Early Childhood Brain Development

Here is a great article for all parents about early child brain development. For the quick-read version, scroll about halfway down and take a look at the “10 Things Every Child Needs.” Kindermusik address EACH of these needs.

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What Can Your Child Learn From a Puddle?


What would it be like to walk through a puddle for the first time? To not notice it coming up and then just hear the rhythm of your walk change from a tap tap tap to splish splish splash? . . . You look down and notice you are standing in water. You see it, consider it, feel it. What an adventure of the senses!

Parents know how lucky they are to see this happen right before their eyes: their child discovering something new – something that has a sound, or a feeling, or shines, or moves. Discovery can be an incredible gift.

By letting your child walk through that puddle, millions (maybe billions) of sensory connections are made. Thought patterns, optical pathways, auditory stimulation, and your child’s perception of the world are altered and strengthened.

Embrace what a difference you make for your child by taking those walks that last a long long time but cover very little ground. Remember, every stone, pine cone, ant, bird, leaf, and puddle holds a world of discovery. Don’t miss it! Don’t worry about the puddle – the shoes will dry and the pants can be cleaned. The work of the child is to experience something new every day, and that’s one of the best ways you can help your kids learn and grow.

-This post was contributed by my friend and fellow Kindermusik educator Helen Peterson. Helen’s Southern Twin Cities program, Kindermusik of the Valley, is in the top 1% of Kindermusik programs around the world!

Hearing Patterns

When children drum along to the rhythms in a song or to their own name, they practice careful listening and pattern recognition. This is one way children hear sounds in words – a skill necessary for word recognition, speaking, reading, and writing (adapted from “Show and Tell”).
LEARN AT HOME! Have your child focus on listening to you as you say, shake, or drum a rhythmic pattern. Then, model active listening by letting your child attempt to copy you. The result may or may not be the same pattern you modeled; remember that there are no “wrong” answers, as we are focusing on process, not performance! If your child responded with a different pattern, echo the new pattern back to her. If your child responded with the same pattern you modeled, try modeling a new pattern the next time.

Neuroscientist: Think twice about cutting music in schools | ScienceBlog.com

“Playing an instrument may help youngsters better process speech in noisy classrooms and more accurately interpret the nuances of language that are conveyed by subtle changes in the human voice,” says Nina Kraus, Hugh Knowles Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology and Communication Sciences at Northwestern University.

“Cash-strapped school districts are making a mistake when they cut music from the K-12 curriculum,” says Kraus, director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory in Northwestern’s School of Communication.

Kraus will present her own research and the research of other neuroscientists suggesting music education can be an effective strategy in helping typically developing children as well as children with developmental dyslexia or autism more accurately encode speech.

“People’s hearing systems are fine-tuned by the experiences they’ve had with sound throughout their lives,” says Kraus. “Music training is not only beneficial for processing music stimuli. We’ve found that years of music training may also improve how sounds are processed for language and emotion.”

Read the full article:

Neuroscientist: Think twice about cutting music in schools | ScienceBlog.com.

Is My Baby Too Young?


No, your baby is never too young to be aware of the things that are happening around them and we know that kids get the most out of Kindermusik the younger they start. Right now your baby’s brain is soaking up everything — and did you know that music is the ONLY activity that stimulates all areas of your baby’s brain at the same time? Getting started in KM now is a really smart thing to do.
Studio record: Youngest child to come to class – 48 hours old.

Pairing the Brain Hemespheres

We do a lot of this in Kindermusik class! More and more proof that these activities are so important.

“[Because] the left hemisphere of the brain controls movements on the right side of the body, and the right hemisphere of the brain controls movements on the left side of the body, a person can refine the integration between the two sides of the brain through activities involving both sides of his body. These movements bring the two systems into balance. Successful integration between the two sides of the brain is necessary for improving all brain processes, including those for reading, writing, …motor skill development, and many others” (Cernicky, Gerry. 2006).