3 Ways to Use Music to Take Children Around the World

Listen - Sing & Say - Collect - Music Around the World for KidsWant to take your children around the world? It’s easy with music! No passport required. No suitcases to pack. Just three simple things you can enjoy almost any time, any where, and you’re off of a grand, musical travel adventure!

Listen to music from around the world.

Every culture has its own beautiful repertoire of rich folk songs, soothing lullabies, and happy dances that can be very appealing to young children. With internet radio stations, streaming music apps, and downloadable song tracks, it’s easier than ever to listen your way around the world. Try searching on “world music for children” or “multicultural music for kids.”

Use your voice to enjoy music from around the world.

There are simple songs and chants that even young children can enjoy learning or hearing from you. In fact, our Kindermusik music library is full of these songs, rhymes, and chants from various countries and cultures. The more exposure a very young child has to other languages, both spoken and sung, the more receptive he or she will be to learning and speaking another language.

Collect instruments from around the world.

Whether someone else demonstrates the instrument or the child can explore and play it themselves, there’s nothing better than seeing, hearing, and touching the real thing. Nearly every culture has some kind of a drum, shaker, or flute-like instrument, and most are easily curated. Give your little world travelers a sense of having gone around the world simply by introducing them to some of the instruments from around the world.
Travel the world with Kindermusik

BONUS reading! How Music Helps Children Expand their Cultural Horizons

Kindermusik International
Learn more about how Kindermusik can take children around the world and give the music learning adventure of a lifetime at www.Kindermusik.com.

 

Contributed by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina.

New Music Standards – Focus on Preparing Children for Success

New National Core Music Standards

The arts have always served as the distinctive vehicle for discovering who we are. Providing methods of thinking as disciplined as science or math, and as disparate as philosophy or literature, the arts are used by and have shaped every culture and individual on earth. The arts continue to infuse our lives on nearly all levels—generating a significant part of the creative and intellectual capital that drives our economy. The arts also impart our lives with meaning every time we experience: the joy of a well-remembered song, the flash of inspiration that comes with immersing ourselves in an artist’s sculpture, participating in a sublime dance, learning from an exciting animation, or being moved by a captivating play. (From: National Core Arts Standards, Custom Handbook).

National Core Arts Standards 2014As of June 2014, new music standards were created by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards (NCCAS), and based on artistic processes; these include music standards prepared by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

Overview of Standards:

The new National Standards focus on improving each child’s music education experience, supporting educators with enhanced instructional strategies, and emphasizing the benefits of music education. You can visit their site to create your own Custom Handbook, based on discipline, process, and grade level.

Who the Standards are for:

Decision-makers from teachers, to superintendents, to parents, and policy makers, all will be able to utilize these standards as guidelines to improving music education and ultimately future success for our children.

Goals of the Standards are to enhance…

Music Literacy – meaning the ability to communicate through a medium and understand what is communicated. In our multimedia society, we need to prepare children to communicate visually, through sound, video, etc. and have literacy for each media.

Artistic Processes – there are 3-4 core areas these new music standards focus on:

  1. Creating (new music)
  2. Performing (also referred to as Presenting or Producing existing music)
  3. Responding (interpreting the performance/music and developing own opinions)
  4. Connecting (various art forms – this is embedded throughout the standards)

This 5 minute video from the NAfME Deputy Executive Director & COO provides an overview.

 

Kindermusik Programs Align with the New Music Standards

How Kindermusik Supports Music Literacy

Kindermusik_EarlyChildhoodMusicEducation_OnlinePortal_OutsideMyWindowAn important part of our curricula are the Family Engagement materials. Through real instruments, books, CDs, family activity guides – AND – video field trips, songs, math games, logic games, craft ideas and more within our online learning portal (Kindermusik@Home); we support hands-on learning and emerging technology. We provide families with a useful way to be involved in their children’s educations and expose them to various types of media and arts. This helps Kindermusik reach our mission of instilling a lifelong love of music and learning in children around the world.

How Kindermusik Supports Artistic Processes

EarlyChildhood_InstrumentSet_ABCMusic&Me_Wiggle&Grow_KindermusikInternationalCreating music is what we do in each class. We provide enough instruments for each child in the class to participate and make their own music. Through a variety of age-appropriate and kid-safe instruments, like egg shakers, jingle bells, chime balls, sand blocks, rhythm sticks, and many more, we allow children to be creative and come up with their own way of playing the instrument. We guide them with ideas, and allow kids to express themselves through music.

KindermusikClass_RhythmSticks_TeachChildrenImportantSkillsPerforming, presenting or producing music is also integrated into our classes. Although Kindermusik curriculum is based on process not performance, we do encourage children to present their ideas to class. For example, a teacher may ask, “Johnny, how do you want play your rhythm sticks; fast, slow, loud, or soft?” This allows each child to determine their own preferences and encourages them to play music to a group of their peers, boosting self-esteem and confidence.

ListeningGame_IHearASound_Kindermusik@HomeResponding to music is embedded into the Kindermusik curricula, and we encourage children to be effective audience members. For example, in the song “I Hear a Sound” from our Wiggle & Grow curriculum (for ages 2-3) children hear various instruments, and then have time to guess what instrument they just heard. This aligns with the new standards as we give children the opportunity to listen, analyze, and interpret what they hear.  Follow-up questions from the teacher such as, “Kaylee, what instrument did you like best?” allows children to evaluate what they’ve heard and make decisions based on their preferences – expressing themselves through music.

Connecting various art forms is actually a great way to describe a Kindermusik class. We incorporate: music; movement; dance; visuals; literature including children’s books, poems, and rhymes from many cultures around the world; opportunities for ensemble experiences; and so much more.

Kindermusik_SupportsAllLearningDomainsWe too recognize the importance of technology in education and so, we developed the Kindermusik@Home portal. Parents can login and enjoy with their children; fun educational games, activities, eBooks, videos, crafts and more, along with ideas for taking the learning offline. We include parenting resources to help them understand the importance behind these educational activities.

And we keep on top of the growing body of research on the benefits of music for children. The Kindermusik curriculum is more than a music class, it’s designed to promote school-readiness and stimulate development across all learning domains, supporting the future success of each child…and in turn…our world.

Other components, like the Opportunity-to-Learn Standards, are part of these new music standards and are still being developed. One call-out the Executive Director & COO of NAfME mentioned is the standards will likely include guidance that students should receive WEEKLY INSTRUCTION. Again, another way Kindermusik aligns. Our weekly lessons are flexible and provide concepts teachers can use throughout the day.

To learn more about the new music standards, please reference:

nafme.org/standards

NationalArtsStandards.org

 

To learn more about Kindermusik, please visit:

www.kindermusik.com

Give It a Rest. Kids Will Love these 2 Musical Math Games.

Patterns surround us and recognizing and understanding patterns is a foundational math skill. Music gives children the opportunity to experience patterns through movement, listening, and playing instruments. When children step, step, step, stop responding to the music or ta, ta, ta, rest with rhythm sticks, children are learning rhythm patterns (quarter note, quarter note, quarter note, rest), a basic musical concept. Rhythm patterns are combinations of long and short sounds and silences.

Try these two math games for kids from Kindermusik@Home that combine music and math!

Kindermusik@Home Pattern GameHomemade Ti-Ti Ta 

This activity for kids introduces the concept of visual and auditory patterns created simultaneously (e.g. the sounds of with the visual representation of).

Patterns are incredibly important, both to music and math. Children first notice and recognize patterns, then develop the ability to complete partial patterns, duplicate patterns, and eventually to extend and create patterns. The patterns also go from simple (ABAB) to more complex (AAB, ABB, AABB, AAABB, AABC, and so on).

The Ti-Ti Ta pattern includes another layer of complexity: duration. Rather than a simple red-red-green pattern in which all components are equal, a Ti-Ti Ta pattern contains the concept of short-short-long within it. When the pieces are rearranged, the “notes” are rearranged as well. Ta, ta, ti-ti, ta is more complex than green, green, red, red, green because the concept of a pair of eighth notes (each of which is half as long as a “ta,” or quarter note) is embedded in the ti-ti.

Pattern GameQuarter Notes and Quarter Rests

This game for kids introduces them to the sound of the quarter note and the “no-sound” of a quarter rest. Children test their ears on how well they recognize them when they’re assembled in patterns.

Find out more about the connections between music and math in Kindermusik at www.kindermusik.com.

3 Ways Kids Unknowingly Learn Math through Music

Playing music improves math skills for young childrenResearchers, scientists, and teachers have long recognized the link between music and math, but the benefits seemed to be long-term – later when children were learning math in school.  The exciting reality is that even very young children are unknowingly learning math as they participate in early childhood music and movement classes.

#1 – Geometry

Children develop important foundations in geometry through circle dances, plays instruments, and moving body in different ways. Movement combined with words and labels like “in and out,” “up and down,” or “around and through” are helping build the spatial awareness and spatial-temporal reasoning skills that are fundamental to geometry, as well as a child’s future potential career as an engineer, a scientist, a math teacher, or even an athlete.

#2 – Patterns

Music and math are both full of patterns.  Out of simple rhymes, chants, and games of pat-a-cake grows an ability to understand and manipulate patterns of big and small blocks. Moving in a different way for each section of music helps children begin to identify through movement the parts (or patterns) that make up the whole. Listening for and responding to short patterns in music also expands a child’s understanding of the patterns in math.

#3 – Numbers

Many children’s counting rhymes, singing songs, and enjoying fingerplays that are a part of an early childhood music curriculum like Kindermusik include numbers.  Getting “two instruments” from the instrument basket or counting steps in a circle dance combine  music and early math concepts. Through these activities, children gain valuable early exposure to basic math skills like counting, sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence.

The science and research backs it up. Children will be stronger mathematicians if they are engaged in music making at a young age. Music and movement classes are great preparation for success in math – not just listening to music but actually playing and making music!

Find out how Kindermusik classes can give your child experiences rich with mathematics-learning opportunities at www.Kindermusik.com.

 

Music Gets Kids into the Rhythm of Back-to-School

Baby with instrumentThere is nothing routine about a routine. In fact, we think routines get a bad rap. After all, people often refer to routines as being “stuck in a rut” or “same old, same old” or even boring with a capital B. However, from a child’s perspective, routines are anything but boring and can be especially beneficial during the back-to-school season.

Routines help children predict the future and feel safe and secure. Pair a routine with a ritual and children receive the added benefits of continuity and connectedness. For example, giving a child the same instruments to play with while you get a snack together each day, let’s the child know that it’s almost time to eat something yummy.

During the back-to-school periods of childhood, routines help ease children through transition periods, whether it’s adjusting to a new teacher, a new school, or even navigating through a growth spurt, which somehow always coincide with a new school year. The best time to introduce children to routines and rituals is NOW.

Turn up the music during routines and rituals and you will never use the word boring again when referring to routines! Try these tips for adding music into the back-to-school routine.

6 Ways to Add Music into the Routine and Get Kids into the Rhythm of Back-to-School

1. Wake children up or welcome them to the classroom by singing a favorite song or by listening to a playlist with songs about the morning time. “Morning Sun Has Risen” is one of our favorites. Take a listen (and look):

Morning Sun Has Risen

2. The rhythm of the morning routine naturally lends itself to a little musical play. Sing songs or chants about getting dressed, brushing teeth, eating breakfast, or even getting in the car to go to school.

3. On the drive to school, listen to music and sing along! Children will begin to look forward to this special ritual in the morning. Download this free Kindermusik road trip playlist.

4. For teachers, add music throughout the day to let children know it is time to clean up for recess, to mark the beginning of circle time, or even to get the class ready to walk down the hallway. We love how this teacher uses music to remind children how to be quiet in the hallway.

5. Add music to the nightly routine to help children recognize that the day is over and it is time to settle down for bed. Make a “quiet music” playlist and start playing it right after dinner or just before bathtime. Helping children settle and fall asleep carries over into the morning routine. A well-rested child is easier to get moving than a sleepy one.

6. Reading to children 20 minutes a day makes a significant impact on their early language and literacy development. When added to the night time routine, the right book can help a child get the wiggles out or calmly relax a child. Need some reading suggestions? Add a few musical books from the Kindermusik Pinterest Board ~ Books for Kids We Love to the nightly reading routine.

7. Sing a lullaby while tucking a child into bed to signal the end of the routine. You can even rock and sway back and forth together for a little extra cuddle!

Find out more about Kindermusik at www.Kindermusik.com.