I can’t believe we’re almost halfway through the session already. We’ve had so much fun so far exploring comparing & contrasting sounds, tempo, rhythm and beat! This week and next week, we’ll explore our voices in many different ways.

“Sing, sing a song…”— nothing is more beautiful than families singing together! The music focus for Lessons 5 and 6 is all about our voices. In class we played with our voices—whispering, speaking, singing, and making other neat sounds!

The Children are Learning…

Our voices do so much for us every day—communicatinginformation or emotion, making sounds of surprise or delight, and much more! As “our first instrument,” the human voice has amazing possibilities in speech and singing. One of your child’s first responses to a musical experience were vocal sounds—babblings, cooing, and the like. With time, experience, and practice comes a control over those sounds—resulting in matching pitch, singing alone or with others, and singing with or without accompaniment.

Singing: “Singing is related to the ability to control speech fluctuations, and speech activities appear to help develop tuneful singing skills.” Playing with rhythmic speech (poems, rhymes, etc.) as well as simple tonal melodies, (bitonic, tritone, etc.) helps children develop both singing and speech skills (McDonald & Simons 1988).

  1. Managing the body: Discovering and exploring movement provides young children with profound learning experiences. They are not only delighted with their emerging skills, but will also seek out opportunities to practice. It is during this time that the foundation is laid for body-management abilities needed in childhood games, recreational activities, and eventually sports (Carson 2001).
  2. Rhythmic and Expressive Speech: Chants and rhymes play a large role in laying the foundation for the reading readiness. Activities such as Choo-Choo Train help build vocabulary and develop sound discrimination. “Both of these skills are crucial to the development of literacy. The size of a child’s vocabulary and his ability to discriminate sounds are strong predictors of how easily a child will learn to read when exposed to formal instruction” (Schiller).

At Home…

Families that sing together have fun together!

  • How many songs does your family know?  Make a long drive shorter with a Family Singing Marathon.  Someone keep record of the number of songs and minutes for the next time.
  • Tired of waiting in the check-out or drive through line? Sing a song.
  • Pass a song. Make up family rules so every member of the family gets a turn to sing part of a familiar song.

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