We know the importance of exercise for bodies, and it’s also important for brains; for some brain fitness, include music play for kids.
Music stimulates many areas of the brain at the same time. If we could see inside the brain when it’s listening to or creating music, we would see an amazing amount of activity and coordination in a number of parts. It can and does enhance learning.
What are some ways to include music play for kids:
The most inexpensive, easiest to access, and available source of music is our own voice. We can sing to kids throughout the day. Granted, some of us worry about the quality of our singing voice, but kids don’t just listen with their ears. They listen with their hearts. A loved one’s voice echoes in our memories forever. Who do you remember singing to you? Is it a precious memory? Knowing the words for songs isn’t necessary. Make up your own to any familiar tune. “This is the way we put on socks, put on socks, put on socks,” fits to the tune of Mulberry Bush. We can use whatever words go with our actions at the time.
Play some music. Different cultures have different styles but we don’t have to be limited to any one kind. Each decade or period seems to have it’s own sort of music too. We can include a variety of music from around the clock and the world.
Let kids create music. There are music toys for kids and there are also ordinary everyday items that make sounds. Sometimes, there’s a fine line between music and noise. A squeaky door may be an intriguing sound to a child but it may be a terrible one to us.
Watching YouTube videos of young children singing along with a favorite song, dancing to the music, or playing with instruments and toys makes anyone smile. We can see how kids are enjoying themselves. More than that, we are helping them to “steal a march,” that is to say, helping them gain an advantage. How might you include music play in your child’s day?
This month is Autism Awareness Month. Autism is not something we can see from the outside looking in and currently, there are far more questions than answers. The brain and how it works is mysterious and amazing. That raises another question: What are some ways to encourage brain development in all children? Here are some encore posts on young children, kindergarten readiness, and multiple intelligence.
Hum the tune for “Wheels on the Bus” and sing “Kindergarten Readiness is not too hard, not too hard, not too hard.
Kindergarten Readiness is not too hard, it’s really very easy.”
And it’s fun, too. To help your child with both kindergarten readiness and musical intelligence (one of 8 multiple intelligences) include some of these music-smart activities in your day:
- Sing songs; these can be ones that you remember, new ones that your child learns and teaches you, or ones that are just made up using familiar tunes.
- Listen to music. Libraries have collections that you can borrow to increase variety and ease budgets.
- There are often school bands or youth choirs performing at free events in the communities.
- Put on some music and dance. (This helps to make housework much more enjoyable for both of you.)
- Create some
noisy, I mean musical, instruments to add to the music toys in the toybox.
- Let your child drum away on the pots and pans or shake something in a can.
My friend Craig Duswalt, who was personal manager for Axl Rose and toured with Guns n’ Roses, advises adults to listen to music to increase their creativity and effectiveness in business, so for children…. Umm, maybe that’s not such a positive story to include in a blog on activities for music-smart kids. A better one would be about Angela Crocker, author of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Social Network, who is also a director for Coastal Sound Music and a member of a choir herself. Her son loves music and singing and after kindergarten one day asked to listen to an older children’s choir practice. Like all children–and adults–Sean has areas that are strong and music is one of his strengths already at ayoung age.
You have heard this before, about each child’s unique strengths and challenges, but All children can benefit from brain stimulation through music. Baroque music in particular can prepare the brain for learning math. Is this tune stuck in your mind, Kindergarten Readiness is …? How will you encourage your child to be music-smart?
Last week, I was at a seminar for business entrepreneurs, and one of the recommendations was to listen to music! Did you know that’s important for kids too, for fun, learning and kindergarten readiness? When it comes to business, I need all the help I can get because the kindergarten level is where my entrepreneur skills are. Thankfully, listening to music is easy to do.
Listening to music stimulates more than toe tapping and hand clapping. Many parts of the brain are involved, as well as the body and our emotions. The brain connections and pathways that form as kids listen to music help kids to be music-smart and will benefit language, math, and science. Music also stimulates creativity, and kids can create their own music and rhythm. Instruments can be as natural as two rocks tapping together and as convenient as hands and feet or kids can use real ones.
Music has rhythm, and life is based on rhythm. Think of our heartbeats and breathing. The rhythm of rocking is soothing and bodies respond by relaxing and sleeping. Lots of singing games will use a clapping rhythm. Kids will happily drum a rhythm on anything, including the cat. Pots and pans make drums with lots of noise; a wooden spoon and a phone book make a quiet one.
Unlike having a business where experience and knowledge are so important, you do not have to have a great voice or play a musical instrument in order to include music for your child. From even before birth, babies will respond to the voices of their parents, so don’t limit singing to just the shower! Besides singing, include listening to different types of music, and participating in music fun. Often, there will be children’s performers at community events and many bands in parades.
Are there some ways to make and enjoy music for your child’s play-of-the-day?
Hum the tune for “Wheels on the Bus” and sing “Kindergarten Readiness is not too hard, not too hard, not too hard. Kindergarten Readiness is not too hard, it’s really very easy.” And it’s fun, too. To help your child with both kindergarten readiness and musical intelligence (one of 8 multiple intelligences) include some of these … Continue reading Kindergarten Readiness – Music Smart Activities for Kids →