Have you ever heard the saying “If you want to grow your child’s brain, teach them music”?
Research shows that when we move or play to music various areas of our brains are being activated simultaneously related to language processing, memory, sensory processing and even areas associated with emotion…… in fact, neuroscientists have identified that learning music provides the most activity for the brain at one time! Studies related to music and the brain have also identified that the most beneficial time for music education is before the age of 5!
Watering whole has a very strong focus on music because we know how important it is at this critical time in each child’s development. Our focus on music not only helps to develop musicality and rhythm, but also helps each child with cognitive function, language development, emotional regulation and even helps their memory systems to work!
1- Little Musos:
Included in our mornings offered to all the children is a wonderful outsourced weekly music programme called Little Musos. Little Musos is a uniquely developed curriculum that allows for an active and playful approach to music where children discover the foundations of: Rhythm & Tempo, Melody, Pitch & Tone, musical dynamics and Musical Form. The children are so captivated by the lessons and get exposed to so many wonderful instruments, as well as different styles and genres of music.
2- Music appreciation:
The first step in learning to play music is listening to music… and the more varied the exposure the better! At the Watering Whole we introduce a wide repertoire of music in our music appreciation focus. During various times of the day, especially morning puzzle time and free indoor play after snack etc, we play different genres of music – from classical, to jazz, to music from around the world. This is then further enhanced during our ring time and dance sessions where the children spend time learning various dance moves, such as the waltz, hip hop and even the traditional Hawaiian hula!
3- African Drumming and marimba:
Another important element of music is learning about rhythm and beat! Our morning ring-time and orchestra sessions all include a wide repertoire of songs that focus on clapping, playing to or dancing to various rhythms and beats, but our weekly drumming sessions is when we really get into our rhythm and groove! The children are introduced to a wide variety of Xhosa songs and beats to further enhance our dual language programme and the children’s rhythmic development.
4- Intellidance® Kids:
Intellidance® Kids explores dance concepts through imaginative play while developing movement skills, balance, flexibility, and co-ordination. Instrumentation, sensory props, and simple dances support the development of musicality and self-expression, helping all children become confident movers and shakers!
Research shows that in order for our brains to effectively process music our vestibular systems need to be activated through movement! Intellidance combines music and movement concepts together to provide the greatest impact on neural development and learning!
The children also have rather a lot of fun exploring and playing instruments in our orchestra sessions. We have a wide variety of instruments including egg shakers, rhythm sticks, xylophones, drums, castanets, bells and even a mini marimba. All of which not only develop musicality, but also encourage a dynamic environment of working and creating together!