What we’re doing and why we do it!
TOYS I MAKE, TRIPS I TAKE
Here’s a fun word. Accelerando! It means “getting faster” and in music indicates a change in tempo or speed. This change can take place gradually or in certain parts of the music. Noticing the difference in these tempos hones listening skills as well as music appreciation in your child.
The train is a good illustration of this concept. And throughout the week you and your preschooler can find many different sound samples or physical feeling of accelerando in daily life: the car going faster while pressing the accelerator or a ball rolling down a hill.
Through a variety of steady beat experiences children will begin to generalize the concepts of steady beat, creating common meaning among these experiences. This development of understanding, or concept learning, carries over to other areas
Concept learning is a cyclical process. The continued use of the specific idea in varied settings will help the learning to gel and contribute to a breadth and depth of understanding. Part of this cyclical process includes transference and evaluation of the concept.
TAKING TURNS SINGING
Fairness, sensitivity, and delight in taking turns and giving turns are the life skills that can be practiced at any age within a singing activity.
Taking turns singing is one of the fun highlights of this song activity. The children are challenged to listen, watch, remember and reflect as the teacher sings, and then be prepared when it is their turn to sing. The children become more musically aware of how important it is to preserve the flow of the song between the teacher and children.
The development of body awareness in the preschool-aged child goes beyond labeling and moving specific body parts to focusing on and controlling the movement of one’s body. This activity is structured to take body awareness a step further by including aural signals. When a specific signal such as walking, running, jumping or ready stop is played on the hand drum, it allows the child to focus on the signal, to understand the meaning of the signal and then to transfer the meaning to a self-controlled action.
Some of the learning tools involved in making a class map are pre-reading skills such as using picture symbols, sequencing, remembering and recognizing
Voice is a child’s first instrument, one that has already gone through many changes.
As a baby, she used all parts of her vocal range. She later narrowed that range, settling into a comfortable speaking voice. Now as a preschooler, she uses a speaking voice for almost everything. Many preschoolers sing in a speaking voice and may not know the difference between the two.
Songs that combine speaking and singing help her hear and experience the difference. She can practice switching these voices and expand her range in fun and imaginative ways.
All of this great practice will give her confidence in many vocal abilities. Expressive voice is not only valued in singing, but in speaking, too.
In “Here Comes the Train” solid music listening skills are developed as the children are engaged in recognizing, discriminating, categorizing and synthesizing relationships in sound. An awareness of accelerando in the section of the music that becomes faster and faster allows the children to focus on a single music concept.
Listening is an essential component of all musical activities. Performers, composers, audience, music students, and music teachers all listen to music as part of their respective interest and responsibilities. Listening skills provide a sound basis for future musical development.
The “Choo-Choo Train” activity involves integration of several learned skills such as:
– Sense of timing, sequencing and anticipation.
– Interactions structured within a social setting.
– Actions and motions that are described through language.
Auditory, visual, and motor engagement through song activities, provides a fertile setting for integration and coordination of our senses.
FAST AND SLOW
Children demonstrate their understanding of the music, concepts “fast and slow” as they coordinate their movements in response to the fast and slow piece of music entitled Riding the Rails.
Imitation is the first stage of pretend play. As a child imitates activities that may be common life experiences, pretend play starts to emerge. Play becomes more complex as the child re-examines life experiences and adds to or changes the play experience.
What’s the train going to do next? It depends on where you are in our Train-Is-A-Comin’ activity.
This game—purchasing a ticket, leaving the station, going faster—gives your preschooler the notion that some things happen in order. It’s a concept called sequence of events. Like turning pages of her favorite book, she can predict what happens next in the sequence. And simply knowing what happens next gives your preschooler a sense of confidence and control about her world.
At home this week, look for other sequences, such as what happens from the time she gets up to when she goes to school to how she ends her day.
WORD REPETITION AND RHYMING
Most preschoolers repeat words or parts of sentences regularly. Children’s growing language skills allow them to create repetitions that rhyme which greatly please them.
Benefits of word repetition and rhyming include:
– Strengthening of memory.
– Reduction of stress.
– Creating an enjoyable form of sound making.
Preschool-aged children are becoming more aware of how their own bodies take up space. Whether moving through space, interacting with objects or relating with other people, spatial awareness is based upon relationships.
We know that young children learn best in an environment that encourages interaction. Children interact not only with objects in their environment they also interact with other children and with adults in their environment. Through interaction, children construct knowledge and learn to problem solve.
Developing confidence in one’s ability to learn, find out, solve problems, practice, act, etc., has broad implications for responsible behavior, from childhood into adulthood. Research on motivation tells us that when children attribute the cause of their behavior to their own efforts, their own competence, and their own selection of goals, intrinsic motivation is likely to be enhanced.
HEARING VERSUS LISTENING
Hearing and listening are quite different. Hearing is a process involving nerves and muscles that reach adult efficiency by age four to five. Listening is a learned behavior, a mental process that is concerned with hearing, attending, discriminating, understanding, and remembering. It can be improved with practice. Listening affects social interactions, one’s level of functioning, and perhaps one’s overall success in life.
Does Bee rhyme with Bead or See?
Your young child may think so. When she hears a word, she sometimes has trouble figuring out which sound forms the end of the word. Rhyming books give your preschooler practice identifying these ending sounds. And, because the book’s rhyming pattern always starts with a “t” sound, he’ll quickly understand how to form the rhyme on each page and how to make up new verses.
That’s why rhyming is one of the methods used to help dyslexic readers. Additionally, early child development research shows that rhyming reduces stress and strengthens memory.