5 Reasons Preschoolers Need Music

 

Preschoolers Need Music

Before my homeschool mom days, I was a music teacher, and I’d love to share with you today why it’s important to give your preschoolers a start in music education even while they’re young.

Below are 5 reasons Why–and to read 5 ways How to “Teach” music to your preschoolers, be sure to head over to the Educents blog where I’m guest posting today!

1.  Most children can be musical talented if they are exposed to a musical environment at an early age (before age 9).  You can help them reach their full musical potential by making their musical environment rich and full.

2.  The vast majority of music that children hear today–on the radio, in apps, in toys, in church, and on TV shows (such as Barney) is very simple in its meter, rhythms, harmonies, instrumentation, and style.  You can provide your children with variety, especially with more complexity than what they are usually hearing.

3.  A lot of children’s music that you can hear on CDs and the internet (YouTube) gives very poor examples of singing.  The childen are doing what I call sing-yelling.  You can provide your children with examples of beautiful, excellent, on-pitch singing which will help them sing beautifully and on pitch themselves one day!

4.  It’s important to help children increase readiness for audiation.  Audiation is the ability to hear the music and beat in one’s mind when there is no music being played.  If preschoolers can start to sing on pitch and feel the big beats of the music, they will be prepared to audiate as they grow.

5.  We want our young children to form as many neural pathways and connections as possible in their rapidly growing brains.  This is one reason why musical children typically do better at learning in many other areas of life.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!

 

(Post contains affiliate links.)

Review of KinderBach: Online Piano Lessons for Preschoolers

Kinderbach Review

Today’s review is of KinderBach, which gives online piano lessons for preschoolers (approximately ages 3-7).  My 3-year-old, 5-year-old, and I have spent the last 6 weeks using KinderBach, specifically The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner.  We were able to complete Level 1 of the 6 levels.  Each level has 10 weeks of lessons, with 4 lessons per week.

The Teacher Corner for Level 1 contains (and we received):

Level 1 Lesson Plan Book (25 pgs)
Level 1 Teacher Aid Book (73 pgs)
Levels 1 to 3 Teacher Guide (24 pgs)
Level 1 Audio MP3s (30 MP3 tracks)
Level 1 Student Book (49 pgs)
Level 1 Goal Book (35 pgs)
Level 1 Certificates

My children found KinderBach very engaging.  We rarely did only one lesson at a time–they wanted to keep on going and going!  And often they wanted to repeat a previous lesson from the time before. Miss Karri who teaches the lessons really connects to the kids well.  She is fun and funny.  :)

There is also a wide variety between the lessons.  One lesson might have a song for them to listen to (with photos or graphics to watch), the next could have them play along with a rhythm instrument or the piano, the next a coloring sheet to go along with a new musical concept, the next a game to learn a new concept, and the next might be a cut-and-paste activity.  I printed out the PDF file of the Level 1 activites and put them in a notebook for each child.

Kinderbach Review

For the mom (homeschool teacher) who will be facilitating the lessons:

All the lessons are found online, so you just need a computer with sound to watch them.  Each week’s lessons begin with a short introduction, where the teacher tells you what to expect to learn that week and what materials will be needed (usually a piano or keyboard, crayons, scissors, glue, and a rhythm instrument.)  You don’t have to worry about having any special rhythm instruments.  She often uses things she finds in the kitchen such as a cereal bowl and a spoon!  You also don’t need to know anything about music or how to play the piano to help your kids with this program.  You’ll learn everything along with them!  The lessons are only about 5-10 minutes each, so don’t worry about being overwhelmed with another curriculum.  You can do as much or as little as you can at each teaching session.

My unique perspective as a fellow early childhood music teacher:

I could see what the teacher was trying to teach to the kids–which are some of the hurdles for early music learners.  I’m glad she decided to tackle these really early on since they are so basic.  The concepts are

  • recognizing the pattern of the piano keyboard (2 black keys vs. 3 black keys)
  • steady beat
  • knowing the finger numbers (labeling your fingers 1-5)
  • quarter notes vs. half notes
  • that half notes have 2 beats, but only one note plays for it
  • strong and weak beats
  • high and low pitches
  • stepping up notes vs. staying the same

One of the greatest things about the program is that she uses really fun ways to get these concepts into the young kids’ hands, ears, and minds.  There is a cute donkey named Dodi who lives at the 2 black keys of the piano.  The Train Station is where the 3 black keys are.  A boy named Frisco represents “walk” which is the way the kids learn about quarter notes.  And the Beat Bugs are lots of fun for helping kids understand stong and weak beats.

Sitting at the computer to watch the lesson:

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A Game to Learn Loud vs. Quiet:

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On screen is the “music” they are learning.  Frisco represents quarter notes:

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Playing steady beat with a plastic container and wooden spoon:

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Finding Dodi’s house (the two black keys) on the piano keyboard.  This is basic for the kids being able to find the notes later on:

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Sometimes, even my one-year-old joined in!

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There were a few things that could be improved upon.  The video of the lesson wasn’t always very clear, but was blurry.  We got used to it though.  Other times the sound wasn’t balanced.  The background music was too loud and we couldn’t understand the words the teacher was singing.  The DVD of the lessons is also available.  It says on the website that it’s much higher quality since it’s not streaming over the internet. I didn’t review it though.  The biggest disappointment for my 5-year-old daughter was that there wasn’t very much actual piano playing in this first set of lessons.  I know why there wasn’t; the kids have to learn all the basics first.  I’m sure there will be more piano playing in future lessons.  I’m going to continue them with my 3-year-old son, who is in fact begging me to go to the next lesson as I write this!

Overall, I found KinderBach a good beginning music program for young children.  I like how it gives the kids a good music foundation and is fun at the same time.  I also loved the activity book that is included with the lessons.  It was fun for them to have a new sheet to look at each day, with something to color or do or even play on the piano!  I’m glad to have more lessons included in my subscription so I can continue with my son and see how much he can learn!

Kinderbach Review
 You can get The KinderBach Online Piano Lesson Membership with Teacher Corner for the special limited time price of $95.88/year.  That works out to works out to $7.99/month for a year.

* Access to all web lessons (over 240 sessions!) by computer, iPad, Android Tablet, Kindle Fire or Nook.

* Accompanying downloaded PDF activity pages

* Access to all Teacher Corner materials for Levels 1 to 6 PDFs and Audio MP3s

* Download all story books, coloring pages and song books!


Kinderbach Review
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/kinderbach
Facebook for Teachers:  www.facebook.com/classroomkinderbach
Twitter: http://twitter.com/KinderBach
Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/KinderBach/
YouTube: KinderBach Preschool Piano

 

Click to read Crew Reviews
 

Crew Disclaimer
This post is linked up to Trivium Tuesdays

Busy Bag Swap- Part 4

The last set of activities from our recent Busy Bag Swap!

(Also see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 )

Double Trouble Shapes:

Instructions here

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Clothespin Alphabet Match-up:

Instructions and template here.

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Sensory Balloons:

Ours are filled with play-dough, salt, flour, beans, and poly-beads.

Instructions here

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Memory Shape Game:

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Cups and Balls/ Drop and Roll:

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Bean Counting Cards:

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Clothespin Number/Color Matching:

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I Spy Bag:

And, finally, the one that I made!

Instructions here.

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Even my 11-year-old tried this one out!

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I loved seeing all the “littles” involved in an activity!
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We’re planning to do another Busy Bag Swap in August.  I’ve already been thinking about what we’ll make next!  Here’s my Quiet Book/Busy Bag Pinterest Board if you’d like to follow me!

 

Busy Bag Swap- Part 3

I’m sharing a few more of our fun busy bag activities today.

See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

ABC Match-Up:  Put alphabet stickers on templates.
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Road Trip Bingo and Scavenger Hunt:

Find instructions and templates here.

Meant to be done in the car (where we have them now!), but he was “pretending” in these pictures!

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Popsicle Activity Game:  Match up the color printed and drawn on the popsicle stick.

Instructions here.

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Category Maze:   Use magnetic pom poms on a cookie sheet to draw the paths.  The cards include finding pictures for things such as fruits and vehicles.

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Origami:

Ideas found Origami Fun and Family Fun.

One for my 10-year-old to work on!

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Sandpaper Yarn Art:

Instructions here.
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Here are some great Father’s Day gift ideas!

Forget the neck ties and tools this Father’s Day and personalize all your gifts this year. You’ll find six custom products for under $5 at Vistaprint – all are customizable and sure to bring a smile to dad’s face.
Does he have a favorite coffee mug? He will now! Upload your favorite photos of your husband and children onto a mug for just $2.99. Mouse pads make a great desk accessory for those long days at work – find fun designs for $3.99.
Create a memory book for dad with photos from years past for $4. Plus, all the photos you upload will be saved in your Vistaprint account. Use them to create a personalized $5 T-shirt and desk calendar at $2.99.
Add an engraved to the mix for just $4 and you will have the ultimate desk-kit to give to dad! All these reminders will keep him company at work day after day.

(contains affiliate links)

Busy Bag Swap- Part 2

Here are some more pictures of bags from our Busy Bag Swap.  See Part 1 here.

Pinchers, Pom Poms, Paper Clips, and Ice Tray

Instructions here.

This is a favorite of my 22-month-old. Also included in the bag were papers of patterns, as well as the patterns on popsicle sticks.

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Hot Glue Rubbing Plates:

Instructions here.

Included in the bag were some molded crayons!

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Popsicle Stick Puzzles:

Instructions here.

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Build-A-Letter Templates:

Instructions here.  The lowercase templates can be found here.
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Button Snake:

Instructions here.
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Need a Father’s Day idea?

Free Notebook, Mouse Pad, or Coffee Mug for Dad (Just Pay Shipping)

USE Code: FREEFORDAD 

Shipping Rates:$4.99 for the Notebook, $5.99 for the Mug, $4.99 for the MousePad

 

(contains affiliate links)

Busy Bag Swap, Part 1

A few nights ago I participated in a Busy Bag Swap.  Busy Bags are gallon-sized baggies containing a fun (usually educational) activity for a preschooler or younger elementary-aged child.  Each of the ladies in the swap made one activity times 23 for each of us to fill up a box of busy bags for our homes.  Some ladies wanted two sets so they made two separate activities.

We’ve already gone through the fun things to do.  What’s exciting to me is that the various activities appeal to the different ages in my home.  I’ll be sharing pictures of them all in the next few days.

(Many of these have tutorials/printables online.  I’ve included the ones that I know of. :)  ).

Felt Pizza

Details here.

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Chinese Jump Rope

Included in the bag were a bunch of heavy-duty rubber bands and instructions on how to put the jump rope together.  There was one pattern included, and links to some YouTube videos with many more ideas of how to play.  Yay–P.E.time!

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A Tangled Web We Weave

Instructions are found here.
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Felt Laundry:

Instructions found here.
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Two Free Kindle E-Books

(Be sure to leave a comment on the “Taken” giveaway post.  Drawing will be Sunday night!)
These books were written by my friend Cheryl Moeller!

FREE Kindle Book Giveaway
, February. 4, 5, and 6
Need Valentines’ Day ideas?
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Remember how creative you were before you were married. You just need a little help from Keep Courting100 Free or nearly free ideas to try on your mate this Valentines’ Day.
(Warning: Don’t try them all at once.) Click here for free download

FREE on Kindle Saturday, February 4 ONLY
100 Free or Nearly Free ideas to try with the preschoolers in your life, whether you are a mom, dad, grandparent, uncle, aunt, babysitter, church school worker, or preschooler teacher.