What’s the importance of learning through movement to music? Does it really enhance learning?
Children are born with a major thrust to grow brain cell connections. They seek involvement, active engagement, and hands-on participation in their physical environment.
Babies and young children are like little physicists seeking out all the sensory stimulation and cause/effect experience they can wrap their little bodies around. They are scientists, experimenting with everything they can get their hands (and mouths) on. Gravity, momentum, parabolic flight paths, and stimulus-response are among the subjects they study.
We all know about the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. There are actually two other senses that we depend upon. The proprioceptive sense is stimulated whenever we use a muscle or compress/use a joint. The vestibular system responds where, or how, the head is positioned in space and to the speed of bodily movement. (It’s how you know where different body parts are when your eyes are closed.) It provides a reference point for the other senses in processing their information.
Educational research shows that multi-sensory teaching produces the best learning. When there is a difficulty learning through one part of the brain, the other senses and learning modalities can compensate, complement and enhance each other.
Kids are hard-wired to seek sensory input through movement — and movement involves the visual, auditory, tactile, propriocepive and vestibular senses. Use of the correct music can engage, motivate, focus, reward and provide the maximum environment for learning. Moving to the right music can compliment and cement in the skill/lesson/goal you are trying to teach.
Use music that is meaningful to the learner:
- Not overly “busy,” distracting, loud or fast
- Age appropriate,
- Lyric appropriate,
- and… fun!
Margie is a music therapist with over 24 years experience working with pre-school and school aged children. Her Move! and Mixing It UP albums are full of inviting and appealing songs developed to facilitate learning through active movement to music.
Listen to Tweet Tweet, Little Birdy in the audio player, below.