their vocabulary and understanding of words grow. They learned their pronouns at age 1, opposites such as (Big-Little, Short-Tall, Up-Down, In-Out, On-Off, full-empty, Open-Close, Stop-Go, Push-Pull) and many others all because of MUSIC that I played and sang with them in our home and not from a paid music class! If you have any favorite songs or music, please share. We would love to hear what your kids love.
I am including a few pics from our music class session so you can see some of the things occurring in class and how the parents are participating.
I have cropped other children out of Jenn’s pictures since we don’t have their parent’s approval to post their photographs on the internet. You can see her two sweethearts participating in a drum class with their teacher.
Another great music/tech/language connection Becca enjoys are the Signing Time dvds as well as Rachel and the Treeschoolers dvds – which we find at our library. Rachel Coleman teaches kids through songs how to use sign language to communicate in Signing Time, and in Rachel and the Treeschoolers, they not only learn signs, but also a lot of basic preschool concepts as well – our favorite is the weather dvd. I love how she encourages the Treeschoolers to not be afraid of a thunderstorm!!
Our favorite cd to listen to in the car is by the Justin Graves Band and is children’s worship music – we have their Happy to Be Me Cd!