On Thursday we talked about how music helps develop emergent literacy skills through emphasizing the rhythm of language and the parts of words. Rhyming songs are addictive to little ones because they have a predictable pattern and a catchy melody. We can use these same principles to enhance learning. By setting information to music, especially if it has a predictable pattern or a catchy melody, it becomes easier to memorize.
The idea for this post was kicking around in my head last week when I came across a post that exemplified this fact for me. I was reading Mom-101‘s post about her picks for the top 50 mommy bloggers. In describing each blogger she gave a little quirky piece of background info on each one. In telling about Maternal Dementia she off-handedly mentioned her ability to sing all 50 states in alphabetical order. Can you do that? I can. I remember learning the song in elementary school and it’s still with me. All these years later. That’s the power of learning through music.
This is where our creativity can really take off. We can take any melody, or make up one of our own, and set to music the things we want our little ones to remember. We sing it with them, and voila! They remember. I’ve come across a lot of little rhymes for teaching hand washing skills to little ones. My favorite was this hand washing song sung to “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”
I can wash my hands you see,
Wash them clean as clean can be.
Inside, outside, my fingers, too
Around my thumbs and then I’m through,
Now rinse away the dirt and stains,
Send those germs down the drain!
Another example of putting info to music in order to learn something new comes from Roger Day‘s newest album “Why Does Gray Matter.” This whole album has information about the brain. My favorite song is “The Brain Train” where he describes the process of a thought moving through the brain to become an action. The song contains words like corpus callosum, deep basal ganglia and cerebellum. Just imagine the looks if your little one memorized this song!