Music Mondays Blog

Music Mondays November 11, 2019
By Music Together of Charlotte on November 06, 2019

Hello, everybody!  We’ve gathered some ideas that might make this time of the year a bit easier. Thanks for a terrific FLUTES collection!

  

GIVE ME THE GOODS

I’ve been sorting the final list for this year’s Holiday classes, and last weekend, I had to make a decidedly un-festive return at the mall. And, y’all, Santa was already there. You may know this, and for parents, getting a peek at their children’s wishes this early may eliminate some guesswork. But it just struck me that, dang, this just gets earlier every year. Soundtrack, decorations, the whole deal.

The mall holiday music loop has been shown, in fact, to increase stress. British Clinical Psychologist Linda Blair says hearing songs of the season can conjure thoughts of the long list of tasks that comes with the end of the calendar year. “You may feel overwhelmed by your to-do list, and being constantly reminded by the sound of sleigh bells ringing (and ringing and ringing) does not help”, Blair says.

In our holiday classes we do songs and activities that you don’t hear everywhere else (on repeat.) We’ll give you new versions of old faves, introduce you to songs from other places and other celebrations, sprinkle in some Music Together® classics, Rudolph usually makes an appearance, we’ll jingle some bells, spin some dreidels. Our hope for this short session is that it will allow space for you to make your own family memories; maybe happen upon a new artist or version of an old song that gets into your young family’s heavy holiday rotation for years to come. We all know that everything is new to our little ones. We need to get in on that vibe by making songs of the season new for us, too.

 

WE PLAYIN’ YET?

In this gifting season, a perfect way to marry play with making progress on gift lists is to consider creating a basket of child-safe musical instruments. Music Together in NJ (headquarters) has a terrific offer: a free pair of red egg shakers ($5.50 value) with your order of $30 or more. We get nearly all of our MT of C instruments and props from them because they have done the homework: the selection is child-safe, durable, very good sound quality, affordable. You can order here, Music Together store, enter code SHAKE19 at checkout. We enthusiastically recommend you check this out and watch your littles enjoy the gift of music!

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Fast- approaching is the season of routines and schedules being turned upside down. Here’s a friendly reminder that loads of places have kids eat free or very cheap offers every day of the week, cheap eats. Running from one celebration to another? Fear not.  These places will get you and your peeps fed, and onto the next thing.

 

Ta-ta for now. We are taking a break from Music Mondays blogs ‘til the new year. As ever, reach out to us or your teacher for ideas about bringing music into your family’s life, to share stories of precious moments, to get info on our gift certificates for holiday gift giving and receiving, registration dates….in whatever way we can be of assistance and support. We hope to see you for the Holiday session. It gets us in the December groove with joy and fun, every year! Please join us, and Happy 2020!

Carrie and Phyllis

 

 

Music Mondays November 4, 2019
By Music Together of Charlotte on November 04, 2019

GIVE ME THE GOODS

With our Holiday Session registration starting this week, I am thinking about how the holidays present a great time for families to establish their own traditions and rituals. Rituals are so important to children; they give structure to time and place, create opportunities for predictability, give children a sense of security, help them move emotionally from one place to another, create connections, and provide identity and belonging. In essence, rituals are a foundation stone of children’s growth and development.

One of the most important rituals we can establish in our families is singing nightly bedtime lullabies. According to new research, millennial parents are not singing lullabies to their babies these days. A poll from the Lullaby Trust found that just over one-third of new parents with babies and small children sing lullabies at bedtime. Not only are 66% of millennial parents missing out on the unique bonding opportunity provided with this ancient bedtime ritual, but many studies have also shown that singing to babies keeps them calm and helps them sleep almost two times longer than simply talking to them. Also reported in the Lullaby Project, studies have shown that singing lullabies to babies helps their educational and emotional well-being later in life.

Don’t even try to say that you “can’t sing.” Studies show that the positive effects of lullaby singing to babies and toddlers at night are not diminished or improved by the quality of the singing voice. Remember, YOU are their favorite voice in the world!

Music Together always includes at least two lullabies (sometimes more) in each collection. In the FLUTE collection, we have the beautiful Italian lullaby, Ninna Nanna Calabrese, as well as All the Pretty Little Horses. Any song can be a lullaby if you slow it down! Think of the theme song to Friends. Slow it down – I’ll be there for you… - and it’s a lullaby!

Tonight, after turning down the lights, start rocking and singing with your littles. If it’s new to you, stick with it and let it evolve into your family’s own unique ritual. We think you will be glad you did!

WE PLAYIN’ YET?  

One of the best parts of singing lullabies at night is making them our own. Have you ever tried changing the words to a lullaby, making the song just for your little one? We changed the words for our daughter and this became a bedtime ritual song for her:

 

Hushabye - Don’t you cry

Go to sleep my little Allie

 

When you wake you shall have

Oatmeal and blueberries

 

Some juice too - we’ll play peek a boo

But first you need to close those eyelids

 

Hushabye - Don’t you cry

Go to sleep my little Allie!

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Put it in your calendar and set a notification for the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 23rd! The parade will start off at 9th Street at 9:00 am and will march south on Tryon Street to Stonewall Street. This year’s performance area will be located right in front of the Duke Energy building.

A spectacle of sight and sound, the Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade is a Charlotte tradition with six decades of history behind it, growing to its impressive reputation as the fourth largest of its kind in the country and the biggest in the Southeast. In 2018, the event drew 110,000 live spectators and 1.5 million household viewers via broadcast. Entertainment brought a "Mile of Smiles" to parade-goers in the form of 13 marching bands, eight larger-than-life balloons, 17 floats, the Seed and Feed Marching Abominable (Atlanta, Georgia) and performances by Harvey Cummings and Renee Rapp.

Music Mondays October 21, 2019
By Music Together of Charlotte on October 21, 2019

GIVE ME THE GOODS
Musings On Meaningful, Musical Childhood Memories.

We are taking a break this week from research and science about music classes for babies and toddlers and the benefits of music. Instead, we’re shifting our focus toward lived experience- mine. As a child, I grew up in a home where music was a natural part of our family’s daily life. My mom, dad, and grandparents wove music into our lives. It was the original ‘mommy and me’ classes, but in a very natural way. There’s often a misperception that there must be ‘real’ music- parents who play or sing very well, lessons, recitals, choirs- for a household to be musical, but my life would say, “Not necessarily.”

Many of my earliest memories revolve around music: my mom waving to me from the choir loft at church (she wasn’t supposed to do that, but she’s a maverick); my dad whistling to Mantovani (aka- ‘easy listening’) as he drove me home from playdates; my grandmom humming as she washed the dishes; my other grandmom setting me up with jars of water and a spoon to experiment with different pitches; the feeling of being rocked as a toddler  (yes, I remember that) while being sung a lullaby; listening to Tammy Wynette on the radio and singing along with my mom as we drove to see her ailing dad in another town. No one in my family was a professional singer, but there was a lot of singing. There were no concert pianists, but some of us had sufficient skill to trudge through some Christmas carols. Music was a thread in the tapestry of our lives. It wasn’t announced or expected, it just was. Music and singing with babies and toddlers just was.

At 54, I have nearly photographic recall of the scenes I just described. So I ask you, what musical memories will your family make? What mommy and me (or daddy and me) songs and dances will sink into your child’s memory? Will your child be able to write something like I’ve just written? It’s easier than you think….

WE PLAYIN’ YET?  
Kids love this musical chant, plus it has sound effects!

Five little pumpkins were sitting on a gate

The first one said, “Oh my, it’s getting late.”

The second one said, “There are witches in the air”,

The third one said, “Well, we don’t care”,

The fourth one said, ‘Let’s run and run and run”,

The fifth one said, “We’re ready for some fun!”

Whoooooo went the wind and OUT (clap) went the lights and

Five little pumpkins rolled out of sight!

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING?
Exploring nature promotes well-being and connection, imaginative play, and creativity.

KIDS IN NATURE DAY, Sunday October 27, 2-5 pm

Freedom Park, 1908 East Blvd, Charlotte, 28209

Kids will have a chance to get up-close and personal with nature. The event takes place at the Bandshell Island.

Kids can meet animal ambassadors, make seed balls and bird treats, relax with Animal Yoga, create art with objects found in nature, hear stores from mother nature, fish in the pond, and go on a guided nature walk in the woods. Did we mention the event was FREE?

Music Mondays October 7th, 2019
By Music Together of Charlotte on October 07, 2019

GIVE ME THE GOODS
Music classes in Charlotte give kids the opportunity to make neural connections through repetition!

I’m trying to learn a new language….and boy do I have a new appreciation for repetition and the concept of “practice makes perfect.” Just like for this “old dog” trying to learn something new, in early childhood, repetition is the KEY for all learning and skill development. 

When we learn something, we are laying down neural pathways in the brain via electrical impulses. Repetition creates a sort of “hack” to ultimately save the brain energy. In my case, it’s easy (and requires very little brain energy) for me to speak English because of years of experience and lots of repetition. With German, those connections aren’t there yet, so it takes a lot more neurological energy. Repetition is the tool that allows me to strengthen the connections in my brain so I can learn this new skill and process the synapses more quickly and efficiently.

It’s the same with children learning music. When toddlers attempt to play along on the micro-beat to Hey Lolly, Lolly for the first time, the “beat feedback” is actually routed through the cerebellum, or “little brain,” which has the important job of determining to which part of the “big brain,” the cortex, information should be sent. Robert Barton (Barton, 2014), an anthropologist at Durham University in the UK, reports that the mastery that takes place through repeating this over and over and over, in this case, the skill of tapping on the beat over and over and over, actually creates physical changes in the brain. Once the new skill has been learned, the flow of messages changes and by-passes the cerebellum all together. The messages go directly between the relevant part of the cortex and the muscles being activated, thus eliminating that extra step and utilizing less energy for the task.

So the next time your toddler wants you to get down on the floor and “play music class” with some egg shakers and Hey Lolly, Lolly, just remember that this musical participant is speeding up connections in her brain, and getting very efficient and proficient at tapping along to the beat!

 

WE PLAYIN’ YET?  
Children and adults play with music!

Looking for something to do with old clothes? How about a fun game of MUSICAL CLOTHES? It’s just like Musical Chairs, but ends with a lot more fun! It works like this:  create a bag of old clothes – hats, scarves, gloves, jewelry, ties, whatever you can find. Turn the music on and have the children hand the bag of crazy items to one another in a clockwise direction. When the music stops, the child holding the bag must grab an item from the bag and put it on. The child with the wackiest costume when the bag is empty is the “winner.”

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING?
Charlotte is full of musical events!

Don’t miss the Jolly Lollies at Suffolk Punch’s “Fall Fest” on Sunday, October 20 from 4 – 6 pm. Dress in your finest costume and sing, dance, and play with this amazing duo with Music Together ties! They play at 5 pm, but there will be lots of fun activities before then!

LEARN MORE

 

Music Mondays September 23rd, 2019
By Music Together of Charlotte on September 23, 2019

GIVE ME THE GOODS!  
Charlotte music classes for kids get the brain firing!

Joe Biden got me thinking.

In the most recent debate, Mr. Biden suggested that we play music for our kids on “record players” in order to improve their academic performance. He was referencing Frances Raucher’s research (published in Nature in 1993) that found listening to classical music can improve spatial-temporal reasoning in children. This later became known as the “Mozart effect.”

While the theory has been debated since that time, researchers agree that music-making creates an even greater impact upon intellectual performance. This four-minute video explains how listening to classical music fires up many areas of the brain, but playing music fires up ALL areas of the brain; when we play an instrument, visual, auditory, and motor functions ignite in both hemispheres to create a cacophony of fireworks in the brain!
 

We’re glad the presidential candidates aren’t forgetting about the power of music in child development! 

 

WE PLAYIN’ YET?  
Musical activities for parents and kids

If you have the Music Together FLUTE collection, then you know the song, Little Johnny Brown. But did you know it originated from the Gullah people of the Georgia Sea Islands and is a great “ring” or circle game to play with kids?! Just grab a large scarf and start singing and dancing. Here’s how it works: one child starts in the middle of the circle with the scarf and the group singing. She folds down all the corners, then takes it to a neighbor, with whom the child struts like a chicken, etc. Then it’s that friend’s turn to go in the middle, fold down the corners, etc. It’s great fun, especially with some adults willing to clap and sing and stomp and get silly!

 

 

WHAT’S HAPPENING?
Fun happenings for parents and children in the Greater Charlotte Area

“YOU AIN’T NEVER HAD A FRIEND LIKE ME!” Don’t miss ALADDIN, great music for families, Saturday, Sept 28 at 2 pm and Sunday, Sept 29 at 1:00 pm, Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center.

LEARN MORE

 

PITCH YOUR CARSEAT – GET $30! Bring in an old car seat into Walmart from September 16th to September 30th, 2019, and you’ll get a $30 Walmart gift card. The card can be used in-store or online to buy items for your child. All car seats collected in this program will be recycled through TerraCycle, and each component will be diverted from the landfill.

LEARN MORE

 

FAMILY FRIENDLY AW SHUCKS CORN MAZE, September 20 – November 10, 2019, on Friday nights, Saturdays 11-10 pm and Sundays 1- 6 pm. Aw Shucks Farm, 2718 Plyler Mill Rd., Monroe. 

Enjoy this corn maze that most can finish in 25 minutes – littles welcome with parents! The farm also has hayrides, a kid’s play area, gem mining, animal barn and more. $8-$13, plus extra fees for certain activities, children 3 and younger FREE!

LEARN MORE

Music Mondays July 22nd, 2019
By Music Together CLT on July 19, 2019

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

The 18th annual 24 Hours of Booty is this weekend–July 26 and July 27. With an estimated 1200 bike-riders and 200 walkers set to rally in Myers Park, the event is focused on raising money for the Levine Cancer Institute, Levine Children’s Hospital, The LIVESTRONG Foundation, and Queens University of Charlotte. If you are not riding or walking, consider taking your little ones to the Cornwall Center on Friday night from 6 pm – 9 pm for the First Annual Booty on the Lawn! The address is 2001 Selwyn Ave. Charlotte, NC 28207. There will be an obstacle course for children, a dunk tank, face painting, and a DJ for shaking your booty!  For the adults, you can check out a yoga or spin class, enjoy a cash bar, browse the food trucks, play cornhole, and more.  

 

WE PLAYIN’ YET?

One of our favorite summertime rainy day activities is playing Tissue Dance. Give it a try! All you need is a box of tissues, space to dance, and some great music.

Give each child a tissue and have them put it on their head. When the music begins, everyone can start dancing while trying to keep the tissue on their head. If the tissue falls off someone’s head and they catch it before it touches the ground, they can put it back on their head and continue dancing. If the tissue falls on the ground, the player is “out” and must wait until the next round to start again. The last person dancing with the tissue on their head is the winner and gets to choose the next song.

 

GIVE ME THE GOODS!

Archeologists recently found a 200,000-year-old skull in Greece and it got me thinking…. Why did homo sapiens survive when Neanderthals and homo erectus did not? 

There are many competing theories, but one that interests me most is this: homo sapiens were uniquely able to create music. Scholars debate whether music-making is a biological adaptation or a cultural creation, but all agree that music was a key piece of the puzzle as to why humans survived.

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, homo sapiens shared the planet with Neanderthals and homo erectus.  Even though these early relatives were better adapted to climate in the Ice Age, homo sapiens survived and they did not. What was the major difference?

Geoffrey F. Miller from the University of New Mexico proposes that homo sapiens, who could dance and make music, were much more successful in courtship and mating and therefore had more reproductive success and staying power. Robin I. M. Dunbar of the University of Liverpool posits that music promoted social cohesion in groups that had grown too large for grooming. In part because of their ability to make music, homo sapiens were able to live in larger communities that could successfully coincide and work together for better survival.   And, of course, music helped “soothe the savage beast.” When homo sapiens sang to their infants or even just to themselves, they could self-regulate, be quiet, and survive in dangerous times. 

Of course, homo sapiens had bigger brains than their evolutionary competitors, which enabled more complex language, helped them to spread new ideas, and equipped them to make more sophisticated tools. If this is true, couldn’t their unique ability to make music also play a part in their ultimate survival?

Pretty cool, huh?

 

Music Mondays July 1st, 2019
By Music Together CLT on June 27, 2019

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

There are lots of fun events in our area to celebrate the Fourth of July.  

Matthews People’s Parade  – There will be bike and wagon decorating and a parade along with bounce houses, food trucks, and more --  followed by a concert at Stumptown Park, 120 S. Trade St., Matthews 

Stroll along South Street in Davidson  for a parade that will include a color guard, a fire engine and lots of patriotism. McEver Field, 626 South Street, Davidson

Sky Show Charlotte  combines baseball and Independence Day for a fun festival of rides, food trucks, and live music at a free street party from 2 – 10 pm.   The Charlotte Knights play at 6:05 pm. Mint Street and MLK Jr. Blvd.

 

WE PLAYIN’ YET?

John Philip Sousa composed “Stars and Stripes Forever” in 1896, and it remains one of the greatest marches in our country’s repertoire.  On this week of celebrating the Fourth of July, find this famous march on your favorite streaming device and let your child try her hand- and feet- at some large movement.

When kids move to music in a large way (like skipping, jumping, marching, twirling), they are not just developing their coordination, balance, and concentration abilities, they are also developing part of the brain that will help them to speak, read, write and play instruments.  From being in class, you know how to move on the micro and macro beats, and you can broaden that to super quick and super slow beats, ‘march’ like different animals...really let your child’s imagination direct the fun while you’re waiting for the fireworks.

 

GIVE ME THE GOODS!

Have you ever had a song stuck in your head?  For me, this week it was Bohemian Rhapsody.  My son and I recently watched the movie and for days afterward, in my head, all I could hear was “Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo, figaro, magnifico…” This got me thinking about “songs in our heads.”

On June 10th, we wrote about the RECEPTION and EXPRESSION loop:  children must receive a lot of musical input in order to express music with their mouths and bodies.  What also happens in that loop is some good old-fashioned “song in my head” time – or what we call AUDIATION. Audiation describes the experience of hearing music in our minds even when there is no external music present.  And audition occurs in the silence. When a child’s audiation of a song or chant is accurate, then its outer expression is likely to be accurate, and we’ll hear our children sing in tune!

A child needs many chances to experiment – both consciously and unconsciously – with creating the outer reality and comparing it with his inner audiation of the music.  By repeatedly listening to and comparing her musical expressions with yours, as well as with the performances on the recording, she is gradually building her ability to audiate and “think musically.”

So, yes!  Give lots of opportunities for reception.  But allow those silences in between, where your son or daughter can hear music in their head, and begin the process of expressing music accurately.

 

Oh...and HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!!!

 

Music Mondays June 17th, 2019
By Music Together CLT on June 13, 2019

WHAT’S HAPPENING?

June 21 is the SUMMER SOLSTICE – the longest day of the year!  Celebrate by checking out Reedy Creek Park and Nature Center’s “Fire and Hike”, 7:00 – 8:30 pm. All ages are welcome! 

There are also lots of free outdoor movies for kids this week!  Click HERE to see where you can hang out on a blanket under the stars and enjoy one of your favorite family films.

And don’t forget the Balloon Lady will be at Imaginon on June 18 for 1:00 and 3:00 shows.  Go to their website HERE to register for a show of story telling, music, and magical balloon creations!

 

WE PLAYIN’ YET?

Have you ever been on a SOUND SCAVENGER HUNT?  It’s a great way to have your little one sharpen up her ears, distinguish between different sounds and noises, and have some fun!

Simply ask your toddler, “what sounds do we hear outside?” As he answers, write them down (or draw them) in a notebook together.  You may have to give suggestions:  birds, dogs, cats, trucks, rain, wind, silence, owl, dinosaur, clock, plane, waves, bees, people, door, etc.  What will you hear?  What do all those things sound like?

Then out you go!  When you hear a sound, mark it off in your book with a heart or a star (for a nice sense of accomplishment) and then really listen.  What sounds did they make?   Did anything sound differently than you expected?  Stop and smell the roses, hear the bees, splash in the puddles and enjoy the sounds of the world!  

 

GIVE ME THE GOODS!

I was watching two puppies play in the park yesterday and was reminded of how important PLAY is in learning.   We’ve all seen it – two puppies rolling around in a pile, nipping at each other, growling, chasing and rolling on their backs.  What joy!  But that joy is teaching them about their social construct, what is tolerated in their environment, what hurts others and what doesn’t, and how to move their bodies in space.

The same is true with childhood play.  Whether it’s rough and tumble play like puppies or imaginative play, solo play, ritual play or musical play, kids learn through play!  There is a strong connection between the practice of play and the emotional and cognitive development of the brain.  It fires up the cerebellum and the frontal lobe and creates complex contextual memory.  In fact, Dr. Stuart Brown has found that play is as basic a natural phenomenon as sleep; and, like sleep, many of us aren’t getting enough of it!

What might musical play look like?  Maybe it’s your pre-crawler picking up and shaking everything in order to find the sound, your toddler having ‘music class’ with his stuffed animals and ukulele, kids acting out songs from movies (think Let It Go! or songs from Moana). Play is how kids sort through the stimuli of their days. Less structure in the summer allows children lots of space and time to really play. 

Music Mondays June 10th, 2019
By Music Together CLT on June 10, 2019

Ladies and gentlemen…. The Beatles!


What’s happening?
Looking for a fun Father’s day weekend experience? Music Together of Charlotte is a longtime supporter of Tosco Music, which is putting on FabFest, the Southeast’s first Beatles festival! Father’s Day weekend, from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, and noon to 5pm on Sunday, all things FabFour will be celebrated with guest speakers and performances, rare Beatles concert footage by the Charlotte Film Society, trivia contests and more! There’s also a family fun room at the festival- groovy crafts, games, music for kids, and there will even be a Beatles Music Together class both days! (If there are any grand-dads in town for the weekend, it’s a fantastic experience instead of another tie or funny socks, coffee cup, or grill tool, am I right?!)

FabFest is a ticketed event through Blumenthal. The first 10 families per day (20 total) will get 1/2 price day tickets to the Tosco FabFest for the same day of the class.

To reserve your spot, simply email, BY THURSDAY JUNE 13 at 9:00 pm, phfulton@gmail.com with the following info: # of adults to attend, # of kids under 5, #of kids over 5. You will receive an email later in the week with a link and discount code to purchase tickets. Saturday class is at 11:30, Sunday class is at 1:30.

Are we playin’ yet?
If you have chopsticks and an empty yogurt cup, you have an instrument. A plastic milk jug, 2 liter-bottle, wooden spoon, driveway, swingset….if you can strike it, it can make a sound, which can make a beat. Put on music YOU like, give yourself and your child an unsharpened pencil and enjoy your drum solo! It is surprisingly gratifying to improvise, innovate, and discover with your child(ren). Here’s some inspiration-(YouTube)

Give me the goods.
Lili Levinowitz, co-author of the Music Together Curriculum, was in Charlotte this past weekend, training new teachers. She gave a terrific example to help understand RECEPTION and EXPRESSION, the feedback loop of children’s musical development.

RECEPTION is like a computer hard drive where data is input and stored: tonalities, beats, genres, languages, stories, other subtle elements of the class experience and the musical experiences you and your family have at home The more reception opportunities your child has, the bigger their ‘hard drive’ will be.

EXPRESSION is like a monitor, where we can observe how this data has been processed: singing, dancing, purposeful movement, meaningful engagement with others, anticipation of stops and starts. The richer and more varied the input, the greater the array of expression.

Just as when children learn to talk, receiving cues and learning what language sounds like before trying it themselves, children spend a lot of time receiving music (hopefully from you) before they express it by playing with sounds, pieces of songs and then, eventually, full songs. Enjoy the process of watching your child come ‘on line’ musically as you marinate them in music.

 

Music Mondays, June 3rd, 2019
By Music Together CLT on June 03, 2019

It’s too darn hot! Hope these ideas give you some relief from the heat~

What’s happening?
The Arts and Science council has free ARTS BLOCK events all over the
Charlotte metro area, all summer long. Here are a few happening soon:

  • Clayworks: June 8, 10-Noon: family workshop
  • June 11, 10-11am: preschool workshop
  • Mallard Creek Rec Center, 2530 Johnston Oehler Rd, 28269
  • Little Aviators: June 8,10-11am, age 3-5, Steele Creek Branch Library

Are we playin’ yet?
When we play with balls in class, the hope is that you will carry the idea home. Why are balls musical? Anything that moves can have a beat, and we are the agents of that beat when playing with balls, scarves, parachutes, etc., by anticipating when to roll to get the ball ‘there on time’ to the beat. If you are playing with your child, Gertie Balls are terrific for this; they can be inflated to your desired 'bounce-ability' and the textture of the ball is tacky (nothing gets on your hands but it’s grip-able), perfect for young children. Beyond the music, it helps with other developmental milestones and skills like motor control and catching. Plus, you can play with these balls inside.

Give me the goods.
One word: DANCE. It’s summer, so we're not going to get into a lecture about all the reasons why, but here are a few highlights:

Brain development : according to research from the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, serve and return’ is the most critical factor in healthy brain development. It’s what you all do naturally in class (and everywhere else)-interact with and respond to your child. Dance is a physical serve and return opportunity.

Motor control : Young children are learning to inhabit their bodies; the more ways they can experiment and move, the more ways they can refine how they move through space, their sense of balance and orientation, and range of motion.

Self-regulation : We don’t need a research study to know this! A wonderful thing about our bodies and music is that they are OURS, and we can call upon them anytime. Feeling stressed? Slow music and a gentle sway can calm the soul. Feeling blah? Dance can energize and give a much-needed endorphin rush.

Dance models self-expression, joy, and freedom. You don’t need permission; family dance time is not just for class!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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