One of the favorite games in my K-3 choirs is freeze dance, and this CD has a Latin-inspired version. There's a song perfect to use with egg shakers (which my students also love), and a song that encourages jumping. There are also several songs with educational emphasis, including counting and helping. Listening to this CD also makes a great way to expose kids to a variety of musical genres, including bluegrass, rock, jazz, country, and pop.
I had a chance to interview Dana Cohenour to learn more about music and kids.
WHY IS IT SO HELPFUL TO INCORPORATE MUSIC AND MOVEMENT?
Music and movement provide the perfect opportunity for stimulating brain development while building strong muscles and healthy bodies. It is all too common these days to find even very young children leading a sedentary lifestyle, addicted to a screen of some kind. It is important that we motivate kids to get up, get active and be healthy. Making children aware of and practicing a healthy lifestyle at a young age can provide the foundation for a lifetime of healthy living. There is no easier way to do this than putting on appropriate and inspirational music! Kids naturally want to move to the beat, and if the rhythm is boppin’, the kids will start hoppin’!
HOW CAN NON-MUSICAL PARENTS ENCOURAGE MUSICAL DEVELOPMENT IN THEIR KIDS?
I always tell parents that it doesn’t matter how well we sing, just that we sing! Sharing the joy of music and dancing around the living room can create a lasting bond between parent and child. Simple fingerplays and rhymes can instill a sense of rhythm, while playing with small percussion instruments (like egg shakers or bells) are a fun way to be part of the music. It doesn’t matter if you’re banging on a tambourine or pots and pans, you just need an upbeat, groovy song to play along with. Over time, your child will be able to keep a steady rhythm, even if you are still searching for the beat!
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO DO MOVEMENT AND MUSIC ACTIVITIES EVEN WITH VERY YOUNG CHILDREN? WHAT DO THEY GET OUT OF IT?The early toddler years are prime brain development time, and music and movement are valuable tools to encourage this. Marching, clapping or jumping to a beat not only gets little hearts pumping, it can promote language and reading skills. While you and your child are having fun swinging a scarf from side to side or swaying like trees, those cross lateral movements are connecting both hemispheres of the brain and building/strengthening neural pathways. Mostly though, it’s just good old rockin’ roll fun and a joyful gift you can give to your child!
I have a chance to give away a copy of the album. To enter, leave a comment about what you and your kids love about music! Deadline is April 1st.