By: Stephanie Duhon
“Hello everybody, it’s so good to see you …” I can’t get this song out of my head because Nicole has requested the “good to see you song” every day for the past week! We have to say hello to the family and all of her stuffed animals!
Nicole had a great time during Prelude class on Friday. We sang “Crawdad,” which is her favorite song after the “Hello Song.” She really gets into the song and is requesting that one a capella lately too. Guess my singing isn’t too bad if she constantly wants to hear me sing!
One thing I’ve noticed about Nicole this semester compared to semesters past is how much she concentrates on choosing instruments during free play. She used to just play whatever I would play, usually a drum or sticks, or sometimes nothing at all! Now, I’ve noticed she plays one instrument for a bit, puts it down for another and ends up playing 3 or 4 instruments during the song instead of one. She also pauses for a minute, like she is listening for the beat before playing. It’s these small, but significant, changes I’m noticing that make me realize just how much she is learning in each class, even when it seems like she is not paying much attention.
I also enjoy how much I am learning about music in this class. Emily mentioned that most music is in a major key with 2 beats. It’s the format most people are familiar with. Music Together® offers songs in a variety of formats: major key, minor key, ending on a resting note and various rhythms. The purpose is to expose children to as many formats of music as possible so they will develop full music competence. Emily also mentioned that babies pick up resting notes first and it’s often the first note you’ll hear your child use.
Learning music reminds me a lot of how you learn a foreign language. The earlier you learn (especially before age 5), the easier it is to pick up that language and the better the pronunciation. I grew up in Cajun Country and have studied French since I was a little girl. While I did fine in school, I didn’t really pick up the language and feel somewhat fluent until I did an immersion program in high school. When I was completely surrounded by the language 24/7, I realized just how much I knew from having been exposed to the language at an early age. I bought some French language children’s books for Nicole with the hopes of introducing her to French early too so that she will be able to more easily pick up any of the Romance languages later. True fluency comes with time and practice, for languages and music.