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Music is so natural for children; the new literature on emergent literacy treats reading and music the same way—a natural extension of children’s language and experience for young children" (Harp, 1988).

November 8, 2010
Storytelling with Multi-age Groupings

Using music and musical elements throughout your storytelling will greatly enhance participation for multi-age groupings. Music is a great extender for storytelling participation. Music is an effective teaching tool that reaches many different brain pathways areas. The “Music In a Box” lesson plan format provided on this blog was designed for you to think of musical ways and areas to extend music into your storytelling.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
October 28, 2010
Integrating Music into Your Literary Experience

Last week a selection of autumn-themed music for young children was listed to facilitate opportunities for enhancement of autumn literacy experiences. A great resource, YouTube, can be used to assist with learning and teaching the songs selected. It is a great tool for learning about music, or brushing up on your past experiences with music. Children can actually watch artists perform their own music via watching a performance on YouTube.

The music selections listed included classical, popular, folk, instrumental, vocal and jazz genres. Young children should listen to music from all genres as they are developing their own unique musical palette. It is wrong to assume that young children should participate and only listen to young children’s music. World music is also a great resource for building cultural awareness and also learning different languages.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
October 21, 2010
Literature and Music in Autumn

Early childhood literature abounds with autumn themes. Whether it’s about the leaves changing color, animals and their habitats or autumn holidays, “seasonal” music is also associated with autumn, too. MacPhail Center for Music provides the community with authentic music education experiences, and this listening list is only a small selection of music you can utilize.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
October 12, 2010
Music and the Brain, Part 2

There are two blogs with information about music’s effect on brain functioning. The first blog in the series focused on the effects music has on the outside brain – cortex areas. This second blog will focus on the music’s effects on the inside of the brain.

Your Brain On Music:
Based on MRI and PET scan readings, music lightens up and influences almost every area of the brain. Music encourages recollections of vivid memories, promotes movement and increases endorphins to raise our spirits.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
October 11, 2010
Music and the Brain

Welcome back to MacPhail’s Musical Story Telling Blog! For the next two blog postings, we will provide information about music’s effect on brain functioning. This first part is on the effects music has on the outside brain – cortex areas. The next series entry will focus on the inside of the brain.

Your Brain on Music:
Based on MRI and PET scan readings, music lightens up and influences almost every area of the brain. Music encourages recollections of vivid memories, promotes movement, and increases endorphins to raise our spirits.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
August 19, 2010
Musical Storytelling Supplies

Many of our blog readers asked for suggestions of appropriate instruments and props to use during their Musical Storytelling. We created a list of instrument and props for you as well as websites where you might find these teaching tools.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
July 28, 2010
Summer Fun at the Zoo

We are dedicating this month’s Blog posting to Summer Fun at the Zoo. Children of all ages love a trip to the zoo, and Minnesota is blessed with three of the finest zoos in the country as well as beautiful parks and nature centers. The enjoyment of interacting with nature gives us all an opportunity to appreciate the sights AND sounds of nature, increasing our zoological and musicological vocabularies.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
July 2, 2010
Developmentally Appropriate Music & Literacy Experiences: 3-5 years

Musical preferences are often stated by children. Children should be encouraged to participate in musical conversations. Musical experiences can take on drama and pretend. While acting out, why not add music to the performance? Exposure to color and concept songs is important.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
July 1, 2010
Developmentally Appropriate Music & Literacy Experiences: 2-3 years

The singing voice begins to develop at age 2-3 years. Children sing more in contour than in pitch (i.e. note for note). More complex nursery songs, story songs, rhythm instruments (triangle, Orff instruments, xylophones, and finger cymbals) should be used to facilitate musical awareness.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
June 30, 2010
Developmentally Appropriate Music & Literacy Experiences: 6 months to 2 years, Part 2

Expose your child to rhythm instruments. Kazoos are a favorite, as they develop oral muscular and breath control. Maracas, small finger drums, tambourines, floor drums, slide whistles, and jingle bells will help your child develop a purposeful sense to the meaning of rhythm, and are associated with cause and effect.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
June 29, 2010
Developentally Appropriate Music & Literacy Experiences: 6 months to 2 years

When reading to your child, "piggyback" a familiar melody to the text of a book. This will increase attending behavior and enhance auditory perception. Soothe your baby with lullabies. Exposure to classical music, such as J.S. Bach, Mozart, and Vivaldi can begin at birth. Musical toys and musical boxes are also favorites.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
June 24, 2010
Elements of Music

Music consists of unique elements that are utilized for learning, especially in the area of literacy development in young children. Elements of music provide opportunities for brain bilateralism and brain development. Elements provide opportunities for self-expression and avenues for building social/play skills. The patterns and structure of music provide for constancy, relaxation, and closure. Elements provide an atmosphere of self disclosure. Finally, elements of music are associated with memory building, academic and emotional skill development.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
June 18, 2010
Music and Literacy Development

Using music as a teaching tool for literacy development in young children is based on early childhood cognitive learning theories and curriculum developed centuries ago. This blog posting will take us back and give us a historical background as to the prevalence of music used in early childhood programs not only to foster music education, but other aspects of learning.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
June 11, 2010
Musical Story Times Video

This free workshop was provided to library workers in order to learn new ways to enhance story times with the addition of music. Hands-on activities helped participants gain new ideas. Presented by Dianna Babcock, Director of Early Childhood Music and Cheryl Henningsgaard, Faculty Member, MacPhail Center for Music. This program is funded with money from Minnesota's Art and Cultural Heritage Fund.

June 10, 2010
Highlights of Musical Intelligence

Howard Gardner and Thomas Armstrong have recognized musical skill areas that can be developed and strengthened using music as a teaching tool.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
June 9, 2010
Music in a Box, Part 4

When using the "Music in a Box" format, think about the book as the theme. This will assist in lesson development that will create an integrated learning approach for young children. The story will “come to life’” and also engage the young leaner in literacy-rich experiences.
Very popular interests of young children are trains. Celebrating their universal appeal we will demonstrate how we can augment “trains” into a literacy-rich experience.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
June 9, 2010
Multiple Intelligences Information Musical

Professor Howard Gardner, Harvard University has developed a way to describe intelligence that is not based on one fixed number placed on a bell curve, testing primarily using only two areas of intelligence, but as a developmental emergence of eight specific skill areas: Musical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, Mathematical, Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Naturalist, Verbal-Linguistic, and Existential.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
June 2, 2010
Music in a Box, Part 3

Today's "Music In A Box" is an excellent example of how adding music can enhance multiple literacy learning areas that include vocabulary concepts found in labeling animals, instruments, color recognition and illustrations that enhance print motivation and awareness, phonological awareness through singing the story to a familiar tune, or rhythmical reading the text, and narrative development through a farm and family theme.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
May 25, 2010
Music in a Box, Part 2

This Blog will feature a “Music in A Box” entry written from each Musical Storytelling Workshop! Thank you to the wonderful librarians who submitted such great ideas. We are very pleased with your creative ideas and we hope for more feedback from you in the future.  We chose the examples below as they cover topics that are seasonal to our Minnesota spring.

By Dianna Babcock & Cheryl Henningsgaard
May 7, 2010
Music in a Box!

Cheryl and Dianna have developed a “Music in a Box” ideas format to help you create your own “Musical Storytelling” by using one of your favorite books or a book that you would like to create into a “Musical Storytelling” experience.