Archive for the ‘Curriculum Corner’ Category

Why music education?

Monday, June 18th, 2018

music education for the whole child developmentMusic helps develop the whole child

At Young Explorers, we’ve been offering music education for more than 40 years. We believe that music is just as important as math, reading and play when developing the whole child.

Take a look at the benefits of raising a music lover, and find out how to share your love of music with your child.

Benefits of Music Education: 

  1. Enhance academic performance. Some studies have shown that kids who can play instruments receive higher SAT scores. Engaging with music involves math, science, and memory skills, as well as motor coordination.

  2. Explore other cultures. Even if your knowledge of French is limited to Frere Jacques, you realize how rhymes make it easier to speak other languages. Music also provides a window into how others live around the world.

  3. Promote teamwork. Bands and orchestras collaborate and resolve challenges. Each member waits their turn and respects the others’ contributions.
  4. Teach delayed gratification. Video games like Guitar Hero may be fun, but they don’t really teach you to play guitar. Kids who practice with a real instrument experience the rewards of perseverance.

  5. Build confidence. Racking up tangible accomplishments boosts self-esteem. Performing before a live audience can also be an early lesson in leadership and presentation abilities.

Encouraging Your Child’s Music Appreciation:

  1. Start early. Many experts think that the capacity for musical sensibility peaks between birth and age, nine so use age-appropriate methods. Your baby loves the sound of your voice, so chant while you rock them. Encourage your toddler to make noise with homemade shakers and drums.
  2. Sing together. Babies will often mimic any sound you make, while slightly older kids will enjoy silly songs. By the time they’re ready for elementary school, you can start introducing simple concepts like tempo and beat.
  3. Share activities. Keep it interesting with crafts and outings. Draw pictures of instruments to color, and check neighborhood calendars for children’s performances.

  4. Broaden their exposure. Drench your home in pleasant sounds. Play classical music and jazz on the radio. Offer sheet music and books. 

Supporting Your Child’s Music Studies:

  1. Talk with the teacher. Choose a music instructor with a warm personality who can describe their lesson plan in convincing detail. Ask them how you can assist your child, especially if you don’t know much about music yourself.

  2. Attend classes. Your child might feel more comfortable if you go with them to classes at first. Try to observe closely without distracting them from listening to the teacher.

  3. Praise effort. Let your child know you recognize their progress. Be specific about what they’re doing well, whether it’s practicing on a daily basis or playing an entire piece without hitting a single wrong note.

  4. Show enthusiasm. Show up for each performance that you possibly can. Give a big round of applause and take pictures for posterity. Help your child stay on track by engaging them in setting daily goals and figuring out activities of their own for holiday breaks and summer vacation.

  5. Make it fun. Remember that the main purpose is to help your child enjoy music, so let them decide how far they want to go. Let them know you love them just as much if they want to trade in their piano lessons for horseback riding.

Make symphonies and pop songs part of your family activities. Increasing your child’s understanding of music will enhance their performance in many arenas, and give them a source of joy and relaxation they can count on throughout their lives.

Make Time to Talk!

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Do you remember when you were so anxious to have your child start conversing?  Now sometimes we wish they weren’t so efficient at this.  One of the most important skills preschool children need is to continue developing language and thinking skills.  It is very important for children to have adults “talk” with them daily.  Some suggestions for assisting your child in learning new vocabulary, expressing their ideas and needs, as well as to help them have fun with language are listed in the following article.

A special program called “MAKE TIME TO TALK” gives some very practical ideas to try with your child.

M – Meal times can be good opportunity for individual and small group conversations with children.  Even the very young child can benefit with your positive smile, describing the foods, colors and tastes.

A – Ask questions that encourage the child to think – questions involving analysis, prediction, imagining things that could happen.

K – Have eye contact with the child.  This shows your child that you are giving them your undivided attention.

E – Extend your conversation with your child.  Conversations should go back and forth with each person responding to the other speaker at least a few times.

T – Themes help children understand and remember the meanings of new words, especially when you build activities around the theme. (Baking cookies, ingredients, actions, tasting!)

I – Involve your child in conversations each and every day.

M – Make connections with books and recent activities to help build meaning.

E – Expand on the child’s language by repeating with descriptive words, using words correctly, and building on your child’s ideas.

T – Two way conversations mean that your child should be doing at least half of the talking.

O – Encourage one or more individual conversations each day.  Bath time and bed time are really excellent opportunities to focus in on the child.

T – Children should have the opportunity to have available a variety of materials.  Newspapers, magazines, books, signs along your way to and from school, electronic devices are just a few items that can encourage children to ask questions and discuss items as you go along your daily life routines.

A – Act out stories with children, reusing words from the book you read aloud with your child.

L – Language should include rich, varied vocabulary in talking with your child that will build on experiences.

K – Encourage your child by keeping conversation going through questions, comments and expanding vocabulary.

Taking time to encourage your child’s language development will definitely assist them in their academic achievement.  This may sound easy for some who enjoy talking and may be more difficult for those who find conversing a challenge.  In our busy lives we often forget that this time in your child’s life passes too quickly.  Taking time to talk and listen will permit your child to use words to express their feelings and clue you in on their developmental milestones.