“Books help children become whole people; reading facilitates both parent-child relationships and language as it helps to create a child’s understanding of the world.”
– Claudia Quigg, Executive director of BabyTALK
Parents hear over and over again how important it is to read to their child, and the need to build pre-reading and reading skills. And many parents HAVE incorporated reading into the daily routines in a child’s life. Although some parents with babies may not know how to best introduce this process. Some parents may read, but may not feel they know HOW to teach these skills, or what to expect at different ages. And some very busy parents may feel they are not doing enough.
The good news is that by simply talking, singing and reading even a little bit to your child throughout the day, you are literally “turning on” his or her brain cells. And even better, when you take the opportunity to sing, listen to stories and songs, and play instruments with your child, you’ve already begun not only providing him or her with important social, emotional, and brain-building experiences, but also building reading readiness.
The Creative Team at Kindermusik International recognizes the importance of reading skills in a young child’s life, and has developed a WONDERFUL summary of current research that will help parents understand how music benefits a child’s development of the reading process. There are two articles that discuss the connection between music activities and reading in the critical aspects of developing the skills of Active Listening, building vocabulary, developing phonological awareness, Print Awareness, and promoting Comprehension.
These articles specifically focus on what to expect from, and what is developing in a child at each of these ages, and has some great ideas for what you can do at home based on current research in this field. It is well worth your time to read it. It easily explains the research, and if you are interested further, the actual research documents are also available for your curious mind.
On the Path to Reading—Imagine That (3 – 5 years) / click here
In my other blog, “Music Connections Recommends…” , I have a lots of suggestions (based on my own research and experience) on what to look for in Finding GREAT books for YOUNG children . Several good criteria are listed, with examples (including links to great websites), WHY that issue is important, and ways that a parent can interact with their child to aid in developing specific reading skills.
How does this relate to the Kindermusik classroom?
During each Kindermusik class, we not only engage in interactive music and movement activities, we also typically spend time with a storybook, one or two of which you receive in your home materials. All of the Kindermusik books MEET with the suggested criteria for finding GREAT books, and are designed to be a part of the perfectly integrated set that aids parents in their continued learning experiences outside the classroom. When parents read these books again to their child at home, and sing the related songs, and involve their child in related movements, they are assisting in their readiness for reading and learning, as well as so much more.
Kindermusik International designs EACH of their curriculum based on the most current research on what is BEST for the whole child at each stage of their development. During class time, children are introduced to music and activities based on themes that are engaging and relevant to their lives. Parents learn new ways to interact, and how these interactions promote different aspects of their child’s development. AND Parents, as their child’s primary teacher, receive all the materials they need to continue the learning at home.
Reading is a key component of this process. Listening to stories and interacting with the storyteller enhances language and speech development for the young child. Story Time can foster awareness of sounds, teach use of language, and send the message that words have meaning and that books are fun.
WHY IS IT IN KINDERMUSIK? Reading to children closely approximates the experience of singing or conversation. It provides another way to communicate through rhythm, reciprocity, tone and language that is, after all, much like music.
So, with due respect to Claudia Quigg, I’d like to modify her quote just a bit:
“ Good quality Books AND Music help children become whole people; interactive reading and music activities facilitate both parent-child relationships and language as it helps to create a child’s understanding of the world.”
Kindermusik just serves it up as a WHOLE package for the child and family, to make it easy to provide the experiences your child needs for ALL areas of their development.