Our Time: FIDDLE-DEE-DEE – WEEK 7
According to a leading brain researcher, Arnold Scheibel, “Unfamiliar activities are the brain’s best friend.” We know that routine and familiarity are conducive to learning because they allow a child to relax and focus without stress. However, within limits, the unfamiliar is also important for developing new skills. “The brain pays closer attention to things that don’t fit an established pattern…. Anything new causes the body to release adrenaline, and adrenaline acts as a memory fixative.”
*Start Smart!: Building Brain Power in the Early Years, by Pam Schiller
Today’s class included both the familiar and the unfamiliar, providing the perfect balance for your child’s learning environment. Through familiar routines and in a familiar setting, we were able to explore the unfamiliar: a new instrument (sandblocks), and a new movement song (Walking in the Green Grass). We used a familiar song, “Sing Good Day” with a variety of animals in a different way. And we used the familiar “This Little Pig”, and their new book which was introduced last week, then explored a unfamiliar way to sing the book. (Just as a reminder, I used the song, “The Last Little Piggy” from a Joe Scruggs album. You can check out more on him on my resource BLOG, http://mcresources.wordpress.com .)
The balance of familiar and unfamiliar Kindermusik provides is optimal for learning. It is this balance over a continuous period of time that really allows for the wonderful changes you can see occurring in your children. Just this week, one mom was expressing how her child has started using full multiple word sentences just recently. And the child even called my name for the first time as she walked toward me uttering a full conversational sentence that I couldn’t quite understand, as if it was all quite clear to her. Did Kindermusik aid in that process? Nobody could say that for sure. Each child hits their developmental milestones on the OWN time.
But I can say that every day that I teach, I see amazing things bursting from the children that weren’t there before. The consistency of bringing your child to class every week, of following through with the activities at home, and listening to the CD all build up those neural connections of the familiar. And, of course, Kindermusik capitalizes on NEW experiences with the unfamiliar, based on things that are familiar. That’s one of the things I like most – new, fun music and movements and instruments and props, and the way the same song can be adapted for children of all different ages to fit their developmental level. I can’t imagine being bored with what I do, and I learn something new every day. Could you believe learning could be such fun?