Happy Leap Day!

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Why do we have Leap Day?
Without Leap Day, it would be spring now. The Romans really mucked up the whole concept of Leap Day by adopting a 355-day year with an occasional 22-day Leap month. The Romans were party animals with a calendar; you couldn’t trust them at all.
Hence, we have Leap Day because we could not figure out a better way to make a calendar that adequately synchronized the movement of the sun with the twirling of the Earth.

Sadly, being born on Leap Day appears to be a fine guarantee of leading an unexceptional life recorded mainly in footnotes: Superstar scientist Linus Pauling was born Feb. 28. Director Ron Howard and Invisible Man author Ralph Ellison were born on March 1. Rapper Ja Rule was born Feb. 29, but before him, you have to go back to the big-band era for leaper birthdays of note: Dinah Shore and Tommy Dorsey were leapers.

The biggest social development associated with Feb. 29 is that it’s Sadie Hawkins Day. Women allegedly can ask their reluctant grooms to pony up with the ring already on Feb. 29. Guys don’t get a similar custom for Feb. 29, unless competitive commitment-dodging is considered a custom.
The plot of Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance turns on Leap Day: The hero is apprenticed to the pirates until his 21st birthday. But because he’s a leaper, his 21st birthday doesn’t come until he’s 84. Gilbert & Sullivan: Such kidders.

There are at least two Leap Day sites, http://www.mystro. com/leap.htm and http://www.leapzine.com/hr/about.html.

From an article by Cheryl Truman

Active Listening

Fellow Kindermusik educators, Ms. Christa and Ms. Danielle, together came up with this wonderful explanation of why Active Listening is so important to your child:

Have you ever wondered why we take time in class to quietly listen and then reproduce the sound we hear? We listen to animal sounds, environmental sounds, parts of songs all with the focus of then being able to articulate what we heard.

“Active listening is a process that goes beyond the physical act of hearing. It is an intellectual and emotional process that integrates a full range of inputs in a search for the meaning of and an understanding of a sender’s message. It involves listening between the lines to hear what is not said as well as what is said.” Early Childhood Education, Blending Theory, Blending Practice by Lawrence J. Johnson, M.J. LaMontagne, Peggy M. Elgas and Anne M. Bauer.

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Miss Danielle, a colleague of mine, posted to following to our Kindermusik educators list this morning. I asked her permission to share her thoughts with you. It really is amazing the amounts of sound input we have to process in today’s world. Isn’t it exciting to know that, if your child is enrolled in Kindermusik, they are getting a head start learning how to process all these sounds? Here is what Miss Danielle had to say:

I was just thinking about the necessity for developing our children’s
listening skills. As I sit in my living room and hear a beep or chime,
I ask my husband:
Is that my phone? Is that your phone? Is that my phone’s battery
dying? Your Phone’s battery dying? Is that the answering machine beeping?
or Is that the microwave? Is that the oven timer? Is that the security
sensor? Is that the smoke detector? or the Smoke detector battery
dying? Could that be the signal to change the filter of refrigerator,
air purifier, coffee maker?
Or Is that someone’s phone on the TV? Is that the front doorbell?
The back doorbell?
Could that be a construction truck backing up outside?
Is that the ringing in my ears?

Our little ones don’t know any better. They have lived with these
sounds all their lives. And now they have to also recognize the
different ringtones for persons in their phone list.
We’d better get busy honing their listening skills so they can make it
through life without catastrophes!!

So, take time to quietly listen to the sounds in your house, car, backyard etc. Turn off the t.v. and the radio and point out the different sounds you hear. Is it a nice day? Go for a walk and listen for a bird singing, a car engine, a dog barking, etc. Take notice of the sounds in our lives.

Exploration with Musical Instruments

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Through creative exploration and music-making with age-appropriate musical instruments, children:
— Discover what tones can be produced.
— Discover what musical textures or timbres can be developed.
— Experiment with different ways of playing instruments.

Shiny Dinah

We have now finished our final week with Shiny Dinah in the Our Time classes. Don’t worry tough! We have MUCH more fun yet to come. Instrument play, dancing, singing and laughing along with more favorite stories are on their way!

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We may have moved on from Dinah but she will not soon be forgotten! If you would like to come and join us for an unforgettable experience you can drop me a line at jlippincott@bellsouth.net. Check out the schedule. There are several classes which still have openings.

Singing While Moving

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Movement activities like follow-the-leader allow preschoolers to be physically active while they are learning:

— to focus, attend, and concentrate.
— to read their environment more carefully.
— to increase their ability to note and reproduce specific movements accurately.
These activities also subtly reinforce the wonderful lesson that perseverance can lead to improvement and increased success.

It’s Not Too Late!

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No, it is not too late to register for classes! We are a couple of weeks into an exciting semester but we can prorate your tuition. There are still a few openings in both day and evening classes so give me a call at 662-513-4994 or send an email to jlippincott@bellsouth.net

Importance of Movements Which Cross the Mid-line

Movements that cross the body’s mid-line (an imaginary line as if drawn straight from your nose to the ground) activate growth and strengthen the corpus callosum. The corpus callosum is the nerve pathway between the two brain hemispheres of the cerebrum. Movement also helps to build the capacities that allow full sensory access from both sides of the body.

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Communication between the hemispheres allows the development of skills such as reading, which uses both sides of the brain. The left hemisphere is used to sound out the word and analyze thought while the right hemisphere remembers sight words and visualizes what the author is saying.

Parent interaction enhances musical learning

This article was sent to me by a fellow Kindermusik teacher. It recently appeared in the Australian Herald Sun

Hands-on parents strike better chord with children

Fay Burstin
February 05, 2008

PLONKING kids in front of music videos such as the Wiggles or Hi-5 doesn’t enhance their musical talent and may even hinder it.

New Australian research shows parents rely heavily on commercially produced CDs and DVDs for children’s musical stimulation, claiming they don’t have the time or musical talent for anything more creative.

But mass-market music products, especially those with a visual component such as videos, DVDs and TV, are no substitute for musical interaction between adults and children, and may even be detrimental, according to a Monash University education study.

“Singing with a young child allows for spontaneous vocal play, movement and drama that are not always possible with music CDs and DVDs,” said study author Peter de Vries. “Some products with a visual component are non-interactive . . . and detract from musical events.

“These products can constrain spontaneous musical play . . . and parents need to be aware of their detrimental effects on young children’s musical development.”

Dr de Vries’ survey of 63 parents of preschool pupils under five, published recently in the Australian Journal of Early Childhood, found 65 per cent of parents played music to children at least once a week and 18 per cent did so daily.

But only 29 per cent regularly sang to their kids and a meagre 8 per cent played with them using bought or made instruments.

Children often sang and danced to CDs but DVDs tended to “quieten children down”, with some parents noting their children “just sat there and blanked out”, the study found.

“Someone will be singing and dancing and talking to the camera, asking children to join in, and all I see is my child staring at the screen,” one parent reported.

 

Research shows music helps develop children’s co-ordination, listening, language, communication and social skills.

Read the full article here.

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Yes, as a busy parent I certainly have plonked my kids in front of a video to get the dishes done, put the groceries away or even, dare I say it? to have a moment to myself. Brandon was a huge Wiggles fan and both boys wanted Mary Poppins again and again.  Keep in mind that you don’t have to be a trained singer to sing with your kids.  Some of my best memories of childhood were the family impromptu sing-a-longs on long car trips.  Don’t know all the words have a laugh fest when you make up your own!