|Music saves lives|
|By Julia Priest on November 23, 2011|
|Local teen Jimmy Nguyen chose never to say a word to anybody, even his own family, for years and years. Singing in music class gave him the impetus he needed to decide, for once and for all, to to come out of his shell. Now all his friends call him "star."|| |
|Play all day. . .|
|By Julia Priest on November 09, 2011|
Even adults learn more via play than through drill and direct instruction. Listen to this brief NPR article for the latest research, and then go play with kids!
|Rocking Out is InBorn|
|By Julia Priest on July 16, 2011|
Babies love music. Babies love rhythm.
Babies are capable of rhythm. duh.
|Monsters under the bed? Make 'em go away!|
|By Julia Priest on June 08, 2011|
I've learned that secure attachment is the best medicine for
for healthy growth and development--and also for traumatic early
childhood experiences, from multiple surgical procedures even to
prolonged abuse and neglect. And guess what promotes secure attachment?
Face-to-face play. Tuneful, rhythmic one-on-one conversations between
mother and child, or father and baby, or nanny and preschooler, or
grandfather and grandchild. This is why, in every single parent-child
music class I teach, I include a lap bounce such as "Trot Trot to
Boston" or "This is the Way the Ladies Ride," wherein I invite (or
encourage, or sometimes beg) the grownups to persuade their child to
turn face-to-face. By building fun and laughter in face-to-face
high-energy interactions, we are stimulating everybody's brain to
release pleasure and attachment chemicals such as oxytocin, dopamine,
and endorphins. Even stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol
come into play in a balanced, beneficial way. So bend your knees and
bounce your child . . . at home, on the playground, or in music class.
|By Julia Priest on May 27, 2011|
|What's Play-Doh got to do with music class? The other day, after
teaching preschool music classes, I was chatting with the preschool
director about how Play-Doh continues to be interesting, and
educational, for children over many years. Two-years-olds engage in it
through pure sensory exploration; four-year-olds figure out how to form
spheres and cylinders; five-year-olds craft delicate figurines to give
you for Mother's Day. In just the same way, children in our music and
movement classes extract age-appropriate challenges from the musical
materials that we leave "lying around" for them. This is why, when I say
"developmentally appropriate," I mean a mixed-age classroom, with
children from birth to at least five. One thing that "developmentally
appropriate" does NOT mean is telling children what achievements are
expected of them at their age. |
|By Julia Priest on April 14, 2011|
What is preschool? Is it "one big playground?" And just what is the value of play in childhood?
Preschool is not for drill and instruction. It is also not for completely unmonitored, unstructured play. The most effective play is gently guided and coached by adults or wise older children. Thanks, New York Times, for bringing this to our attention.
Play is the work of the child. Children learn everything through play. Play is how--we hope--the child grows to be the kind of human being we can all be proud of. This is why, at Music Together®, we almost imperceptibly guide children through musical play.
|The Poop Song|
|By Julia Priest on April 08, 2011|
If you are raising a two or three year old, just get this CD.
|By Julia Priest on March 23, 2011|
Dancing around the maypole in preschool music classes tomorrow! Putting the finishing touches on it this evening.
|By Julia Priest on March 16, 2011|
Yes, swordplay. In preschool. Tomorrow. Be there or be. . . a scurvy knave? One of my Four-Year-Old classrooms is doing a unit on castles, and I think they have enough self-regulatory control at this point to handle rhythm sticks and even pretend play as fighting Knights of the Round Table. If you're reading this blog, you've guessed what supports their self-control: music! Yes, it's going to be some loud Backyardigans music with a strong rock backbeat to ground the slow tempo, and a nice minor key to keep them serious. I can't wait to see how it goes!
|By Julia Priest on February 27, 2011|
| || ||As music specialist at half a dozen preschools (that's the current ones
alone, mind you), I find that classroom teachers are always hungry for
more ways to integrate the arts into the children's everyday life.
Luckily, the Early Childhood Music and Movement Association gave me the
chance to review a piece of research on just how to make this work most
accessible to classroom teachers. Of course, the results of the research
sound exactly like the philosophy that we espouse every day in our
parent-child classes: be a good role model! Music specialists are
responsible for being a role model that classroom teachers will want to
emulate, so that classroom teachers can be musical role models for the
children. Quod erat demonstrandum. Click here for the full article. |