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Posts tagged ‘Music’

Language and Music:Inseparable

I’ve told you before about my two passions: Language and Music. Watch this slide show that shows us how music and communication are related. Here is a summary of some of the most important points in this slide show:

  • Music and speech are intertwined starting in the womb. (We knew that!)
  • The melody of our voices is the musical nature of speech and it conveys feelings and meaning. For example, when we are happy we use a high pitch voice and we speak fast. When we are sad our speech is slow and we use deep monotone voice.
  • Taking music lessons helps us understand better the melody of words and interpret the emotions that they convey.
  • Pitch can vary between languages.
  • Our voices start getting shaped in the womb by the voices the baby hear.
  • In tonal languages like mandarin or Vietnamese, pitch determines the meaning of words.
  • Our perception of pitch is critical when we communicate to understand what others feel and mean.
  • When we learn to talk we help our music ability a well.

I loved this slide show because in just a few minutes it helps capture and understand the important relationship between language and music! I love my job!

Did you learn something with this slide show? Share your comments!

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How do kids learn? Part 3

So, for the last 2 learning styles… we are going to talk about musical (woohoo!) and bodily (?). Oh if you are reading this blog for the first time, the last 2 weeks we’ve been talking about the 7 different learning styles. Check How do kids (and we) learn Part 1 and Part 2 (if you are interested).
 
Musical: If your child is always walking around the house humming a tune, or always needs music to study by, then he/she is likely a musical learner. This type of learner is best at noticing details, pitches, and rhythms that escape the normal listener. They are excellent at keeping tune, and are adept at turning the abstract into concrete objects. These childern learn best through rhythm, melody, and music. When they need to learn something for school encourage them to write a song about the lesson (rap maybe?), or teach them a song. Encourage their natural love of music, and try to incorporate music into as many lessons as possible.
 
 
Bodily: This type of learner is always on the move. They are also called Kinesthetic learners. They constantly walk around, they have to touch everything, and they use body language to convey their feelings. They would rather play sports or do a craft than sit down and read a book. They need active education hands-on activities. As babies, kinesthetic learners are in constant motion, their movements are well coordinated, and they are anxious to crawl and walk as quickly as possible. In a classroom, kinesthetic learners can be fidgety. They’ll often be the first to volunteer to do something —anything—active. They want to do an experiment not watch it or read about it. Keep them moving. These are the learners who can do more than one thing at a time. Interdisciplinary lessons are very successful with these types of learners.
 
So, to summarize, the 7 learning styles are:
  1. linguistic
  2. interpersonal
  3. intrapersonal
  4. logical
  5. spatial
  6. musical
  7. bodily
 I think I am a combination of linguistic, interpersonal and musical. How about you?
 
 
 
 
 

Music Benefits…

…language skills!!

I love this topic! I’m combining two loves: language and music! The best part is that one helps the other, which makes my job a lot easier and more fun!

Have you ever wondered why children enjoy singing the same song over and over and over again? Here’s why. Children are learning so manythings at the same time, that it can get frustrating, so when they learn to do something well, they like to practice and maybe show off a little! They are proud of their accomplishment! Which is perfect when they are developing because they learn to perfect their skills!

Here are some of the areas of language that children develop while singing: vocabulary, comprehension, listening, expression

Vocabulary: Children’s songs are highly thematic. They talk about a situation (Itsy Bitsy Spider) or about animals (Old MacDonald) or about our body parts (Head, shoulders, knees and toes). While singing these songs they are learning tons of vocabulary words. The more words they know, the longer and better sentences they make, and the better they can communicate their thoughts!

Comprehension: While singing songs, children start learning if the words are talking about an animal or a toy or a color. We might use a toy horse when singing Old MacDonald and they are now learning that the word horse goes with that toy they really like. Or we touch our body parts when singing Head, shoulders, knees and toes. That’s comprehension!

Listening: When children are learning new songs they have to pay attention to the words so they can imitate them. They have to be attentive to the intonation and pronunciation. And all that is required is to listen!

Expression: After they listen, they start imitating, practicing those words. When children know the songs completely, they transfer that knowledge to every day situations. Maybe after they learn to sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider, now they can talk about spiders if they see one! They might see one climbing up something and talk about how they are going up the water spout!

So when your children sing that song 20 times a day, just think that they are learning new words, learning pronunciation, using the correct intonation of the word and also practicing how to correctly articulate the sounds! Did you have any clue they are learning ALL these skills when they sing one song? (20 times a day)

Another benefit of singing is that children are able to memorize the words faster because the can chunk or divide in small parts the sentences and even the words. Some songs divide one word in syllbles and that helps children learn the word much better. Plus, repetition is the key to learn something new (hence the 20 times a day!). And how much more fun it is to sing all day! Wouldn’t you prefer to learn things by singing, than sitting in a boring office trying to memorize next week’s presentation?

Ahhhhh I love my job!

Are there any skills you’d love to practice 20 times a day?

Summer ideas for at-home entertainment!

Summer in the northern hemisphere officially starts with the summer solstice on June 21st. But here in the US, we feel is summertime right after Memorial Day. I love summer! For me, is the time to relax, have fun, and go to the beach! But for many parents, summer means that kids are at home and the question many parents ask themselves is…What are we going to do this summer with the kids? Depending where you live your children might be home, right now, or in just a few weeks! Yikes!

So, what’s there to do with the children during the summer vacation? Of course, there’s always the traditional summer camps (I never went to one, so I can’t talk about that experience; I’ll research). But if you are at home with the kids, it can be tricky (and costly!) to find things to do to entertain them that won’t make you (or them) go crazy or bankrupt! So here are some ideas of fun, cheap entertaining things to do with your kids this summer!

  1. Cooking- I know it can get messy, but researching for the BEST recipe, getting the ingredients and doing all the cooking can take a few hours! If you do it at least twice a week, that can save you some time. Plus, you have to eat anyway!
  2. Arts & Crafts– Again, another messy situation. But, you can set a space just for this kind of activity. Crafting can help kids explore their creativity! Who knows what kind of masterpiece they’ll come up with? All you need is some paper, colored pencils, glue, stickers and a few other crafts to make it more special. Find things around the home to use! (here’s a link to a cute craft idea!) 
  3. Father’s day homemade cards– No need to explain! Have fun!
  4. Dance competition- Get some friends/cousins/neighbors and have a dance competition. This can last for hours! But between planning the rules, the judges, the outfit, and the songs, that can take a few days! You can also have a competition for sports, crafts and singing! The important thing is to have fun, not to win.
  5. Game night– Well, I guess I had to add this because I love board games. They are fun! If board games are too retro for your kids, and you have a Wii, then have a Wii challenge!
  6. Sleep-overs– This is great because if your child has 3-4 friends, and they each sponsor a sleepover, that’s a few days of kid-free time for you to recharge for the next adventure!

Whatever you decide to do, what’s important is that you spend time together as family [with the exception of the sleepover ;0)]. These activities help the children, with their creativity, motor and social-emotional skills.

Are there any other activities you would add? Share with us, so that I can add it to my list!

 

photo: iStock

Music benefits…

 …Social-emotional skills!

Many parents do not think about their children’s social and emotional skills and how they can help strenghten and develop those. In future posts I will talk about these skills and what can parents do to help their children in that area. However, today we talk about how Music benefits social-emotional skills!

1. Music helps improve self-esteem. Songs are meant to be sung many, many, many (did I mention many?) times. Repetition helps the child to predict what’s going to happen and this helps with self-esteem. Anxiety is decreased because they know what comes next. Think about it, they don’t know much about the world so they become anxious about everything it’s happening because everything is new! Singing songs they like helps improve their self-confidence. Plus, when we sing, we probably move and dance and as a parent/caregiver you will celebrate their movement and how wonderful their dancing is by clapping and smiling…that helps with their confidence as well!

2. Music helps with curiosity. When children explore with one or a variety of instruments, this helps them satisfy their curiosity. How does this work? What kind of noise does it make? Does it bounce, wiggle or shake?

3. Music helps make friends. When they sing, dance or play instruments they interact with other children. Music is mostly a social activity! Kids love to dance and sing with their friends and show-off their skills. Singing and dancing together helps children bond with their friends, because now they do things that they enjoy together, isn’t that how we choose our friends? I certainly do!

4. Music helps with self-control. When they share instruments, share the dancing space or sing a song together, they are developing self-control. They practice self-control when sharin, taking turns, planning their actions, paying attention and moving at the rhythm of the music.

5. Music helps to relate with other people. Nobody can be grumpy when singing or dancing! Music helps us to be kind and respectful because we are singing together and making music together; it’s a group experience! Also, music helps expressing their feelings. You can sing when you are happy, sad or to celebrate other people’s birthdays and accomplishments! Children learn how to relate with other people through music and in this cooperation they learn to resolve problems with others.

Here I shared just a few of the benefits. Can you think of other examples of how music helps with social-emotional skills? Share with us!

 

photo: iStock

Music benefits…

Music can have so many benefits in our lives! It helps with cognitive, physical, language, socio-emotional, reading, writing, and math skills…!! So, in this post we’ll see how music has benefits in academic areas such as literacy and math.

Literacy is defined as how well we read and write. Once we learn how to read, we read all the time: we read menus, books, flyers, street signs, etc. We write things all the time as well. From the more sophisticated report at work to leaving a note to someone in your family! In order to acquire these skills and use them effectively, one has to manipulate sounds and parts of sounds which is called phonological awareness and understand that print has different functions, such as give choices (menus), tell a story (book), or make an announcement, which is called print awareness, as well as have good oral language skills.

Children’s songs often divide words in syllables, use rhyming words, and repeat words, phrases, syllables and sounds. All of this helps with literacy skills. In addition, we sing them ALL the time (Do you still have a favorite?)

Music also benefits math skills. Math skills include not only numbers, but shapes, spatial relationships and patterns.

When you listen to music or practice music you are counting, or following a beat, or a rhythm… those are patterns! How about when you play music and listen to notes that are higher or lower? You are practicing geometry skills!

If you want your child to do better in math, reading and writing, pick up those instruments, sing your favorite song and count 1-2-3!!

What is you favorite childhood song?