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How Music Helps with Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Skills (E9)

We’ve heard that music helps with reading, writing, and arithmetic skills for our young children. But, how? And, how can you actually include a music program in your own home that will help your preschoolers grow in these skills? Those are the questions we’re answering today.

How Music Helps with Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Skills

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The Research is Clear

We are just beginning to understand the importance of music in a child’s development. The research has come back showing an incredible difference in the Math and Language skills of preschool children who had early lives WITH music compared to those WITHOUT music.

It is significant to note that the most dramatic results were achieved by children who had PIANO lessons.

These children outperformed all other groups at puzzle solving, up to 80% higher scores than the non-musical children.*

Based on the research, students with music, specifically piano, in their preschool years, have more success in their later education.

Start with KinderBach

We know these facts, but how does a homeschool parent, perhaps with no music background, cover this base of education? What are the important parts in learning the piano for brain development?

Who has the time to meet curriculum standards and provide music? Given the time, where would one start?

KinderBach was created to be used by teachers (even parents!) regardless of their music background. There are activity books, online videos, audio music tracks, and stories. Parents don’t have to play anything other than online videos – no instrument knowledge is necessary.

We believe that homeschool parents can teach. All they need is the correct information to communicate.

What is KinderBach?

KinderBach gives homeschooling parents the tools to teach music. It provides a solid music foundation for the children while, at the same time, overlapping and enhancing basic math and language skills.

With KinderBach, music education is not an additional activity but another method of covering math and early literacy. It is a partnership that combines curriculum goals and piano basics.

KinderBach provides the teacher with complete lesson plans, videos, worksheets, and age-appropriate music learning activities.

KinderBach Level 1 beginning piano and music theory for preschoolers

How Music Helps with Reading

1) Decoding – The alphabet, phonics, and numbers are all symbols that need to be interpreted to be understood. Children need to be able to decode in order to read. Music is rich in simple sound/symbol relationships, a perfect precursor to reading language. With movement and rhythm, children can greatly increase their decoding skills.

How KinderBach helps with Decoding

2) Beat and Rhythm – Language has natural subtle rhythms. Therefore, the ability to keep a steady beat is a good indication of a child’s reading readiness. Understanding and duplicating rhythms encourage children to become rhythmic readers.

KinderBach example: Listening and Clap Back – In KinderBach, children are taught to listen to a rhythm, decipher it, and clap it back correctly as a group.

KinderBach example: Known Rhythms – Children will use known melodies and find the rhythm within. They will play songs like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” on rhythm sticks by ear.

3) Common Symbols – It helps that some of the music terms and symbols actually exist in our language. This fact makes piano lessons an easy overlap with reading.

4) Aural Discrimination – determining the difference between high & low, loud & quiet, as well as interpreting what they hear.

How KinderBach helps with Aural Discrimination

5) Tracking – Left to right, obviously an overlap with reading. KinderBach provides easy and fun tracking exercises for children to listen to and do that are not monotonous. Combined with gross motor movements that cross the mid-line during singing, reading music greatly enhances their tracking skills. Making music is one of the few activities that use both sides of the brain. It is very helpful in left/right brain integration.

How KinderBach helps with Tracking (reading)

6) Articulation, Phrasing, Proper Breathing, Posture, Expression – These are all areas to be addressed in training good readers. Singing is a positive, entertaining way to lay a firm foundation. Folk songs in KinderBach provide cultural context to language.

How KinderBach helps with providing cultural context to language.

How Music Helps with Writing

1)  Identification of Left and Right – Songs and activities to identify and promote recall.

How KinderBach helps with identification of left and right.

2)  Separation of the Hand – Identification and numbering of fingers. Finger numbers for piano start at the thumb and move on to the index fingers. Manipulation and strengthening of these digits are essential for these skilled movements.

How KinderBach helps with fine motor skills

3) Coordination and Control – is exercised by playing at the keyboard. Playing music uses both sides of the brain. Not only because the piano can be played with both hands but also because it combines motor skill learning with emotion.

How KinderBach helps with coordination and control

4) Fine Motor Skills – Besides actually playing the piano with individual fingers, KinderBach has other activities for finger movement. Coloring, cut & paste, as well as circling or grouping symbols to identify them.

How Music Helps with Arithmetic

1) Listening and Identifying – the distance of tones, strengthens the neural pathways. Physical movement emphasizing the difference speaks to the kinesthetic learners. Music is measurement and difference, listening to math or more commonly known as the “Mozart Effect”.

How KinderBach helps with developing neural pathways

2) Sequential Learning – is an important math skill. Music classes accomplish this by listening to a song, singing a song, playing it with rhythm instruments, analyzing differences, and then playing it on the keyboard.

3) Beats and Note Value – The skill of identifying the beat value of a given note symbol overlaps with basic math skills. Playing rhythms deeply internalizes this skill.

How KinderBach helps with learning beats and note values.

4) Division of Measures, Barlines, and Time Signatures. The spatial temporal part of the brain is exercised as notes are grouped and classified.

Music in the Homeschool

We know that music in the home classroom is important and that preschool piano is the best way to take advantage of the musical window in brain development. KinderBach is an effective way to provide the musical advantage and yet address basic curriculum foundations. It provides any teacher the materials to address this opportune time in her children’s lives.

KinderBach can be used in many different ways. You can run through an entire lesson or a couple of segments everyday or every other day – it’s up to you as the teacher!

The lessons cover a range of activities from watching the short video scenes, echo singing, fine motor movement, and implementing the information with gross motor movement.

Download a Free Copy of the “KinderBach and the 3 R’s Guide”

See the YouTube Video “How Music Helps with Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic Skills” here:

Listen to the Podcast Episode here:

Listen here or subscribe and follow The Music in Our Homeschool Podcast through your favorite podcast app!

Download the podcast transcript here.

Have you found other ways that music helps with reading, writing, or arithmetic? Share in a comment below!

FOOTNOTE:
*DR. FRANCIS RAUSCHER AND DR. GORDON SHAW AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA – STUDY QUOTED BY LYNNELL HANCOCK, “WHY DO SCHOOLS FLUNK BIOLOGY”, NEWSWEEK, FEBRUARY, 19 1996.

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