Preschool Jam Session

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We all know the library is a wonderful resource to a community, but did you know that it’s not just for silence and books?  Thanks to the 95th Street Libary in Naperville, my little ones got their first exposure to a real-life rock concert.  The Amazin’ Raisin Rhyme Band is a unique rock band for little people in which they are part of the show.  Their motto is “reach up and have fun,” and the girls did just that.  If there is such thing as a preschool mosh pit, well then my little Kelly (3yrs) was smack in the middle. 

It never ceases to amaze me just how uninhibited kids are at times.  When ‘Rhymin’ Rob’ and ‘Patrick Paradiddle’ invited the kids to come closer to the stage for a little limbo line, my girls–at least one of them (Kelly)–was front and center.  When was the last time you were so uninhibited?  When was the last time you didn’t care how you looked or who you knew or whether you were going at a new task alone?   Kids don’t care and for that I am so proud.  I wanted to cheer Kelly along.  And so I did.  I joined the preschool mosh pit.  I took pictures, I encouraged her to participate more.   I smiled, I jumped up and down, I clapped and tapped to the beat. 

What does this do for kids?

  • It increases their confidence level
  • It allows them to become one with the experience
  • It gives them an opportunity to have fun
  • It shows them that music is a fun and integral part of life
  • It gives them a new experience–one which they will build on

Ever wonder what music does for our kids with apraxia? 

The quick and easy answer is it helps with  motor planning and and enhancing the vestibular and proprioceptive systems.  Read on to find out more: 

Music Therapy.  Anthropologists call music the “universal language,” and they just may be right.  What else, you may ask, can express raw emotion without words?  Think of an opera singer…singing in Italian.  You are not fluent in Italian, yet you know that she is very emotional about something.  You can sense her hurt, passion, love, whatever without really knowing what words she is using.  Music has been around since man has walked the earth…singing to infants to quiet their tears, a chant at a feast, or responding to a natural rhythm in the environment.  Music therapy is an established profession which uses music to tap into the physical, emotional, cognitive and social needs of individuals of all ages.  In a clinical case study of a 3-year-old girl with CAS, it was found that she was able to produce many syllables, combination sounds, and words by the end of therapy.  She received 24 therapy sessions over a period of 9 months, and was found nearly non-verbal when she began therapy.  Hard to say whether her improvement had anything to do with her developmental age or if she was receiving speech therapy in addition to music therapy.  Among managing stress, promoting wellness and enhancing memory, music therapy seeks to improve communication and express feelings.  Hummm…just might be something to it.

To find a music therapist, check out the American Music Therapists Association at www.musictherapy.org .

Of course you don’t have to go run out and hire a professional music therapist.  Attend a class for tots on on music awareness and merry making through your park district or community education.  Of course, as  a parent, you already know the benefits (or irritations) of little people music.  Sometimes it’s just the ticket to get your little one a bit more verbal.  Ones to try:

  • Funky Mama
  • ABBA Greatest Hits (“Mama Mia” is a favorite at our house)
  • Jim Gill
  • Barenaked Ladies-“Snacktime”

Bottom line: get your kids some exposure to music, even if it means joining them in the mosh pit.

About leslie1218

Author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) frantically working on a novel that should be ready for submission this fall. Mom of two spritely redheads & one chubby basset hound whose stories & images appear in my writing from time-to-time.

One response »

  1. Hi Leslie, I was very touched and flattered to receive your email today and read your blog. We, as professional musicians and entertainers, realize that what we do can sometimes reach beyond the stage but sometimes don’t realize how far. I am lucky enough to do something I love, and to bring a smile to a child’s face or give a family some common ground to enjoy together is often very rewarding. Knowing that we can, in some small way, help a child with apraxia makes is all that much more rewarding. If there is anything I can do along the way please let me know. We look forward to seeing you and Kelly again soon!
    Rob Lisak

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