We had our little music session as usual this week. The rhythm sticks below are just wood dowels that I cut down and sanded on the ends. We explored different ways of tapping them together (high, low, on the ground, on our head, end-to-end, etc.) Then we played our rhythm sticks to a fast-tempoed song.
The kids all really like the knee-bouncing songs. This week we said the nursery rhyme To Market, to Market to Buy a Fat Pig. I bounced the kids on my knee fast and short in the first verse and slow and high in the second verse. They both wanted me to bounce them a second (and third and fourth!!) time!
If you’re looking to do music with your tots and preschoolers, you can often find kindermusik home CDs on ebay for just a few dollars. Occasionally you can even find the teacher’s resource book as well. I like the kindermusik CDs because they have music geared for dancing, playing instruments along with, listening to sounds (like water flowing or birds, etc.), and so forth. (We did Kindermusik classes until the wonderful teacher in our town took a different job.)
I’ve been re-reading a wonderful book called Magic Trees of the Mind. It’s a book that talks about brain development and shows how connections are made and lost throughout childhood. Fascinating reading! Anyway, one section talked about music. Some brain researchers in Dusseldorf, Germany tracked down the brain region responsible for perfect pitch (the ability to identify a note by hearing it and not by comparing it to the notes around it). In that study and several others “95% of musicians with perfect pitch started music lessons before age seven.” If music training is left til later, perfect pitch rarely shows up. [Diamond and Hopson, p. 205]
Isn’t that interesting?