Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | March 22, 2011

Music: A Powerful Teaching Tool

Today’s post as well as the following two posts were contributed by my colleague, Kathy Goforth, creator of Jolly Good Spellers.  Kathy will share some ideas for parents on teaching your little ones to spell.

Education today has really changed. More challenging academic goals are set. Children are not all developmentally ready to tackle them. Recently, I found my journal from my teaching internship days and guess what? The curriculum taught in first grade back then is now required in kindergarten! Kindergarteners are now expected to read simple books independently and to write simple stories using correct punctuation and spelling common words correctly! It is a daunting task requiring lots of partnerships with parents and unique ways to make learning fun and meaningful. Yes, the task can seem overwhelming, but it is not insurmountable! If you are reading this information, chances are you are one of those amazing parents looking for ways to prepare your child at home. Do you want to learn about the most beneficial method I have found to teach children difficult concepts in a meaningful way? Read on!

The answer is to use MUSIC to teach important concepts! If the information to be learned is set to a catchy, familiar tune, interest is generated! This increases motivation and excitement for learning. This leads to frequent rehearsal of the words to enhance quick memorization. Quick memorization in turn fosters easy use in reading, writing, oral language, and spelling.

Think about this: Haven’t you learned important facts through associating them with song? How about the alphabet song? Admit it, do you still sing the song in your head when you put lists in alphabetical order? I do! Other concepts many of us learned through songs or poems are the days of the week and months of the year. This is called a mnemonic device. Mnemonic devices or “strategies to help us remember” help the brain to make sense of and organize new information in meaningful ways.

In the next post I will share some specific ideas that you can try!

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