Thursday, December 15, 2011

Kindermusik Classes will run next week

We DO have Kindermusik Classes next week Dec 19-22  Let's get in the spirit together!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

10 Reasons Play Can Make You Happy, Healthy and Smart



From US News Heath News

Recess helps kids do better in school



  1. Play has been scientifically proved to be good for the brain. All animals play. Play stimulates nerve growth in the portions of the brain that process emotions and executive function. Grizzly bears that play the most survive longest, rats that socialize more with other rats develop bigger, more complex brains.
  2. Play teaches us to use our imaginations. Imagination is perhaps the most powerful human ability, letting us create simulated realities we can explore without abandoning the real world. Children start to tackle imaginative play around age 2, when they tend to begin telling silly stories. As kids grow older, the line between pretend and real becomes more solid, but imaginative play continues to nourish the spirit.
  3. Rough-and-tumble play teaches us how to cooperate and play fair. Research in humans and animals has shown that roughhousing is necessary for the development of social awareness, cooperation, fairness, and altruism. This is particularly true for preschoolers; what looks like anarchy on the playground is an experiment in the give-and-take necessary for the mastery of social skills. One researcher found that early forms of play, such as chasing, relate to social problem-solving skills that children develop later on. And if young rats are denied rough-and-tumble play, they develop serious social problems in adulthood and aren't able to mate.
  4. Play helps us learn to be friends. When children are 4 to 6 years old, they start "mutual play"; listening to other kids' points of view and incorporating them into imaginative games. This mutual play is the basic state of friendship that sustains us throughout our lives.
  5. Sometimes the best way to learn a complicated subject is to play with it. That's why kids often learn computer systems faster than adults; they aren't afraid to just try stuff out and see what works. Kids don't fear doing something wrong. If they do, they learn from it and do it differently the next time.
  6. Kids do better academically when they have recess. Middle schoolers who are more physically fit do better on academic tests, and grade schoolers who have more than 15 minutes of recess a day show better behavior in class than children who have less or no recess. Animals remember things better and longer when those things are learned through play, perhaps because of the total involvement and focus that play requires.
  7. Physical play delays mental decline in old age. Research on this is still in the early stages, but older people who get regular exercise are less likely to suffer cognitive decline. Doing crossword puzzles, brain teasers, and other thinking games seems to help, too.
  8. A little play can help solve big problems. Play is nature's great tool for creating new neural networks and for reconciling cognitive difficulties. When we play, dilemmas and challenges naturally filter through the unconscious mind and work themselves out. Even a few hours spent doing something you love can make you new again.
  9. Playing at work is not just useful; it's essential. When the going gets tough, the tough go play. Firefighters and police officers use joking around and dark humor to cope with the dangers of their work. Most of us don't face the risk of dying on the job, but there is always the danger of looking bad, costing the company money, or being laid off. Play gives people the emotional distance to rally. In his book, Brown recounts a story about a CEO he knows who gathered employees to talk about a recent bad quarter. The CEO took the blame for the company's performance, then told the employees that under every seat was a toy dart gun with foam darts and that they were all invited to take a shot at him. The CEO then went on to explain how they were going to turn things around. The foam darts told everyone that the situation was not so dire: It was OK to have some setbacks, admit failures, take the hit, and figure out ways to fix the problems.
  10. When we get play right, all areas of our lives go better. One of the hardest things to teach kids is how to make it past difficulty or boredom to find the fun. Making all of life an act of play occurs when we recognize and accept that there may be some discomfort in play and that every experience has both pleasure and pain. Advanced play, the black belt of play, comes when we realize this and act on it. Then, our work is our play and our play is our work, and we have a hard time telling the difference between them.

To learn more about the benefits of play, you can check out this Q&A with Play author Stuart Brown.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday - Book Friday

TWO FAMILIES WILL RECEIVE $30 IN SCHOLASTIC DOLLARS
to shop from Miss Ann's Scholastic Catalog

HERE'S HOW TO WIN...
Leave a comment under this blog post suggesting a great read aloud that I can add to my repertoire.  Keep in mind it should not have too much text on each page.

YOUR COMMENT MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
1. Title of the book
2. Your first name and last initial
3. email address


Everyone who leaves a comment in this form from now until 11:59pm Sunday will be entered into the contest.  Each comment will be assigned a number (the first comment posted will be #1; the second will be #2; and so on).  A random number generator form www.random.org will be used to determine the winners.

LIGHTS, CAMERA, KINDERMUSIK

ONE FAMILY WILL RECEIVE A FREE SPRING SEMESTER


Contest extends from Friday 12:02am - Sunday 11:59pm


How to win...


Take a video (1-3 minutes) of your child or children singing a Kindermusik song or doing a Kindermusik activity.  


Post the video on the Kindermusik Facebook Page 
www.facebook.com/kindermusikwithannczeponis


The entries will be assigned a number (the first one posted will be #;1 the second one posted will be #2; and so on).  A random number generator from www.random.org will be used to randomly select the winner.



BLACK FRIDAY BLOGBUSTERS




2 families will receive a 90 minute PLAYDATE at the KINDERMUSIK STUDIO. 
Playdate Details: Your child may invite up to 10 children to come and play with him or her at the Studio.  Parents of playdate participants are responsible for supervision of the children.  Playdates will be scheduled during available studio hours at a time agreed upon by Miss Ann and the winning family. Each winner will receive their OWN playdate.


How to win...

The first 2 people to post a comment about Kindermusik below will receive A Kindermusik Playdate.  Be sure to include the following:
  1. A comment
  2. Your first name and last initial
  3. email address


Did someone beat you to it?
You can still save money.
$100 for the Spring Semester.
Go to the link or call Ann 274-2311

ENROLL ONLINE NOW!
offer expires Saturday 8pm

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Oops our Black Friday ad was LEAKED...

This seems to be what all the BIG stores are doing, and I wouldn't want anyone to think that I'm small potatoes.  So, just like WalMart and BestBuy, let's pretend some of my Black Friday Specials were leaked too :)


Remember the Contests do not start until FRIDAY!!!!!
All contests are open to the public.


BLOG BUSTERS BEGIN @ 12:01 AM FRIDAY


Beginning Friday 12:01 AM  


2 families will receive a 90 minute PLAYDATE at the KINDERMUSIK STUDIO. 
Playdate Details: Your child may invite up to 10 children to come and play with him or her at the Studio.  Parents of playdate participants are responsible for supervision of the children.  Playdates will be scheduled during available studio hours at a time agreed upon by Miss Ann and the winning family. Each winner will receive their OWN playdate.



Enroll for Spring and SAVE BIG NOW!!!!! 
The best deal you will get for Spring enrollment - $100.
Offer will run from Friday 12 am - Saturday 8pm
A link will be provided to enroll online - or you can call Miss Ann, she will be waiting to hear from you.  *You must pay in full to receive this special offer.




1 family will receive a free Kindermusik semester.
via a video contest on the Facebook Page - www.facebook.com/kindermusikwithannczeponis
Entries for this contest will be accepted until Sun. 11:59 pm.


Beginning Friday 8 AM


2 families will receive $30 in Scholastic $ to shop from Miss Ann's Scholastic Catalog
The contest will take place on the blog.  Participants will leave comments under the blog post.










Saturday, October 29, 2011

READY OR NOT HERE WE GO

It is 2am and here I sit waiting for our first snowfall of the season to begin.  YIKES!


Weather Cancellations:  The Mt Carmel Area School District is your guideline
ŸMorning Classes will be cancelled if there is a 2 hr delay or if school is closedŸ 
Evening Classes will be cancelled if school is closed or dismissing early.

The easiest way to avoid confusion is to sign up for cancellation alerts

If you have questions please call 339-5075.  I will leave details on the machine. 
All cancelled classes will be made up by adding classes to the end of the semester -
You will always get what you paid for.

Our flexible attendance policy allows you to use your own discretion when the weather is bad in your area.  The ability to come to any class and come more than once a week means that you never have to travel when the weather is dicey.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Costumes This Week

The costumes on Monday and Tuesday have been nothing short of adorable.
I can't wait to see the Wednesday and Thursday kiddos.

If you are willing to share your pictures from this week's Kindermusik classes please send them to me, or tag me in your Facebook Album.  Also, please let me know if you DON'T want me to post them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Learning through Music


Can your child name that tune in four notes or less? If it is "Wishy Washy Wee," he probably hears only the first chord before shouting "Weeeee!" while throwing his hands in the air. To name that song, he is hearing and distinguishing a series of discrete musical notes or tones.


Scientists now know that our brain processes music similar to how we process language. To become successful readers, young children need to understand that words-like music-are made up of discrete sounds. Later they use that knowledge of sounds to read and build words. Research shows that children with these skills are more successful learning to read than others.


Kindermusik provides many opportunities for your child to discriminate similarities and differences in sound. So, while your child gains musical skills in class, he also makes gains in his phonological awareness and reading development. Now that is music to any parent's ears. "Weee!"


Everyday connection: Play name that tune. How quickly can your child name a familiar song? Is that the good-bye song or the hello song? Are you going to "Clapping Land" or for a trip on "Lukey's Boat"? It's a fun game to play in the car, too!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Use Facebook to Check in and Save!


Use the facebook app on your phone to check-in at "Kindermusik with Ann Czeponis." Then show Ann your screen to Ann.  The first 25 folks with 6 check-ins will receive 25% off the Kindermusik Spring Semester.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Fresh Do for your Little One

One of our Kindermusik Mom's - Ashley Rosini - would like to help celebrate our 10th Anniversary!

She has offered to give away a free child's haircut each week beginning Oct 10 and going to the end of the semester. Here's how it is going to work:

  • Kindermusik families names will be entered into the drawing.
  • Each Monday one family's name will be drawn to win a free child's haircut.
    • Families will only be eligible for one win
    • Gift certificate is good for a CHILD's cut only
  • Families are responsible for scheduling with Ashley.

THANK YOU SO MUCH ASHLEY!  What a nice way to help celebrate our 10th Anniversary


Information about Salon Bellezza:
Salon Bellezza is a Full service salon Specializing in Women,Men and Children Haircuts, Colors, Perms, Styling, Waxing, Manicures, and Pedicures. The Salon is open Tuesday-Saturday. We accept Walk-ins or Appointments.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Bring a Friend to Kindermusik


Invite a little friend and grown-up to join Kindermusik with you the week of Oct 3-6. 

*Be sure to reserve your friends' space with Miss Ann*

Your child and his/her friend
will receive a SPECIAL GIFT after class.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

NO CLASSES OCT 17 & 18

Bizzy is my 8 yr old, and she actually does look a little like this picture.  Well, if you consider the hand on the throat she looks a lot like this picture because for 2 years she has lived with a nearly constant sore throat and stuffy sinuses. Her ENT has decided it is time to bid a fond farewell to her tonsils and adnoids. Biz is thrilled, she's been cruising the freezer section at the grocery store making lists (I'm not kidding)!!!!!!!!!!!

Her surgery has been scheduled for OCT 17 so classes for the 17th and 18th are cancelled and have been rescheduled to DECEMBER 19 & 20.  The 21 & 22 are being used as  flood makeup so it rounds out that week nicely.

The scrolling calendar has been updated and the printable calendar will be updated by Monday Oct 3.

Thank you for your compassion and understanding.

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Full Week of Kindermusik Classes

We are looking forward to our first full week of Kindermusik classes.

If your family's home or business has been affected by the flooding and this will make attendance at Kindermusik difficult for the meantime, please let me know.  We can certainly make arrangements for your situation.

Both the printable and scrolling calendar to the right have been updated to reflect our makeup dates. I encourage you to print this schedule, or merge the Google calendar to your personal calendar on your computer.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

SEPTEMBER FLOODS

We may be on the 2nd floor, but we are still affected by the flooding because so many of our families are.  Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Mt Carmel Area School District is closed today; therefore we will have no class. We use MCA School District as a guideline for our closings.  Please see the Inclement Weather portion of our Studio Policies Page on this blog for full details.

Please be safe everyone, and a big thank you to all of the public servants and responders who are helping throughout the area to keep us safe.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Classes begin Tuesday Sept. 6th

Perhaps you've been to a Birthday Party or two....
Perhaps you've been to a Bring a Friend day...
Maybe you've heard about through the grapevine...

Anyway, you've always thought you should give it a try, well now is the time!!!!!

SPECIAL OFFER: Every new* family who enrolls at Kindermusik now - Sept 24 will be entered into a drawing for a Harry Potter Boxed Set


This boxset includes the seven Harry Potter hardcover books by J. K. Rowling. The books are housed in a limited edition, collectible trunk-like box with sturdy handles and privacy lock ($195 value)



Register using the link above or Call to register 339-5075

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brainfood for Back to School


I've been studying a lot lately about intrinsic motivation and the role that praise plays in fostering a child's volition to do well. I encourage you to join me in rethinking our ingrained habits of praise because a growing body of research is showing that complimenting innate talents such as intellect or athletic ability can have some negative consequences.
HUH?  
You may be in utter disbelief at this point.  We have all certainly seen "that parent".  The one who never cuts their child a break, never throws him or her a crumb.  I'm not suggesting that we turn into "that parent" but here is why we should consider not being the "you are so smart" parent...


WORK SMART OR WORK HARD
Carol Dweck from Stanford University has studied the effects of praise on motivating kids.  Her researchers worked with 400 fifth graders. They administered each of them a relatively easy series of IQ puzzles and then randomly praised either their intelligence: “You must be smart at this” or their effort: “You must have worked really hard.”  That's it - the only variable was which 6 words would be said, “You must be smart at this,” or  “You must have worked really hard.”  Then, the researchers asked the kids whether they wanted to take on a more challenging puzzle that would help them learn in the process, or do another easy one.  
  • 90% of the "you must have worked really hard" group chose the harder test.
  • The majority of the "you must be smart at this" group chose the easier one.
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCE: children become risk averse, avoiding challenges so that they can continue to look smart and avoid embarrassment.


IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY 
Next, the researchers administered a 7th grade test to the 5th grade students. As expected, all of them failed.  In the face of failure the demeanor of the groups couldn't have been more different.  In 2007, Po Bronson of New York Magazine reported that,
Those praised for their effort on the first test assumed they simply hadn’t focused hard enough on this test. “They got very involved, willing to try every solution to the puzzles,” Dweck recalled. “Many of them remarked, unprovoked, ‘This is my favorite test.’ ” Not so for those praised for their smarts. They assumed their failure was evidence that they weren’t really smart at all. “Just watching them, you could see the strain. They were sweating and miserable.”
Having artificially induced a round of failure, Dweck’s researchers then gave all the fifth-graders a final round of tests that were engineered to be as easy as the first round. Those who had been praised for their effort significantly improved on their first score—by about 30 percent. Those who’d been told they were smart did worse than they had at the very beginning—by about 20 percent.
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCE: when children are praised for smarts their performance is impaired after setbacks, as kids lose faith in what they believed were innate abilities.
"HARD WORK WITHOUT TALENT IS A SHAME, BUT TALENT WITHOUT HARD WORK IS A TRAGEDY" ~ Robert Half 
Dweck and her team conducted other research which concluded that frequently praised children are shown to be more competitive and focused on undermining others.  40% of those praised for their intelligence lied to their peers in overstating their scores. 
NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCE: abundant praise fosters negative competitiveness and, not infrequently, cheating.
NOW WHAT? 
Dweck explains, “Emphasizing effort gives a child a variable that they can control, they come to see themselves as in control of their success. Emphasizing natural intelligence takes it out of the child’s control, and it provides no good recipe for responding to a failure.”
RECOMMENDATIONS:
  • Teach your children that the brain is like a muscle. The harder it works, the stronger it gets and the smarter you become
  • When you praise, be specific and focus on the process and effort, rather than implying innate smarts or talent.  Praise them for focusing, listening, demonstrating tenacity.
    • Examples from Stanford Magazine
      • "That homework so long and involved. I really admire the way you concentrated and finished it."
      • "That picture has so many beautiful colors; tell me about them."
      • "You put so much thought into that essay.  I makes me think about Shakespeare in a new way."
  • Take the fright out of failure.  Avoiding the topic of failure makes it seem terrible, thus discouraging challenges.  After a failure encourage a Thomas Edison-esque approach, "I haven't failed, I've just found 10,000 ways it won't work."
Please leave a comment and tell me your thoughts about this.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Reflecting on 10 Years

 "...be sure to enjoy it, they grow so fast."  I have heard this from any number of people who have seen me enjoying time with my kids.  Looking back over these 10 years I realize that cliche's are based in fact.  Ten years ago Bip was only 3; Yummy was 1; and Bizzy and Jelly existed only in my dreams. Another dream was coming true though, I was embarking on  a new endeavor as a teacher and business owner.

I began Kindermusik because I desperately missed teaching.  I taught 6th grade at Emory Markle Intermediate School  for 5 years before Bip was born.  My passion for teaching remained strong, but my desire to stay home with my children was equally present.  Kindermusik filled the void splendidly.

Back then I could never have pictured what August 2011 would be like, and I certainly would not have dared to dream life could be this good.  Ten years later, my children are all school age (Jelly starts Kindergarten this year) and Kindermusik with Ann Czeponis has expanded from classes at the studio to, Birthday Parties, Daycares, PreK's, School Field Trips and more.

Time has passed quickly. In the blink of an eye my family, my business, and my clients have grown up.  Thank you to all of you who have been there along the way.  I've said it before and I'll say it again... I have the best job in the world and Kindermusik families are the reason why.

I don't have pictures from our first studio at 4th & Vine Sts, but I thought I'd share with you the transformation of our current studio.  We moved in Aug 2006.  The music is by the Shannon Marsyada Trio. the song is called "Where Dreams Come In" it is about stepping out of your comfort zone and following your dream.  The trio's bassist is Lisa Welch the art teacher who has been a Kindermusik collaborator since 2004. Lisa currently offers classes Tuesday evenings at the Kindermusik studio.




Tuesday, August 9, 2011

WELCOME


Felicia B. is a big sister!
Little brother Carson was born July 25th -- 7 lbs. 1 oz. -- 19 3/4"


Welcome to the world little guy - you sure are lucky to have such a great big sis.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Like our Facebook Page

Aug. 10 marks the 10th Anniversary of my Kindermusik licensure. I hope to have 200 fans on my Kindermusik Facebook Page by then. At the time of this writing I have 152.  I'm soooo close.

If you LIKE my page you will be the first to know about special offers, events and updates.  There will be some giveaways that only will be available to facebook fans (pssst.... there will also be some that will only be available to those of you who check the blog regularly, too). 

Go to the Kindermusik with Ann Czeponis Facebook page (click on the cool thumbs up baby to the right) and LIKE US.  Then see about our latest special offer - How can you win a pair of shakey eggs?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pictures from Storytime at the library

Our story time was designed around the book, Miss Rumphius
  • Our musical activities included:
  • Down on Grandpa's Farm
  • Monkey See/Monkey Do Dancing
  • Sally the Camel
  • Wipeout beachball volley
  • Flower Dance/fireworks with scarves
  • plus many, many more




    The MCA Public Library has established a stellar reading program that reaches 100s of children through the summer.  Their efforts are to be admired and commended.  Great Job Ladies!!!! You do important work.

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Story Time at the Library

    I will be the presenter for story time at the Mount Carmel Public Library Thursday July 14 at 10 AM
    We will be celebrating the story Miss Rumphias by Barbara Cooney. Seeking adventure in faraway places, Miss Rumphius fulfills her dream and then sets out to make the world more beautiful.

    It is a heartwarming story that will be made even more fun with our songs about
    • grandparents
    • libraries
    • monkeys
    • camels
    • life by the sea
    • gardening, plants and flowers
    • changing the world
    Please join us
    We will also be offering specials for fall enrollment
    

    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    GREAT NEWS!!!

    Thank you to all of our families who have enrolled. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of our special offer I have great news…

    I said that as long as your check was postmarked by June 5 you would be eligible for the special offer – well, it’s June 5 and it happens to be a Sunday sooooooooo-


    The special offer will be extended until June 7.


    You can enroll online, or call or send me your $110 check to (319 W. Ave. Mt Carmel, PA 17851) as long as it is postmarked June 7 YOU GOT THE DEAL!!!!







    Thursday, May 26, 2011

    ENORMOUS SAVINGS for EXISTING KINDERMUSIK FAMILIES


    I have the best job in the world and it is because of you - my wonderful families. I appreciate you so much, and I hope that I always show it and I certainly want to make sure to show it now.

    This semester 64% of our families attended at least 20 times

    Special Offer:

    Enroll Now for $110
    If you attend 20 times this is just $5.50/class *** attend 15 times and this is just $7.34/class
    Must pay in full to receive special offer

    OFFER ENDS JUNE 5

    Regular Rates for Fall $140
    If you attend 20 times this is just $7/class *** attend 15 times and this is just $9.34/class

    $60 Kit – see me if you have any questions about the kit requirement.

    
    
    Our Time (1-3 yrs) Kit for Fall 2011
    Imagine That (3-5yrs) for Fall 2011
    OFFER ENDS JUNE 5 ********Enroll now so you don’t miss out.

    Call 274-2311 or enroll online by clicking the ENROLL NOW BUTTON ABOVE
    

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Knoebels Picnic

    Kindermusik Family Picnic

    Knoebels Grove Amusement Park

    Wednesday, May 18
    Pavilion K (for Kindermusik)

    10 am Gather for covered dish brunch
    10:45 am Door prizes
    11am - Handstamp and ride from 11-1:30 $7

    Families please bring your own drinks and tableware plus a covered dish

    The weather looks kind of dicey for Wednesday (boo-hiss-boo).  We will go unless it is pouring or thundering.  Let's hope Mother Nature is kind to us, I know that many of you use precious personal days from work for this.

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    WOW! What a Book Fair!

    This may be the best selection of books ever!
    We have
    • Board Books for our littlest hands
    • wonderful Picture Books
    • Easy Readers
    • Chapter Books
    • Cookbooks for grown-ups and kids
    The BESTSELLERS after 2 days of sales:
    Rhyming Dust Bunnies, Swim! Swim!, Hot Rod Hamster, Silverlicious, Aliens Love Underpants, Yes Day, The Noisy, Noisy Farm, Clifford's Big Adventures (3 books in 1), Dogs Don't Brush Their Teeth, Pinkalicious - Tickled Pink, Big Bug Little Bug, Mighty Machines Dump Trucks

    Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Scholastic Book Fair

    Come to the Scholastic Book Fair
    100s of titles available
    click here to browse titles:

    @ Kindermusik Studio May 2-10
    1/2 hour before and after classes

    @Lions Club Oak Street Festival Saturday, May 7
    9 AM - 3 PM
    we will be set up close to Oak and Fourth Sts.

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    Class Schedule Surrounding the Easter Holiday

    Kindermusik Class Schedule for the upcoming week:
    • Monday 5:30 (1-3yr olds) & 6:30 (3-5yr olds);
    • Tuesday 10 (1-3yr olds);
    • Wednesday 6 (3-5yr olds);
    • Thursday NO CLASS;
    • Monday, April 25 5:30 (1-3yr olds) & 6:30 (3-5yr olds)
    The remainder of the week is the usual schedule.

    Please know that you always have access to our updated schedule right here on our blog. 

    LOOK to the right - scrolling and printable!

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Win a 1/2 Price Fall Semester!

    Our Spring semester does not end until May 24, but I'm already planning and scheduling for fall.  I thought I'd get you thinking about it, too. 
    • The first person to post a comment below will recieve a 1/2 price tuition
    • Every person after will be entered into a drawing and one family will receive a 1/2 price tuition. The drawing will be held at our Knoebels Picnic May 18.
    LET'S HEAR SOME COMMENTS - What is your child's favorite instrument at the studio?

    Friday, March 25, 2011

    Have Kindermusik Will Travel

    Kindermusik with Ann Czeponis will be coming to a limited number of Daycares, Learning Centers and Playgroups this summer.
    If you are interested in having Miss Ann come to do a Kindermusik Camp at your center or playgroup please have your provider or group leader call/txt or email:

    Friday, March 18, 2011

    Neuroscience of Music

    Okay, many of you know that I'm a full-blown nerd.  I love to study the neuroscience of learning - it is the focus of my graduate work. 

    Jonah Lehrer is one of my favorite authors on the topic (mostly because I'm not actually smart enough to be a full-blown neuroscience nerd and he writes for us common folks) if you have some time read or listen to How We Decide it is very interesting and Lehrer uses realworld vignettes to illustrate his points.

    The attached article by Jonah Lehrer discusses why music evokes emotion.The Neuroscience of Music

    Monday, March 7, 2011

    Where did this snow come from?

    Well, once again MCA is closed, so there will be no classes at the studio this evening. We will make this one up the Monday after Easter.

    Funny thing is, this week I was going to suggest that everyone go to WNEP and sign up to receive an email or text alert when MCA closes.I stopped short, though, figuring another snowstorm was unlikely.

    I won't make that mistake again! I highly recommend that you go here and sign up for text or email alerts for the MCA school district. You can sign up for other districts, too if your children do not go to MCA.

    http://www.wnep.com/news/schoolclosings/

    So on yet another snow day, let's do something fun (leave your answer as a comment below),

    What Kindermusik song do you find yourself singing even when your kids aren’t around?

    Wednesday, March 2, 2011

    MUSIC does for the BRAIN what EXERCISE does for the BODY

    A study shows that music does for the brain what exercise does for the body.  What's better is that at our Kindermusik studio children (and adults) get music and exercise!!!!!

    NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Learning to play a musical instrument can change your brain, with a U.S. review finding music training can lead to improved speech and foreign language skills.
       Although it has been suggested in the past that listening to Mozart or other classical music could make you smarter, there has been little evidence to show that music boosts brain power.
       But a data-driven review by Northwestern University has pulled together research that links musical training to learning that spills over into skills including language, speech, memory, attention and even vocal emotion.
       Researcher Nina Kraus said the data strongly suggested that the neural connections made during musical training also primed the brain for other aspects of human communication.
       "The effect of music training suggests that, akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness and thus requires society to re-examine the role of music in shaping individual development," the researchers said in their study.
       Kraus said learning musical sounds could enhance the brain's ability to adapt and change and also enable the nervous system to provide a scaffolding of patterns that are important to learning.
       The study, published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, looked at the explosion of research in recent years focused on the effects of music training on the nervous system which could have strong implications for education.
       The study found that playing an instrument primes the brain to choose what is relevant in a complex process that may involve reading or remembering a score, timing issues and coordination with other musicians.
       "A musician's brain selectively enhances information-bearing elements in sound," Kraus said in a statement. "In a beautiful interrelationship between sensory and cognitive processes, the nervous system makes associations between complex sounds and what they mean."
       The study reviewed literature showing, for example, that musicians are more successful than non-musicians in learning to incorporate sound patterns for a new language into words.
       Children who are musically trained are better at observing pitch changes in speech and have a better vocabulary and reading ability than children who did not receive music training.
    Musicians trained to hear sounds embedded in networks of melodies and harmonies are primed to understand speech in a noisy background.
       But Kraus said currently what is known about the benefits of music training on sensory processing beyond that involved in musical performance is largely derived from studying those who are fortunate enough to afford such training.
       The researchers concluded that there needed to be a serious investment of resources into music training in schools accompanied with rigorous examinations of the effects of such instruction on listening, learning, memory, attention and literacy skills.

    (Writing by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Steve Addison)