The Tuneables is an award-winning children's music education DVD and CD series designed to teach the key building blocks of music at a critical time in a child's development. Sponsored by the Music Intelligence Project, this fun, interactive program engages children in songs and activities that provide a foundation of music understanding and growth in intellectual development. Ages 3-8.
Buy your copy today at: www.thetuneables.com/the-music-shop/
Singing in tune and performing with rhythmic accuracy are usually learned by children as they imitate a demonstration or model. The level of skill achieved depends on the accuracy of the model. If the model is accurate, that is, if the singing is in tune and the beats and rhythms are properly timed, then the child tends to imitate that performance. However, if the model is inaccurate, the child's imitation will likely be inaccurate, a well. The models that we provide can teach the whole world to sing in tune— or out of tune!
The critical understanding is that if parents can sing in tune and perform rhythms accurately, the demonstration/imitation process is the most effective means to help children learn accurate musical performance. In addition, carefully chosen recordings can extend the child's experience to additional demonstrations and models, expand their repertoire, and provide the repetition needed for lasting skill development. Most important, parents who cannot provide good musical models should not demonstrate for their children but choose other available resources.
Children usually respond well to a singing model when the tone might be described as simple and clear-a sound that the child can imitate. Also, the vocal model should be in the child's singing range. With the proper model, the parent can effectively encourage the child by saying, "Make your singing voice sound just like mine." (A good model on a recording can do this as well). Male voices— live and recorded— singing songs in the lower octave can be entertaining for children, but they do not serve as effective models for developing the singing voice.
All human performance of music involves movement. We move our vocal mechanisms; expand and contract our lungs; manipulate instruments with hands, arms, lips, tongue, etc.; dance with our feet; jump, spin, sway, and bend with our bodies—all in connection with rhythms and tones of music. In addition, all movements must be precisely timed and executed for a successful music performance. The human capacity to learn and execute a large number of complex movements with split-second accuracy enables 100 musicians to perform together in a symphony orchestra, or an individual to recreate a performance of a solo piece of music over and over.
Many young children experience music informally through such means as singing games, hearing songs sung on television, music time at preschool, and interacting with parents who feel comfortable providing music experiences for their children. Such informal encounters with music are valuable as pleasurable moments and as readiness experiences for sequential music learning.
An important aspect of any music learning is training the ear to know the sounds of music, or what some call the "content" of music. The two basic content areas are *tonal* (the pitches or tones that we sing and play) and* rhythm* (the place in time that we place pitches and other sounds).
As the developing child hears its native language, responds to it, and receives reinforcement for those responses, the brain forms connections, or becomes "wired," to recognize and give meaning to words and phrases in a language and to process those sounds as cognitive thought. This "wiring" of the brain is the process of developing intelligence. The more interconnections that are formed the more active the brain becomes and the better we can think.
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