Friday, July 23, 2010

Music, Movement and Learning

This week I have had the opportunity to see several kids (ages 4-14) learn at an exceptionally fast pace by teachers that may not have had formal training. My oldest daughter was in cheer camp and was taught by teenagers. My two younger daughters were at vacation bible school and were taught by parents.

At cheer camp three teams of girls (about 60 cheerleaders in all) were taught by twelve varsity cheerleaders at the local high school. During a three day period all the girls learned four cheers, words and movements, and two dances. I saw them progress each day and watched them perform almost flawlessly on the third day. How were there girls able to learn so much so fast?

At vacation bible school I saw over 500 children learn five songs and movements over a five day period. These children started at the age of 4. Today they performed in front of all of their parents. How were all of these students able to learn so fast? How can we take this and use it in our schools and our classrooms?

The common strategy used in both locations was music and movement. Brain research indicates that movement helps in learning. These children were able to use music, chants, movement and repetition to learn a lot of material in a short amount of time.

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