It is not hard to see that MUSIC has the incredible power to support the development of a child. Aside from being so much FUN, music grows a child's language and increases cognitive, emotional, social, and creative development. Music education does not have to be provided in a music class though. Early childhood teachers and parents can provide meaningful experiences with singing and movement. As a parent (and before studying child development), I had no idea how important music was to helping to produce unique connections in the brain. Music prepares the brain to work from both hemispheres. Music is the tool that leads to higher level thinking. Pretty cool huh?!
I want to share a few of my musical favs for in and out of the classroom.
Every day, my class participates in using brain breaks through a free website called gonoodle.com. It is Ah-mazing and my student LOVE it. It combines music and movement. Here is a youtube example of a gonoodle video. Seriously, every teacher and parent should sign up for their FREE account. It's too much fun not to miss! There is fast music and calming music. I'm not going to lie, sometimes you may walk in my classroom and we may be doing a brain break yoga. Don't all children need to learn to belly breath too? Ha!
Let's talk sight words. So stinkin' important for young learners! My class big puffy heart loves Heidi Songs. We add two new songs a week and my kids are rocking and rolling with their sight words. I'm telling you, music and movement are the key here. Sensory integration speaks to all learners. Here is a great video showcases all that Heidi Songs has to offer.
For the love of all things FUN! I first met Shawn Brown at Frog Street SPLASH's summer conference four summers ago. As a teacher, I loved every session he gave and could not wait to share his music with my students. Really, The Super Fun Show should go down in your classroom every day!
I am so honored to call Debbie Clement one of my friends! She is the author and creator of rainbowswithinreach.com. Her music is wonderful. She has created these amazing books and at the back of each book is a CD with the song for that book. These books stay in my classroom library year round. My school had the privilege of welcoming Debbie for an author's visit and it was so much fun. She is so incredibly talented and children love her. Here is an example of on of my favorite songs for young learners. If you ever have the opportunity to bring an author/song writer to your school, I promise you would not regret a moment with Debbie Clement!
Another teacher/parent favorite of mine is Dr. Jean. If you haven't heard her famous name then climb out from under that rock my friend. Dr. Jean is a seasoned and timeless educator that brings engaging fun and total silliness to our classroom every week. My kids beg to sign the Rules of the Classroom every day. Seriously. Every. Day. Ha! Hey, when kids want to sing about following the rules, you know something is right in the world.
The last musical genius I want to share with you is the Learning Station. I first found them on youtube and it was love at first note. I now own all of their CD's and my kids request their songs by name. Don Monopoli is a very talented music creator and speaker. If you ever have a chance to see him at a conferences, do it!
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who your musical fav is or what songs you listen to. The most important thing is that you are making it a part of your everyday life. As an educator and as a parent, we need to give our kids opportunities to grow in every way possible. Music gets the whole child in the process of learning. What does this really mean? Music is IMPORTANT. In order for our kids to be well balanced learners, we should consider all of their needs. Lucky for us, MUSIC foots to
bill for so many of them.
**This post is the reflection of my opinion alone and was not sponsored by anyone referenced here.