Friday, May 15, 2009

The Relationship Between Books and Music

As I mentioned previously, Charlotte has been able to attend a Kindermusik class for the last several weeks and I've been so impressed by it, I really want to share some of what we've learned during this time.

Even though I've read Ms. Debbie's blog for several months now, I  wasn't ever really sure how to integrate posts about how reading and music go together. After seeing it in action though, I know that reading can help teach students about the rhythm of the written word, much like music helps us hear the rhythm of a song lyric or about the tones of music when we change our voices to imitate certain characters in a story. I'll share about the reading today, and the tones in a future post.

In fact, there are many books that are based on popular children's songs. Charlotte already loves books because we've been reading to her from the very beginning, so it makes sense that I can use a research-based approach (which seems more like common sense the more we do it) to transfer some of that love to music.

So, to the practical part of what I've learned about music and reading.

It doesn't matter if the book is based on a song, or that you even know the song if it is. Most children's books have a natural rhythm and beat that we can hear as we read the words. We can encourage interaction with the story by patting our legs to the natural rhythm of the story. This helps the children understand kinestetichally what they are hearing and involves their whole body in the learning process.

And if you know Charlotte, you know she needs to keep moving! She can't hardly bear to sit still while doing anything.

Ms. Debbie has recommended several books for helping to develop rhythm on her Musiconnix Recommends blog, and I've listed a few below that Charlotte and I have read together.
  • Any Dr. Seuss book
  • Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boyton
  • You and Me, Baby by Lynn Reiser and Penny Gentieu
  • A to Z by Sandra Boynton (really any Boyton book will work)
  • Sunshine On My Shoulder by John Denver
I love to add new books to our growing list of favorites. Do you have any books that are particularly rhythmic? Is there one certain book that always gets your child moving?

Edited to add: Debbie has also posted a series on developing steady beat that might be interesting to those of you who like the idea of using music to reinforce reading skills, and visa versa.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard such great things about Kindermusik...I'm so glad you guys get to go. I totally agree about the reading - music connection. It can work wonders in a classroom, too.

    Thanks for your help with the posting - glad you noticed!


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