Why is Rhythm Important?

Rhythm experiences are vital. When we begin to understand the rhythm of the world, we can begin to understand ourselves.

Rhythm is something that happens over and over again in the same way. It is a pattern that repeats itself.

A room can have a rhythm in the way that the windows or ceiling follow a pattern. Clothes can have a rhythm in the way that stripes or dots follow a pattern.

Seasons have a rhythm: winter, spring, summer, fall. Night and day happen over and over again.

Children begin feeling and sensing rhythmic patterns at a very early age.  As hundreds of parents have told me, “My baby adores music. Whenever I sing to him or play music, he jumps up and down in his crib, coos, dances, smile, and giggles.”

I have heard this and similar remarks over and over for many years. And it’s true! Children do respond to music. For them, it’s as natural as walking and talking.

From infancy, as babies develop, the sounds of rattles and musical toys intrigue them.  Toddlers begin composing their own rhythmic patterns by banging on pots and other surfaces. A tune on the radio or television can spontaneously inspire a toddler to respond by swaying and bouncing his little body.

Here is a rhythm action poem that  teaches self concept.

MY BODY HAS RHYTHM by Jackie Silberg

I use my brain to think, think, think

(touch your head with your index finger)

I use my nose to smell

(touch your nose)

I use my eyes to blink, blink, blink

(blink your eyes)

And I use my mouth to YELL

(yell)

I use my mouth to giggle, giggle, giggle

(touch your mouth)

I use my hips to bump

(sway your hips)

I use my toes to wiggle, wiggle, wiggle

(wiggle your toes)

And I use my legs to jump

(Jump)

Here are some additional ideas for playing this rhythm game.

1. Clap the rhythm of the poem. Notice that the rhythm is the same every other line.

2.Clap two lines and speak two lines

3. Clap two lines and stamp two lines

Here is another rhythm game.

TALKING RHYTHM

1. What are some ways that you can make sounds with your body?

Hands – Clap, slap, beat chest

Feet – Stamp, jump

Fingers – snap

Voice – Talks, sing, hum, moan, bark, howl.

Mouth, Blow, sigh, click, whistle.

2. Choose a familiar rhyme or song to say. “Twinkle, twinkle, Little Star” is a good one to try.

3. Clap the first line of twinkle as you say the words ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star.”

4. Help the children clap and say the next line “How I wonder where you are.

5. After you have done this a few times, try clapping and just moving your mouth to the words as you clap.

6. Continue on as long as the children are enjoying the game. Try using different parts of your body.

7. Soon you will be able to use different parts of your body to express the song.

8. Teaching young children to communicate with their bodies is a good way to help them get in touch with themselves.

The more rhythmic experiences that young children have, the easier it will be for them to move forward in their lives.

Two different websites feature my songs each month for a free download and activities:

1.  http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/missjackie- Teaching Young Children magazine

2.  http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/media.aspx – Early Childhood News Online

Please visit my website for books, music, keynotes, workshops, free articles to download and inspiring inspirations.

http://www.jackiesilberg.com



Music Grows the Brain

 Scientists have learned more in the past ten years about how the human brain works than in all of previous history.

An infant’s brain thrives on feedback from its environment. It wires itself into a thinking and emotional organ from the things it experiences.

Ultrasound recordings show the neurons that develop in the womb begin driving an infants’ limbs as early as the seventh week of pregnancy. It appears that experience can act on the brain’s development from the very beginning. Experimental data confirm that learning can take place in utero. Studies have shown, for example, that newborns will show a preference for sounds that mimic the mother’s voice as it was heard in the womb.

Before birth, the fetus is aware of pulse, movement and sound. At birth these familiar experiences can be recreated through music. Music stimulates movement so important for the baby’s physical and mental development, while singing to the baby triggers speech.

Music encourages the ability to listen and  concentrate. Songs encourage speech and auditory discrimination.

Music helps children understand a variety of concepts, such as high and low, fast and slow, loud and soft.

Newborns possess a natural response to music through their conditioning in the womb to rhythm, sound, and movement. Singing and rocking provide pleasure and security while rhythmical music encourages essential activities. Listening to songs and rhymes stimulates speech and concentration.

Research says that small muscle exercise stimulates brain growth. Try the following rhymes and songs with your baby. If she is too young to do the actions alone, move her hands for her.

Open Shut them

Where’s Mr. Thumpkin

Baby Lives

Hold the baby’s hand in yours with her palm facing upward. As you say the following words, circle her palm with your index finger.

Where do you think the baby lives?

Where do you think the baby lives?

Round and round and round and round

(As you say the following words, slowly crawl up the baby’s arm and tickle her gently under the neck)

And up into his house.

This will bring lots of smiles and giggles.

GAMES TO DEVELOP LISTENING SKILLS

 

WHAT SOUNDS DO YOU HEAR?

The more sounds that young children are aware of, the better their listening skills will develop.

There are many sounds associated with trains. “All Aboard” and ”ding, ding, dong are a few.

There are many things we think about when we hear different sounds.

Can you make a loud sound? Where can you hear loud sounds? – Football game, thunder, loud music

What other sounds can you think of? Here are some ideas:  soft sounds, high sounds, low sounds, quiet sounds, and squeaky sounds.

Talk about other kinds of sounds and then, make the sounds.  Then talk about where you can hear those sounds.

Here are some follow up activitis to reinforce what you have just done.

1. Compliments! “I like all the diffeent sounds that you can make.”

2.  Let’s play a game. I’ll make a sound and you tell me if it is happy or sad? (do this several times.)

3. Tell me what sounds you would like to make. Help the children fit their sounds into different categories.

A FUN LISTENING GAME

Invite the children to sit down and close their eyes so that they can concentrate on what they will hear.

Recite or read aloud a familiar story, nursery rhyme, or poem that you have changed.

For example, reverse words, such as “Dumpty Humpty sat on the wall” or “Jill and Jack went up the Hill”. Substitute words, such as “Little Boy Purple come Blow your Horn;” or switch the order of events–for example, tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood and have her go to Grandma’s house before she goes through the woods. At first, make the changes obvious.

Ask the children to tell you if they hear something different.

Here are some follow up activitis to reinforce what you have just done.

1. Compliments! “You are very good listeners”

2. Can you change the words “Mary had a Little Lamb” to a different animal?

3. Next step. How could we change the story of the “Three Pigs?”

  

Two different websites feature my songs each month for a free download and activities:

1.  http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/missjackie- Teaching Young Children magazine

2.  http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/media.aspx – Early Childhood News Online

Please visit my website for books, music, keynotes, workshops, free articles to download and inspiring inspirations.

http://www.jackiesilberg.com


How Do You Celebrate Birthdays with your Little Ones?


HAPPY BIRTHDAY

In 1893, two kindergarten teachers, sisters Patty and Mildred Hill, wrote a song called “Good Morning to All.”  The song was published the same year in a collection, Song Stories for Children, issued in Chicago by Clayton F. Summy.  No one knows who made the slight change in the lyrics to make it a birthday greeting song, but, since 1910, not a day has passed that someone, somewhere, hasn’t sung “Happy Birthday to You.”

Most people thought that “Happy Birthday” was in the public domain — not so!  Clayton F. Summy owned the original copyright, and his company was not above suing the likes of Western Union and Irving Berlin for copyright infringement.  Of course, there isn’t much that the copyright owner could do about “Happy Birthday” being sung all over the country, every day of the year, in private homes.  In fact, “Happy Birthday” is the most frequently sung song in the English language, followed by “Auld Lang Syne.”  Ironically, the authors not only earned practically nothing from the unprecedented and unequalled success of the song, their names are not even remembered!

“Happy Birthday” was originally written as “Good Morning to All.”  Change the words to make it a greeting song for the start of the day:

Good morning to you

Good morning to you

Good morning my sweet one

Good morning to you

Sing “Happy Birthday” to toys, animals, friends and anyone else that you can think of. Little children never, never tire of this song.

Two different websites feature my songs each month for a free download and activities:

1.  http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/missjackie- Teaching Young Children magazine

2.  http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/media.aspx – Early Childhood News Online

Please visit my website for books, music, keynotes, workshops, free articles to download and inspiring inspirations.

http://www.jackiesilberg.com

Listen to interviews on Bamradionetwork.com.

Click on Infants and Toddlers to hear experts on Autism, Brain Development, Stuttering and much more.


Winter games for little ones

These games are from my recent article at the Barnes and Noble  Expert Circle. Go to

www.bn.com/expertcircle for great articles and ideas for your kids.

Play the Gift Giving Game: This game takes a lot of imagination and really stimulates the thinking process. The game is more fun when several players participate.

To play

Ask one child to come forward and tell the group that you are going to give him a gift.

Without saying a word, put a pretend ring on his finger. Ask the group if they know what the gift is.

Talk with the children about the different gifts that they would like to receive. Then, ask if someone would like to give a pretend gift to another person.

Suggestions for gifts are: any kind of jewelry, a ball, a scarf, a hair ribbon or barrette, a shoe, articles of clothing, etc.

If the child is not sure how to do it, you can show them.

Make Faces: This game will develop awareness and observation skills in your child.

Find pictures in magazines of children with different facial expressions.

Cut out the pictures and show them to your child.

Talk about each picture and then try to make the same facial expression on your own face.

Ask your child to make the same expression on his face.

Some pictures that you can look for are happy faces, silly faces, sad faces, or kids sticking out their tongues and making different shapes with their mouths.

You can also look for pictures with children doing physical activities such as standing on one leg, bending over, running, etc. You and your child can do the same physical activity as in the picture.

Edible Snowman: You will need large marshmallows, pretzel sticks, mini- carrots, and raisins.

Take a pretzel stick and put it into the middle of one of the marshmallows.  Then place another marshmallow on top.

Make legs and arms with the remaining pretzel sticks.

Make eyes and a mouth with the raisins. Use a mini carrot for the nose.

Say the poem “A Chubby Little Snowman.” (Author unknown)

A chubby little snowman

Had a carrot nose.

Along came a bunny

And what do you suppose?

That hungry little rabbit

Looking for his lunch

Ate that little snowman’s nose…

Nibble, nibble, CRUNCH!

Eat the snowman.

Two different websites feature my songs each month for a free download and activities:

1.  http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/missjackie- Teaching Young Children magazine

2.  http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/media.aspx – Early Childhood News Online

Please visit my website for books, music, keynotes, workshops, free articles to download and inspiring inspirations.

http://www.jackiesilberg.com

Listen to interviews on Bamradionetwork.com.

Click on Infants and Toddlers to hear experts on Autism, Brain Development, Stuttering and much more.


 

 


FAMILY MUSIC

Family Music

Singing is a wonderful way to have  special, loving relationships with your family.   You can even sing to your baby while he is in the womb.

We know that babies can hear in the last few months of pregnancy, so this is a perfect time for mothers to take time to relax and sing to their babies. You can even place a megaphone on your tummy and sing to your unborn child.

When you hold a baby and sing to him, all of his senses are stimulated. He hears your voice, he sees your face, he smells your  body and  feels your vibrations as you sing.

As your children grow, special songs and rituals become important to them. Bedtime with a story and lullaby is a time to relax together.  Many families have special songs for each child, sometimes made up songs with which the child strongly identifies for a lifetime.

In today’s busy world,  many children don’t see their relatives very often. Songs about grandparents, favorite aunts and uncles are reminders during and after a visit with that  family member.  I have a framed picture in my house of several pieces of sheet music. Each song is a remembrance of a different family member.

Family fun is making up songs about special events, pets, or just a bunch of silly words. It’s fun to do this with familiar tunes because the children can already sing the music. Songs for riding in the car, taking a bath, going to sleep are all times that singing can enrich the experience.

These family songs will remain forever no matter where you are. If you are traveling, the songs that you sing at bedtime can still be sung. It’s a bonding that never disappears.

Following a family concert last year, a parent came to me and said “My daddy always said that you can sing until you die!”  Think about it!! It’s worth passing on to your children.

Two different websites feature my songs each month for a free download and activities:

http://www.naeyc.org/tyc/missjackie- Teaching Young Children magazine

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/media.aspx – Early Childhood News Online

Books, Music, Articles and Inspirations at:

http://www.jackiesilberg.com

Listen to interviews on Bamradionetwork.com.  Click on Infants and Toddlers to hear experts on Autism, Brain Development, Stuttering and much more.

New’s Flash!

I’ve been asked to be on the new Children’s Advisory Board for Barnes and Noble bookstore online. I will be writing articles, advising, consulting, and sharing information about child development and music for young children. I’m very honored to be a part of this new online adventure

Baby Songs

Here is a wonderful story about singing to babies.
It’s no secret that my Kayden loves to sing songs for babies. I have probably the best video clip ever of him singing to our sweet Kate the day she was born. He was holding her for the first time, and she began to cry. Without being prompted or encouraged, he started singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” to her. And do you know what happened? She stopped crying. She just stared up at him, waiting for more. His version isn’t exactly ‘spot on,’ but it was good enough for her.
Singing to babies in the womb is a wonderful thing to do.
Kayden loves to sing to Ben and Kate in the car as well. None of my kiddos enjoy the radio, (what is up with that?) but they love to make up songs and sing them at the top of their lungs. Just last night the kids and I were on our way to pick Josh up from work when Kate started getting fussy. Kayden said, “don’t worry mom. I’ll sing her a song.” So, he sang her his usual rendition of “Twinkle Twinkle,” and then broke into a new song I’d never heard him sing before about clowns getting pies smashed in their faces. What happened to the good ‘ol songs for babies, like “Hickory Dickory” and “Three Blind Mice” and heaven forbid some sort of lullaby? Oh well. Kate did stop crying, and he’s using his imagination. That’s what
counts, right?
Songs for babies isn’t all Kayden can do. He loves to rap, and sing hip hop songs as well. Most of the time I can’t tell what song he’s trying to mimick, but his lyrics are always pretty creative. He’s even got my little Ben going. Ben will listen to Kayden sing it through once or twice, and then try to mimick him. We’ve got a pretty great back seat choir if you ask me.
Music is a powerful thing. It calms the nerves and lifts our spirits. I
And I repeat her final sentences with great devotion and sincerity.

Music is a powerful thing. It calms the nerves and lifts our spirits.

Books, Music, Articles and Inspirations at:

http://www.jackiesilberg.com

Listen to interviews on Bamradionetwork.com.  Click on Infants and Toddlers to hear experts on Autism, Brain Development, Stuttering and much more.

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