Mr. Mark's Musical Notes, March 28th


The Music Together® Spring Session starts next week! (The Maracas Collection of songs.) Believe it or don't, the Spring Session is going to run into June. JUNE, as in warm sunny days, playing in the park, walks in the woods, playing catch in the driveway even. Warm weather seems so f-a-r a-w-a-y, and yet--call me a dreamer--it could happen! Anyway, why not spend the rest of the Spring singing and making music with your young child? She's not getting any younger, you know! We (you, your child, me, your family friends in the class, new families in the class) can watch the weeks s-l-o-w-l-y warm up together, while dancing around the ol' dance studio and doing all those crazy musical things that your child actually benefits from doing--believe it or don't!

Music is Better for your Child than Spinach!

Here's a quote from a research paper by Professor Susan Hallam, Institute of Education, University of London.

[There is] a strong case for the benefits of active engagement with music
throughout the lifespan. In early childhood there seem to be benefits for the development of perceptual skills which effect learning language subsequently impacting on literacy which is also enhanced by opportunities to develop rhythmic co-ordination. Fine motor co-ordination is improved through learning to play an instrument. Music also seems to improve spatial reasoning, one aspect of general intelligence which is related to some of the skills required in mathematics.

You can read the whole paper, The power of music: its impact on the intellectual, social and personal development of children and young people or look for references and articles about it on the web, there are plenty. Or just read on and take away the point I want to make: Musical playtime is a vital part of your young child's daily routine. Like spinach, even more so, musical activities shared between you and your child are wonderful ways to bond with your child and to help your child's developing mind and developing body. Plus, music-making is a lot less messy than, say, creamed spinach and a LOT less green.

Make some time to make music with your child every day! (And consider a music-inspiring Music Together class every week!)

Zoom, Zoom, Driving in the Car.

Lots of child cherish this silly song, but hey, lots of children ride a car! Perhaps yours is one of them, no? (smile) Great opportunity for singing, even little "musical songbites". You can sing the line (which I just made up) "Click, click, sitting in the car!" while you struggle to get your young passenger into his car seat. You can tap your hands in a rhythmic beat while you sing "Wait, wait, waiting in the car!" as you sit at a red light. Perhaps you can do a whole steering wheel drum solo if the light stays red too long--which for me would be any time over 3 seconds! How about "Park, park, parking in the car!" when you get to the grocery store or any store. Or "Lost, lost, circling in the car!" when your GPS goes on the blink or just leads you on a wild goose chase for fun. (Those GPS's can be quite the impish pixies sometimes!)

Even singing a one line snatch of a song (like "Zoom, Zoom, Driving in the car!") that your child recognizes is a momentary connect with your child, a momentary spark of recognition and excitement, a momentary "brain-connect-the-dots" moment. Singing a whole verse of a song (or the WHOLE SONG, for pete's sake) will be even better (why not?), and by doing so--even in the heaviest traffic that the Edens can dish up at 5pm on a Friday--you and your child are doing an activity together. Which is a totally excellent activity for both of you, body and spirit.

Obligatory Announcements

The Spring Session--MARACAS collection--starts next week. (In two weeks for Highland Park, which is on Spring Break NEXT week.) Your child doesn't want to miss the fun, his/her brain doesn't want to miss the development opportunity, YOU don't want to miss your child having fun and developing. So why wait? Sign up for the Spring Session today and cross that item off your to-do list.

Get a new family to sign up for a Music Together class and YOU get a $20 tuition credit. 

STICKS is over

The Sticks Collection is retired (for three years, anyway), but DON'T retire it from your family playlist. Your child still wants to hear it, to hear you singing it, to try singing it himself. Maybe in a while, you can stop playing it EVERY day, but keep it around and put it on every-so-often. Young child LOVE familiar things, these songs are like a bunch of friends to your child. Like little stuffed animals for the ears. (That looks so-o-o silly once I typed out.)