Monday, May 23, 2011

Sing & Learn

Sing and Learn

Have you ever watched a group of young children on the playground excitedly sing Ring Around the Rosey? Or observed a pre-schooler who has just mastered her ABCs, proudly singing them over and over? Maybe you’ve noticed your own child singing along with the radio. It’s evident – all children love to sing!

The voice is every child’s natural instrument and, therefore, an important part of learning and development. And many proponents of music education have long agreed that children can, and should, learn to sing.

Joyful participation in singing with family, friends and classmates, and through activities like Kindermusik, results in comprehending the beauty and expressiveness of the human voice. Children develop the ability to use their voice well in singing, chanting, reciting and reading aloud. It also encourages a lifelong love of music.

Singing is part of every Kindermusik class – whether it’s babies responding to music in Kindermusik Village® class or the pre-schooler learning simple songs in the upcoming Kindermusik Imagine That!™  Singing, integrated with movement, instrument play, literature, and pretend play, is a cornerstone of the Kindermusik experience.

The Young Singer

A newborn’s first singing experiences are really ones of rapt listening. The vocal chords are limited by lack of muscular development, but the ears already can differentiate one sound from another. At about one month, babies begin to enter the world of vocalization and take the first steps in learning to make sound (differentiated from the reflexive sounds of crying). The nurturing of a baby’s developing ability to produce sound, combined with keeping his hearing world full of a wide range of musical sounds, gives the foundation that assures the development of speaking, conversation and singing ability.

 

As a child approaches the toddler years, he will present many varying levels of vocal experience, development and confidence. Most children between 1 ½ to 3 years of age are in the stage of vocal development that some music specialists refer to as “approximation of singing.” First they will attempt to “imitate” a word, phrase, rhythm pattern or vocal inflection. A child may begin to make these imitative sounds out of context, singing or humming to himself while playing alone, using bits and pieces from the sounds they have heard in their environment.


Many parents worry because their child isn’t “singing in Kindermusik class,” but at home, he sings in the bathtub or playroom. Recognize the importance of this “musical play”  – it is by “playing” that children master the muscular feel of producing a singing sound and come to realize that they can produce the kinds of sounds which are different from speech.

Once a child turns 3, his expressive language explodes. A 3- or 4-year-olds’s ability to be expressive in language extends to exploration of his many voices, singing songs in a limited range and emerging pitch accuracy. Singing helps with memory and recall, with physical development, creativity and socialization.

Learning to Sing

When learning to sing, children are most successful when singing songs that have a limited range, common rhythmic and melodic patterns, simple words and plenty of repetition. They always sing best those songs with which they are familiar.

 

One goal of Kindermusik is to provide joyful singing activities that guide children in developing a “light head voice,” singing with greater pitch accuracy and learning a repertoire of songs. Activities in the new Kindermusik Imagine That! curriculum provide opportunities for 3- and 4-year-old children to explore their many voices and to use a “singing voice.”


Start Singing!

Singing doesn’t have to be limited to Kindermusik class – you can help your child learn to sing and develop a love of music at home. Kindermusik Home Activity books provide lots of creative ideas for activities to do with your child that incorporate singing. The whimsically illustrated Kindermusik literature books invite vocal play and singing and are sure to become story time favorites you’ll read again and again! Singing can even serve as a “tool” for you to shift from one activity to another with your child.

 

The easiest way to help your child learn a song is to sing it through several times. Listen to your Kindermusik CDs while in the car or at home and watch how quickly your child will join in and sing along!



 --Borrowed from Kindermusik International's "Parent Connection"






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