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Stomp, Run, Walk, and Rock to the BEAT!

September 17, 2012

Last week’s Kindermusik class in Jasper, Georgia focused on Steady Beat. Steady beat is a HUGE musical concept because keeping a beat is essential to playing a musical instrument and playing music with others. HOWEVER, research shows a direct correlation to steady beat and learning to be physically coordinated, learning new vocabulary, learning to read, and more:

“Steady beat is not only important for musical experiences, but is important for all we do that requires regularly paced repeated motions like walking, running, and bouncing a ball. Research has shown that a young child’s ability to keep a steady beat is a strong indicator of later academic success, including linguistic development and improved ability to read and organize thought patterns” (Weikart, P. 1995).  How will your child keep the beat this week?  Here’s how we did it in class last week!

Steady beat is the unchanging and underlying pulse of the music! Put two fingers up to your neck just under your chin on the side. Press gently, and feel the beat!  (You can also try it on your wrist, palm side, but don’t use your thumb!)  Your heart beat is an example of a steady beat! When your child was inside you, moms, they could feel the beat of your heart, they could feel your actions and hear your voice through the vibrations in your bones!  Children love participating in steady beat activities because it reminds them of how life used to be in the womb! Rocking to the beat is especially special because your child can hear the beat of the music and snuggle close to you and hear your heart beat again!

Rocking is a great way to keep the beat, but so is running! We’ve been walking, stomping, tip-toeing, to the beat as we listened to the drum. The drum gives us the cue as to what we should do and the children are learning to recognize the different versions of beat from the drum!Image

The children especially enjoyed keeping the beat with sandblocks this week! We had fun pretending to “chop” and “slice” vegetables with the sandblocks and as we said “slice, slice, slice” or “chop, chop, chop” we helped each child keep the beat with our “Vegetable Soup” song!

With all of this beat practice, parents, you might see your child trying to practice the beat in their everyday play. For example, while your child is playing in her pretend kitchen, she might make the spoon tap a beat, or while your child is playing with YOUR pots and pans, you may hear attempts at the beat! Applaud these attempts and demonstrate a steady beat again! Then turn on your Kindermusik Digital Home Materials and Play and Dance to the Beat!

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