Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Why movement in a music class? (part 4/5)

If you knew
If you knew how to effectively support learning and development...would you do it?

1 simple thing
If there was one simple thing you could do to improve your teaching I wonder if you would be willing to do it?

Integrate movement
Integrate movement in subject areas like music!

 Music education is notoriously chair-based and to incorporate have to get out of your chair! (Or off your bottom if you sit on the carpet)

A brain-based learning program allows for integration of all parts of your brain.
Brain-based learning must include movement.

Understand the brain
The simplest way to explain the brain is this!

Imagine your brain has 3 levels.
Lower brain  
(the reptilian brain...reflexes...automatic brain...ensures survival)
(the emotional and social brain)
The mid-brain connects to the lower brain and connects to the upper brain
Upper brain 
(largest part of the brain...planning, thought, proprioception, language, memory, the grey matter)

All 3 levels are
connected and intertwined
and it takes years for those connections
to grow and be solid.

If you try to hurry things along...the connections will not be strong.  
The adult who has not had enough tummy time as an infant will be less grounded as an adult.
That's just the way it is.

Our modern culture allows for less and less time for low brain development.
Our children need LOTS of time as infants to lay on the floor and on their tummies.  

Our children need LOTS of time to crawl and roll and sit and drag themselves around BEFORE we have them learning to walk and play piano. 

Lots of lower brain time supports the emotional mid-brain.
Lots of time allowed for the emotional mid-brain to develop 
provides better support for the upper brain.

  If you want to prepare children for an accomplished, intellectual adult life...we must give our babies and children TIME to develop.

For me that means...
I ask a small child to use their fingers to do something tricky 
  • like cover the holes on a recorder 
  • or play piano 
  • or use their fingers on the violin
I make sure we've been warming up our lower and mid-brains

We do things like...
  • floor movements that take us through the basic developmental movement patterns of crawling, creeping, crossing the mid-line, copying bi-lateral motions
  • tag games that make us laugh and relax
  • coordination games
I address the physical needs of the lower brain and 
the emotional needs of the mid-brain.

In my programs I am preparing children for a multi-instrumental musical life.

I need the children to be 
  • awake, 
  • aware, 
  • balanced, 
  • trusting.  
So we can
  • all play violin, recorder, guitar, harmonica and ukulele 
  • all dance 
  • all play percussion
  • all sing
  • all become happy musicians!

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