Wednesday, January 28, 2015
This week we have 20% off on selected toys. There are 3 brands featured with these super specials:
Janod with the beautful Confetti Ukelele now for just $35.96
Plan Toys with the versatile Musical Set at $55.96
Halilit with the very well tuned, reliable Baby Xylophone - not just for babies! $31.96
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Making Parenting Easier:
How the Family Taxi Drives Musical Development & Family Togetherness
Today I'd like to share some ideas with you from Kindermusik.
Just think of the average time every week you spend in the car with your children, dropping them off at school or friends houses, going to sport events, music classes, the supermarket or just running errands. In your busy week you'd easily spend at least a couple of hours in your car. The car can be the perfect solution for finding the time to develop your children's interest in music and fostering family togetherness.
All you need are a couple of resources which can be found at Kids Music Toys. I'd suggest you can't go past the Best of Kindermusik CDs so check out the link. Keep the CDs in your car or make your own playlists with your ipod or smartphone and your ready to enjoy. Here are some suggestions courtesy of Kindermusik.
Ten easy ways
to make your family taxi a more musical place that inspires learning and creates lifelong memories.
1. Plan for it.
Create some playlists. Bring your iPod, smartphone, or even an old-fashioned CD to the car with you when you head out.
2. Listen to music.
Sometimes the best way to enjoy music is to simply listen to it.
With or without a recording, singing in the car is more fun than singing in the shower.
4. Talk about music.
Help your child develop his or her ability to listen and focus on what he or she just heard.
5. Move to music.
Bouncing and wiggling in the seat, waving hands, or tapping feet –movement is key to learning!
6. Explore a variety of music.
Your child will become more interested in music, and you will also be helping him or her to be a more interesting, well-rounded individual.
7. Make a routine out of it.
Creating a fun and predictable routine with on-the-go musical activities, games, or sing-alongs can turn the drudgery of time in the car into something that everyone can look forward to!
8. Get the family involved.
There’s nothing quite like bonding with music. Music works wonders especially in tight spaces like the family car
9. Stay engaged and in the moment.
Turn off your mobile phones and leave life's worries outside the car.
10. Model for your kids.
Sing along and enjoy the music with your children. When you model a love of music and make family time a priority, you give tow of the most precious gifts a parent can give – the gift of music and the gift of memories!
Friday, June 14, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Did you know that music enlarges your child's brain?
"Childhood music lessons actually enlarge portions of the brain. German researchers found that the brain area used to analyze musical pitch is an average of 25% larger in musicians. The younger the musical training begins, the larger the area."
Source: Nature, April 23 1998
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Even A Few Years Of Music Training Benefits The Brain By Christie Wilcox | August 21, 2012 | Music has a remarkable ability to affect and manipulate how we feel. Simply listening to songs we like stimulates the brain’s reward system, creating feelings of pleasure and comfort. But music goes beyond our hearts to our minds, shaping how we think. Scientific evidence suggests that even a little music training when we’re young can shape how brains develop, improving the ability to differentiate sounds and speech. With education funding constantly on the rocks and tough economic times tightening many parents’ budgets, students often end up with only a few years of music education. Studies to date have focused on neurological benefits of sustained music training, and found many upsides. For example, researchers have found that musicians are better able to process foreign languages because of their ability to hear differences in pitch, and have incredible abilities to detect speech in noise. But what about the kids who only get sparse musical tutelage? Does picking up an instrument for a few years have any benefits? The answer from a study just published in the Journal of Neuroscience is a resounding yes. The team of researchers from Northwestern University’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory tested the responses of forty-five adults to different complex sounds ranging in pitch. The adults were grouped based on how much music training they had as children, either having no experience, one to five years of training, or six to eleven years of music instruction. Music training had a profound impact on the way the study subjects’ brains responded to sounds. The people who had studied music, even if only for a few years, had more robust neural processing of the different test sounds. Most importantly, though, the adults with music training were more effective at pulling out the fundamental frequency, or lowest frequency sound, of the test noises. “The way you hear sound today is dictated by the experiences with sound you’ve had up until today,” explained co-author and lab head Nina Kraus. As she and her colleague wrote in an article for Nature, “akin to physical exercise and its impact on body fitness, music is a resource that tones the brain for auditory fitness.” Bulking up the auditory brain has non-musical implications. The ability to differentiate fundamental frequencies is critical for perceiving speech, and is an integral part of how we recognize and process sounds in complex and noisy environments. Thus childhood music instruction has strong linguistic benefits and improves performance on everyday listening tasks. Since we live in an inherently noisy world, the better we are at focusing on sound and perceiving different sounds, the better. This can be particularly important for children with learning disorders or those for whom English is a second language. There is a body of research that suggests music training not only improves hearing, it bolsters a suite of brain functions. Musically trained kids do better in school, with stronger reading skills, increased math abilities, and higher general intelligence scores. Music even seems to improve social development, as people believe music helps them be better team players and have higher self-esteem. “Based on what we already know about the ways that music helps shape the brain, the study suggests that short-term music lessons may enhance lifelong listening and learning,” said Kraus. “Our research captures a much larger section of the population with implications for educational policy makers and the development of auditory training programs that can generate long-lasting positive outcomes.” The importance of music education is something to consider, given that election season is in full swing. According to a recent White House report, more than 300,000 education jobs have been lost since the “end” of the recession in 2009 – 7,000 were lost last month alone. As schools lose funding, arts and extracurricular programs are often first on the chopping block, meaning less music education for the nation’s youth. Given the scientific evidence supporting the importance of music both neurologically and educationally, the loss of music education seems particularly painful. Perhaps as we head to the polls this season, we should give even more thought as to how our choices of elected officials might affect the education system in this country and the brains of the children who are its future. Citation: Skoe E, Kraus N. (2012) “A Little Goes a Long Way: How the Adult Brain is Shaped by Musical Training in Childhood” Journal of Neuroscience About the Author: Christie Wilcox is a science writer and blogger who moonlights as a PhD student in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Hawaii. Follow on Google+. Follow on Twitter @NerdyChristie.