What a joy it has been to get to know and be a part of the Day School family these past three months! Your children and their teachers are a joy to me, and I look forward to a time when we will all get to be together more!
Children are innately musical. They seek out and are drawn to musical experiences. And they learn the language of music just as they would a spoken language. First, they listen and begin to imitate musical sounds around them. During music class, we sing melodic and rhythmic patterns even with our youngest students- and the students echo back these patterns!
Children get to know music with their whole bodies. For the toddler and preschool child, moving to music is a huge part of developing gross and fine motor skills, language, aural understanding, and social interaction. A music class at the Day School is never still. Students are always experiencing music through dancing, instruments, pretend play, and creative responses. Every child is free to participate in his / her own way- sometimes energetically moving, sometimes quietly observing.
By Kindergarten, students begin to understand musical notation in the most organic way- first, singing / echoing patterns from familiar songs; second, seeing notated music and recognizing its meaning; and third, reading / reproducing that written music. It is beautiful to watch this process unfold!
At the Day School, I use an early childhood curriculum called Musikgarten. Through Musikgarten, the child experiences a wide variety of musical genres- folk, classical, jazz, world music- in order to not only understand different elements in music, but also to develop an appreciation for the beauty of other cultures.
The goals are:
· to immerse the child in the language of music
· to create a readiness for instrument study in later years
· most of all, to nurture a love for music of all kinds!
Some ways to nurture that love at home:
· Play music in the home often: while sharing meals, doing chores, running errands.
· Find songs to go with different tasks- washing hands, cleaning rooms, brushing teeth (Ask your child to teach you our hand washing song!).
· Encourage your child to sing and move to music in the way they enjoy most.
· When the time comes again, attend live concerts as a family!
"Music education opens doors that help children pass from school into the world around them- a world of work, culture, intellectual activity, and human involvement. The future of our nation depends on providing our children with a complete education that includes music." - Gerald Ford
With much love,
Mary Frances Baker
Music Teacher at The Day School