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black walnut Children's Music and Pre-Literacy (27) RE: Children's Music and Pre-Literacy 13 May 08


Thank you all (so far!). So many good thoughts and directions!

Do NOT worry - for almost 20 years I have been an ADVOCATE for teaching music for the sake of music, for the sake of the moment, for the sake of the relationship built between the partners and in the group. The FACT that doing so enhances other kinds of learning is something that is very exciting though, and doesn't diminish in any way, shape or form, the other.

My (now 20 year old) daughter was born with speech difficulties and is dyslexic. Making music in groups, in speech therapy and in the house helped her enormously.   I know that it is right to link these two aspects of learning and enjoyment (let's not forget that the act of reading and writing can be enjoyable too!).

The reason I called my latest CD "Simply Beautiful" is that I believe (HUGELY BELIEVE!) that we don't so things such as supporting reading and writing and speaking skills by boring children with didactic alphabet and phonics songs. We do so by engaging them - and ourselves as adults - with simple beautiful (ie. art) songs filled with images, stories, rhythm, rhyme and movement. Material which is carefully chosen or written by the music leader is special for it's own sake - but has the added bonus of enhancing language and pre-reading skills in young children. And for that I send up fireworks of delight.

Thanks again for your references. Yes, I know some of the work of John Feierabend and attended one of his workhops in Toronto a while back. Yes I know that there is a wealth of informal (not to say not worthwhile) knowledge about this topic on planet Mudcat - I've been here for many years and would be a fool to ignore or deny that - but I am also putting out feelers for someone here who might have a researcher's badge as well - or point in that direction.   For instance, last evening I was speaking with a children's speech therapist who is also a folkie singer/songwriter, and got some great ideas from her.

All of your wisdom is precious to me. Often your contributions - such as Azizi's thoughts on movement songs, and Fred's mention of The Singing Neanderthals - will take me on journeys of thought that will keep me busy and fascinated for a long, long, long time.

Thank you!

~b.w.


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