Think back. How many ways did music enter your life today? You may have noticed the songs you heard in your car or at the grocery store, but what about all the other musical moments in your day? Maybe you woke up to a melody as your alarm clock or quietly hummed a tune that was stuck in your head. No matter what your schedule consisted of, there is a good chance music seeped into it.
At Beauvoir, Erin Riley and Sara Alipanah make sure our school is filled with music! Both Mrs. Riley and Ms. Alipanah are trained in the Orff-Schulwerk philosophy of music education, which combines different elements into lessons that resemble the spontaneous play of young children. While they are busy making sure music fills the Beauvoir halls, they have also come up with some ways you can easily incorporate music into your time away from school!
But first, let’s look at why music is so important for our growing Beauvoir Bears! “I see at this age level that music skills often track like language acquisition skills. Kids can more quickly pick up pitch matching and rhythm when they are exposed to it at a young age,” observed Ms. Riley. In fact, according to the Children’s Music Workshop, the relationship between music education and language development can be observed in the brain. “Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain’s circuits in specific ways,” claims the group.
“Music also helps kids learn to make mistakes,” says Ms. Riley. “Ms. Alipanah and I both make our classrooms safe places to try new things and to fail.” Ms. Alipanah adds, “Music helps make kids brave and gives them a chance to feel and experience different emotions. Music is a way to make a whole child. I think music is unique because it encompasses team-building, creativity, physicality, math, literacy, and so many other skills!” So how can you bring all of these important skills to your student while they are away from school? Try some of these suggestions:
- Listen to music
- Look into free concerts in the area – the Kennedy Center has free concerts on Millennium Stage every night at 6pm
- Make a breakfast chant – rhythmically name things you see on or around your breakfast table
- Ask your kids to sing their favorite songs
- Share what your favorite song or artist was when you were your child’s age, or talk to them about a concert experience you remember when you were growing up
- Put on a song and move! Have your student move like different animals!