MUSIC IS THE SWEETENER FOR LEARNING DIFFICULTIES!

21114525“Just A Spoonful of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down In A Most Delightful Way”
Music can help increase learning for children, particularly those with autism and other learning musicdifficulties.
Music activities provide much needed sensory input through mind and body stimulation at the same time to engage learning. A well-designed music programme will stimulate different parts of the brain at once to process rhythm, emotion and movement, while encouraging creativity, experimentation and exploration in a most delightful way!
Music helps the whole child engage both physically and mentally especially in the early stages of reading and decoding text. Because tempo, pitch and beat are crucial elements in learning to read, children who have been exposed to music demonstrate a higher ability to anticipate words, rhythms and concepts when learning to speak, write and read.

Exposure to singing, dancing and playing (a variety of instruments) help to develop and sharpen proper voice control, motor planning and fine-tune fine and gross motor skills.
Children who experience learning difficulties, if encouraged to participate in music lessons, are more easily able to practice and assimilate new concepts in grammar and punctuation .

This is key in allowing the child to engage faster and scaffold their learning more effectively.

Children with learning difficulties, in particular on the Autism spectrum, who are part of a consistent music program also demonstrate increased focus, more voluntary attention, better memory, increased social interaction and greater ownership and enjoyment of their literacy journey.

When a child with learning difficulties experiences success in music, this leads to increased self-esteem, effective fine and gross motor control, a greater awareness of the world around them and better social and communication skills.

Music can also enhance discipline and move a child towards a more positive, affirming attitude while giving them a sense of pride in their work.

Music is a means that enables a child with learning difficulties to show their emotions in a creative, non-verbal way they might not otherwise be able to express. Where once there was frustration anxiety, unhappiness, struggle and resulting behavioural difficulties, music is the spoonful of medicine that provides healing for a child experiencing learning difficulties and gives them a sense of achievement and purpose!

IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE. . .by Guest Blogger Joanne Sundra

20681246IF MUSIC BE THE FOOD OF LOVE. . .
Think about the first steps you took as a child. You were a baby when you first started walking and even though there were a few wobbles and you fell over more times than you stood up, your parents clapped and cheered. They smiled and encouraged you to keep trying.
Reading music and singing and clapping a rhythm is the same. Children are instinctively perceptive and will often listen to music to identify familiar melodies and rhythms. Music then grows out of an attempt to make sense of the world around them. Parents can encourage their child’s listening and focus by setting the scene with a favourite song so the child is able to instantly recall the sequence of events in the story. Children just beginning to read will often join in with singing their favourite song, even making up the words as they go…
When teaching children their ABC’s, learning occurs best when set to music. Music is everywhere, from memorable tunes in television shows, to background music played in and children learn to associate the beginning of their favourite television programme with the first chords of the song.
Young children are naturally wired for sound and it is so important that parents harness this ability by allowing children to experiment with rhythm, notation and sound. Overturned pots and pans, ladles and soup stirrers magically become musical instruments for the afternoon before returning to their more traditional, somewhat boring, role as dinner utensils by 5 o’clock. Mirrors and hairbrushes have the power to transform into a veritable stage-setup at bathtime, only to find their powers once again harnessed to the top of the tallboy by bedtime.
Music creates happiness like no other medium can. Whether it is singing into a shampoo bottle, dancing like no one is watching, acting out a play for Grandparents Day, or simply belting out a tune to bring a smile to mum’s face on Mother’s Day, music is a whole concept that fosters play, fun and laughter.
Greater mindfulness, improvement in memory skills, better experimental writing, reading with purpose are all skills being introduced and honed through the application of music. If music in the home can create a fun relaxed environment for harmony, cooperation and bonding, then play on!

Music MATTERS! by guest blogger Joanne Sundra

Children In Singing Group Being Encouraged By Teacher“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
– Plato

Teaching music to kids is CRUCIAL- not an optional extra!

When learning music students learn to let language flow and improve auditory memories through listening to beats and copying rhythms.

Repetitions when singing charted songs improves word recognition and reading fluency.

Children LOVE to make up simple songs about their daily happenings and this increases their MUSICAL INTELLIGENCE.

They can take favourite books and poems and sing them. (Just like in the popular TV show Spicks and Specks)
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Music forms a bridge of understanding so children may learn about the world through stories and songs.

Many concepts are learned and deepened when children learn nursery rhymes and common songs.

Children with speech problems such as stutters, improve when given daily music practice.

Many children can remember facts about tables, grammar and spelling rules by singing simple songs written to help them revise these concepts.

The music and maths intelligences have many connections and the sense of order and harmony in music is expressed in the patterns and order of mathematics.

Music is an effective stimulus that affects students’ emotions and makes the memory work more effectively. Think about the memories that flood in when you hear favourite pieces of music.

Elderly people can recall first loves, people with alzheimers can be helped to improve memory with regular music sessions.
Music is a POWERFUL learning tool!
By using music in the curriculum, teachers create an environment that is conducive to learning, stress is reduced, and the stage is set for SUCCESS!

We will be commencing JOLLY MUSIC this term and teaching children to listen, concentrate and respond to simple instructions. They will learn to use their voice as an instrument and auditory memory, phonological awareness and understanding of rhyme will improve.

There is no doubt that maths and literacy skills increase when carefully sequenced and well – researched programs such as JOLLY LEARNING are used with children.

All CHILDREN DESERVE THE CHANCE TO LEARN MUSIC!

Tomorrow we will write about ways parents can effectively integrate music into their home environments to promote harmony, a sense of fun and improved learning outcomes.
Call 92714200 or email iceinfo@iinet.net.au for more information about our programs.

Musical Intelligence

music 2

“Yea, music is the prophet’s art; among the gifts that God hath sent, one of the most magnificent.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Music is the first intellectual capacity to develop. Children respond in a positive and specific way at birth to the human voice. It seems that even while in utero the baby develops some musical ability. Babies in the womb are affected by many sounds-tones from their mother’s speech, laughter, singing, sound of mother’s heart, muffled sounds of music from radios and CDs and other’s talking. Music is one of the eight intelligences identified by Howard Gardner and indeed a very important one!
“In many ways music and rhythm are more foundational to our species than language. They have a power to evoke and express that no other medium expresses. Mothers use it to lull their children to sleep. Armies march to war to the beat of drums and national anthems. The use of chanting as a religious practice has been a part of every major world religion. And of course, the development of a wide variety of folk music has been used for entertainment and dancing, as an expression of grief, and as a declaration of love”
Eight Ways Of Knowing, by David Lazear, Hawker Brownlow 1999.
We can observe this intelligence at work as we watch young children enjoying singing, dancing, swinging their legs and enjoying the rhythms and beats of nursery rhymes. Children are delighted by music and certainly this is an important intelligence for many reasons-not just for enjoyment. Music is a civilising intelligence and our lives are all the richer for its development. It unites us and helps our children develop a sense of community.
We know that children can be helped to remember important facts by making up songs about them e.g. in grammar- Nouns are people, places things, just like desks, Marie and rings………..
Teachers are beginning to incorporate musical intelligence into all parts of the curriculum as it enhances learning as well as increasing enjoyment.
Children can be enthused by certain types of lively music and soothed by quiet lullabies. Tense, worried children can be helped to relax and improve motivation.
We all possess some degree of musical intelligence, whether or not we sing or play instruments. We can help our children to improve this intelligence through the following strategies:
 Encouraging children to listen to many types of music and draw their emotional responses is an excellent way to stimulate this intelligence. Whenever possible take children to concerts and expose them to as many varieties of music as possible. Develop the habit of singing along as a family.

 Playing “Brain enhancement” music to help children retain information and learn new material. Mozart and other Baroque composers are ideal for this. This of course is also very helpful for adults who are trying to learn study or just think more effectively.

 Singing stories such, as OLD MACDONALD and AN OLD LADY WHO SWALLOWED A FLY are excellent ways to improve reading while having fun! Make up RAPS and songs about events or items to be learned.

 Read children plenty of poetry, as this will encourage a sense of rhythm and appreciation of the sounds and cadences of the English language. Encourage the children to make up nonsense rhymes such as “One, one, eat a cream bun……..

Using chopsticks for to tap out rhythms of rhymes is great fun!

 Try using percussion instruments for playing while learning times tables or buy one of the excellent commercial music CDs to help children learn these important skills.

 Use music to teach the alphabet and phonics sounds essential to learning to read in English.

 Changing the words of well known songs e.g. Twinkle, twinkle little star, my Daddy drives a motor car…….

 Making up family songs. E.g. we love our family, of yes our family, we sing together all the time. We love each other. We help each other and we are happy to be close-to the tune of You are my sunshine/

 Study and listen to great composers. There are many excellent books and music CDs for families to practise together.

 Clap out the beats (syllables) in much loved songs and make up fun dances.

 Celebrate the rhythms of nature together-the turning on day into night, months, seasons, celebrations. Rhythms are integral to our human existence and children delight in the celebration of all the changes and rituals associated with these rhythms.

 Go outside with your children and listen to the “music” of the breeze in the trees or the “swishing” of grass

 Listen to music from different cultures as this increases musical intelligence as well as enlarging our understanding of each other and our traditions.

These strategies will help your children (and yourselves) to develop this wonderful musical intelligence and don’t forget the amazing music of silence as this can heal us and help our brains to prepare for the next beautiful melody we meet!