Habitot Children's Museum

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Habitot Children's Museum

Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111

Parenting Q&A
Parenting Question of the MonthDo all children have musical potential?

Parenting Q&AAll children have musical potential. Children bring their own unique interests and abilities to the music learning environment. Parents and teachers who provide music in a child's life create a path toward the pleasure, joy and ability in music.

Many of us have fond memories of a parent singing a familiar lullaby before bed or family songs on long car trips. There is no question that music brings comfort and joy into our lives, but it does so much more than that for our children. Integrating music into our children’s lives helps them grow mentally, physically and emotionally -- all while they are having fun.

Mentally, music builds listening and response skills in young children. Singing simple songs helps children understand the basic structure of language, learn vocabulary and become familiar with normal speech patterns. Learning songs also helps with memory. The best way to learn — and retain — concepts like colors, body parts, and letters is to put them into song.

Add some fingerplays in songs like the Itsy Bitsy Spider, or movement in songs like the Hokey Pokey, and you also help build motor development and coordination in young children by helping pattern motions of the body. Music also gives children an opportunity to express a range of emotions that may be too difficult to convey with words. Even children not yet speaking can participate with confidence. It can also help regulate emotion, building energy with active songs and helping a child relax with quiet songs.

Here are some tips on bringing more music into your child’s life:

    • Sing to and with your child. In the shower, in the car, during story time, anytime!
    • Make music with items you find around the house. Pots and pans are wonderful drums, and empty water bottles filled with dried beans or rice make great maracas.
    • Buy a harmonica, recorder or kazoo. These are all inexpensive and accessible ways to introduce your child to an instrument. No need at this age to teach your child how to play – just let your child experiment with creating different sounds and tunes.
    • Introduce your child to different types of music on the radio, recordings, CD’s. Find out which ones your child really loves to dance to.
    No kid doesn’t like the challenge of limbo (a broomstick will do) while listening to the Banana Boat song!
    • Come to Habitot’s music class for toddlers and learn new songs with your child! Chelsea Morning Music is Friday mornings from 10:00-10:30 through Dec. 16 and on a new schedule in 2012.

Parenting Resources

First Evidence That Musical Training Affects Brain Development In Young Children.Science Daily. Sept. 20, 2006. Science Daily Web Site: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060920093024.htm

Ciares, J. and Borgese, P. (2010)The Benefits of Music on Child Development. Paul Bogese Web Site: http://www.paulborgese.com/report_benefitofmusic.html

How Music Benefits Children. 2005. Parenthood.Com Web Site: http://www.parenthood.com/article-topics/how_music_benefits_children.html/full-view

Formal position statement of the Music Educators National Conferenceadopted by the MENC National Executive Board, 1991. Nantional Association For Music Education Web Site: http://www.menc.org/about/view/early-childhood-education-position-statement

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