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SticksReading, Writing, and Arithmetic ... Through Music!

We are just beginning to understand the importance of music in a child’s development. The research has come back showing an incredible difference in the Math and Language skills of preschool children WITH music and those WITHOUT music. It is significant to note that the most dramatic results were achieved by children who had PIANO lessons.

These children out performed all other groups at puzzle solving, up to 80% higher scores than the non-musical children.* Based on the research, students with music, specifically piano, in their preschool years, have more success in their later education. We know these facts, but how does a teacher, perhaps with no music education, cover this base in the classroom? What are the important parts in learning the piano for brain development?

Who has the time to meet curriculum standards and provide music? Given the time, where would one start? KinderBach was created to be used by parents and teachers regardless of their music background. There are activity books, online videos, CDs, DVDs, and stories. Teachers don’t have to play anything other than a DVD player and CD – no instrument knowledge is necessary. We believe that teachers can teach. They are capable of exercising their profession. All they need is the correct information to communicate. KinderBach gives them the tools to teach music.

KinderBach provides a solid music foundation for the children while, at the same time, overlapping and enhancing basic math and language skills. With KinderBach, music education is not an additional activity for the classroom but another method of covering math and early literacy. It is a partnership that combines curriculum goals and piano basics.

KinderBach provides the teacher with complete lesson plans and age appropriate activities for the classroom. The lesson plans can be used as is or adapted to suit the teacher and facility needs.

*Dr. Francis Rauscher and Dr. Gordon Shaw at the University of California - Study quoted by Lynnell Hancock, “Why Do Schools Flunk Biology”, Newsweek, February, 19 1996.

Click to "KinderBach and the Common Core Standards"

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Reading

1) Decoding – The alphabet, phonics, and numbers are all symbols that need to be interpreted to be understood. Children need to be able to decode in order to read. Music is rich in simple sound/symbol relationships, a perfect precursor to reading language. With movement and rhythm, children can greatly increase their decoding skills.

2) Beat and Rhythm – The ability to keep a steady beat is a good indication of a child’s reading ability. Language has natural subtle rhythms. Understanding and duplicating rhythms encourages children to become rhythmic readers.
Clap Back - In KinderBach, children are taught to listen to a rhythm, decipher it and clap it back correctly as a group
Known rhythms - Children will use known melodies and find the rhythm within. They will play songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on rhythm sticks by ear

3) Common symbols - It helps that some of the music terms and symbols actually exist in our language. This fact makes piano lessons an easy overlap with reading

4) Aural discrimination – determining a difference high & low, loud & quiet, as well as interpreting what they hear.

5) Tracking – Left to right. Obviously an overlap with reading. KinderBach provides easy tracking fun exercises for children to listen and do that are not monotonous. In fact, reading the simplified music of KinderBach actually enables young children to be physically reading, that is, tracking symbols and interpreting meaning, far sooner than traditional reading exercises. Combined with gross motor movements that cross the mid-line during singing, reading music greatly enhances their tracking skills. Making music is one of the few activities that uses both sides of the brain. It is very helpful in left/right brain integration.

6) Articulation, proper breathing, posture, expression - are all areas to be addressed in training good readers. Singing is a positive, entertaining way to lay a firm foundation. Folk songs in KinderBach provide cultural context to language.

Next - The 3 Rs - Writing