Tag Archives: music

It’s a Zoo at Kindermusik this Summer!

ImageImageImageWe have been having a wonderful time this summer with our zoo theme! As we bounce like kangaroos, flutter like birds, sing like parrots, chug like the zoo train, and so much more, we build music and life skills! Visit us on facebook- ‘like’ Kindermusik with Sound Foundations and see all of our Adventures! Don’t forget, as we move into August we have musical, single-class Playdates available throughout the month… the perfect way to get a taste of Kindermusik, or to round out your summer fun! Come join us!

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Why Children Should Learn Music

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The following is from James Crocker’s blog on music and children, http://shapesounds.com/blog

There is a possibility you want your child to learn music because you have dreams of raising a classical virtuoso, an international rock star or a jazz legend. There are few shortcuts to such greatness; the route to Carnegie Hall is still ‘practice, practice, practice’, despite the glittering promises of TV talent shows. It is claimed that mastering anything -including music – takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. At the rate of one hour a day, that would take nearly 30 years! Unless your child is internally driven to make music (enjoying studying for hours alone, preferring practice to visiting friends and video games, etc) it is unlikely they will make a career from playing music. So, why bother?

Most parents know intuitively that learning to play music helps in other areas of education and personal development. Maybe you’ve read how music students are better at learning languages, or perhaps you played music at school and remember how it boosted your self-confidence? Scientists continue to gather mountains of evidence linking music-making with improvements in almost every aspect of life: language, reasoning, mathematics, creativity, problem solving, cultural awareness, health, fine-motor skills, self-discipline, teamwork, concentration, stress relief, memory, self-confidence, time management, patience, hand-eye coordination, and socialization. The question should be: why doesn’t everyone learn music?

Here’s some of the evidence:

A group of preschoolers received private piano keyboard lessons and singing lessons. A second group received private computer lessons. Those children who received piano/keyboard training performed 34 percent higher on tests measuring spatial-temporal ability than those who received computer training.

~Neurological Research, February 28, 1997

A ten-year study, tracking more than 25,000 students, shows that music-making improves test scores. Regardless of socioeconomic background, music-making students get higher marks in standardized tests than those who had no music involvement. The test scores studied were not only standardized tests, such as the SAT, but also in reading proficiency exams.

~Dr. James Catterall, UCLA, 1997

Second-grade students were given four months of piano keyboard training, as well as time using newly designed math software. The group scored over 27 percent higher on proportional math and fractions tests than children who used only the math software.

                        ~Neurological Research March, 1999

Secondary students who participated in band or orchestra reported the lowest lifetime and current use of all substances (alcohol, tobacco, illicit drugs).

~Texas Commission on Drug and Alcohol Abuse Report. January 1998

Middle school and high school students who participated in instrumental music scored significantly higher than their non-band peers in standardized tests. University studies conducted in Georgia and Texas found significant correlations between the number of years of instrumental music instruction and academic achievement in math, science and language arts.

~University of Sarasota Study, Jeffrey Lynn Kluball;
East Texas State University Study, Daryl Erick Trent

College-age musicians are emotionally healthier than their non-musician counterparts. A study conducted at the University of Texas looked at 362 students who were in their first semester of college. They were given three tests, measuring performance anxiety, emotional concerns and alcohol related problems. In addition to having fewer battles with the bottle, researchers also noted that the college-aged music students seemed to have surer footing when facing tests.

~Houston Chronicle, January 11, 1998

A McGill University study found that pattern recognition and mental representation scores improved significantly for students given piano instruction over a three-year period. They also found that self-esteem and musical skills measures improved for the students given piano instruction.

~Dr. Eugenia Costa-Giomi, Phoenix, AZ, April, 1998

According to statistics compiled by the National Data Resource Center, students who can be classified as “disruptive” (based on factors such as frequent skipping of classes, times in trouble, in-school suspensions, disciplinary reasons given, arrests, and drop-outs) total 12.14 percent of the total school population. In contrast, only 8.08 percent of students involved in music classes meet the same criteria as “disruptive.”

~Based on data from the NELS:88 (National Education Longitudinal Study), second follow-up, 1992.

Data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 showed that music participants received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that the percentage of music participants receiving As, As/Bs, and Bs was higher than the percentage of non-participants receiving those grades.

~National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988
First Follow-Up (1990),US Department of Education.

Young children with developed rhythm skills perform better academically in early school years. Findings of a recent study showed that there was a significant difference in the academic achievement levels of students classified according to rhythmic competency. Students who were achieving at academic expectation scored high on all rhythmic tasks, while many of those who scored lower on the rhythmic test achieved below academic expectation.

~”The Relationship between Rhythmic Competency and Academic Performance in First Grade Children,” University of Central Florida, Debby Mitchell

A University of California (Irvine) study showed that after eight months of keyboard lessons, preschoolers showed a 46% boost in their spatial reasoning IQ.

~Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, Ky and Wright, “Music and Spatial Task Performance: A Causal Relationship,” University of California, Irvine, 1994

James Crocker is a musician, teacher and dad sharing ideas on how to introduce the language of music to young kids.  He is also a member of CMN.

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Sing your Blues Away… Singing Aids in Parental Relaxation!

Lullabies and children’s songs- good for your baby or child, but did you know that singing to and with them benefits you as well? Research indicates that part of the benefit of singing for your baby or child is the relaxation and stress relief that it offers parents. We are all born with our own internal tempo- the steady pace of our own heart beat and breathing. When presented with music which is faster than that beat, our body responds by increasing its heartbeat and respiration rate, and we experience this as stimulating or exciting. Present us with music slower than our internal tempo, and the heart and breathing slow in response- we feel this as soothing and calming. The physical act of sustaining breath for song slows and deepens our breathing, and results in a feeling of soothing and well-being on the part of the singer as oxygen levels increase and heart rate slows. Parents who sang with or for their children, especially lullabies, reported feelings of decreased stress, increased feelings of well-being, and increased feelings of connection with their child. So feeling stressed? Sing, sing, sing!

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The Gift of Music for the New Year- Together!

Happy holidays! Looking for what to do with your child in the new year? How about coming to the place where you can sing, play, laugh, and learn- together! Kindermusik is based on some simple yet profound philosophies… that every child is musical, and that the parent and the home are the child’s first and best learning environment. Classes are not just a once a week experience, but the springboard for every day music making and integrated learning! Kindermusik is research based and grows with your child through all of their stages of development. There are new friends waiting for both you and your child in a Kindermusik class registering NOW- come join us! To view the Winter/Spring schedule for Kindermusik with Wendy Jones, just go to http://www.kindermusikwithwj.com and find the perfect class to suit your schedule; register online or by mail and we will see you when the new session begins the week of February 7!

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The Amazing Effects of Music on Brain Development

image.axdFrom Kindermusik International’s official blog site Minds on Music; have you visited yet? http://www.kindermusik.com/mindsonmusic

Recently, Miss Analiisa blogged about the healing power of music. She cited an article, “Better Minds Through Music,” written by Michael Shasberger, Adams Professor of Music and Worship. Because this is such great information, I’d like to build on her blog with further research I conducted, and tell you more about the fascinating, life-impacting research being done on music and the brain. Your children and mine can benefit immeasurably from putting into practice what researchers are discovering about the relationship between early exposure to music training and cognitive development.

Michael Shasberger’s excellent article was written primarily to fight the elimination of music programs from budget-strained elementary schools. He writes that study after study has demonstrated the profoundly significant impact music makes on children’s intellectual and social development. Academic performance and social behavior are positively impacted:

“Students involved in arts in the curriculum are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, three times more likely to be elected to class office, four time more likely to participate in math and science fair, three times more likely to win an award for school attendance and four times more likely to win and award for writing an essay or poems. Young artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to attend music, art and dance classes nearly three times as frequently; participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently; read for pleasure nearly twice as often; and perform community service more than four times as often. The benefits of exposing children to music and the arts are indisputable.

Music’s power to heal is also well-documented. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin has written books and produced an award-winning documentary, “The Music Instinct: Science and Song.” His research explores music’s power to touch our emotions, which has impact on our psychological and physiological systems. Findings show that music can alter and heal parts of the brain. For example people with Parkinson’s disease have been able to walk better because of listening to a rhythm soundtrack. And some stroke patients with aphasia (lack of speech) have been able to regain speech by beginning with singing what they were trying to say.

We know of music’s restorative properties, but how does music impact the brain development of our children? Researcher Sheila Woodward of USC discovered that fetuses in the womb respond to music at 17-19 weeks gestation. Michael Shasberger’s research suggests that music integrates both sides of the developing brain. Playing notes is a very sequential left-brain process. Seeing overall patterns, integrating the expression of the whole piece and dealing with rhythmic patterns are right brain skills. Math skills are required in timing and counting and fine motor skills must put it all together in the playing of the instrument. Music provides a total brain workout, Strasberg concludes.

The College Board that runs SAT testing backs this up. Music students post a consistent 10 % advantage in math and verbal scores. Dr. Frances Rauscher, a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh states that musical training enhances abstract thinking and spatial-temporal ability even more than computer training. He concludes; “Music has an obvious impact on the brain and should be supported and encouraged in early childhood education.”

In conclusion, providing a music-rich environment early on can have a very positive impact on our children. Here are a few practical suggestions to integrate music into your kids’ daily lives:

Expose your kids to high quality music. Borrow CDs from the library. Listen to your Kindermusik CDs. Find the classical radio stations in your area. Purchase an inexpensive CD player for your child to enjoy his or her “own” music. Pair special occasions with special songs.

Enroll your kids in Kindermusik classes. Take them to concerts. There are many free ones in the summer and at libraries. Check the schedule for kids’ concerts at Benaroya Hall. Check the regular concert schedule too. Kids enjoy more kinds of music than you might think!

Make music at home. Invest in a musical instrument set to play rhythms, march and sing along to. Sign your children up for music lessons. My kids loved piano lessons.

-by Donna Detweiler who has a new appreciation for her husband’s habit of turning classical music on every night at dinner time.

Special thanks to Donna Detweiler and Analiisa Reichlin for allowing us to share such an informative post from the Studio 3 Music Blog. Analiisa is Director of Studio 3 Music in Seattle, Washington, the world’s largest Kindermusik program.

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