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Melodies in Motion for ages 2-3

Every waking moment of each day a child is assimilating the world through the senses, "roughing" in the big picture and filling in more and more detail in response to each situation.  Ages 2 and 3 are years of intense activity and absorption in the development of a child.  This is a time when intellectual growth occurs most rapidly and cognitive functions are set.  Early experience in an interesting and stimulating environment promotes optimal development physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and intellectually.  

Consider the following natures and attributes of children:

  • Sensorimotor exploration is a way of learning that focuses on the here and now.  The senses are the child's window to the world.

  • Children learn through movement.  As the body becomes better coordinated, toddlers can direct movement toward goals established in their environment, and use their body as an expressive instrument with ever higher levels of awareness and complexity.

  • Listening is the most important sensory channel for learning.  Music provides listening opportunities that encourage young children to focus attention on familiar sounds and to discriminate between other sounds.

  • Children know instinctively that the sounds of spoken language constitute communication.  Music offered them a strong means of communication because it soothes, focuses attention, and stimulates response. 

  • Children have a natural tendency for order.  Being involved in a class with a routine--such as sitting in a circle, starting with a greeting song, or handling instruments and returning them to their proper place--lends itself well to this predisposition.

  • This is an age where independence and initiative are quintessential for learning.  Music class is a safe space for them to feel a sense of independence without interference.

  • Children have a "let's do it again!" mentality.  This repetition strengthens the intial experience of the movement in the muscular system so that the action becomes smoother and more controlled with each repetition.  Skills, precise movement comes with practice guided by a growing awareness of how the action should feel while it is happening. Once the activity is mastered, children will challenge themselves and begin to explore ways and means by which they might apply their new-found skill in other situations.   

The most important aspect of the adult's presence is attitude, because young children are always observing and looking too both parent and teacher as model and guide.

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