Learning Through Music and Movement

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Music and Movement activities help to develop the large muscles of the body, help enhance creativity, and help to improve listening skills and concentration. You may want to try these activities with your student or child:

Follow the Leader —
This activity helps develop concentration. Play a recording of an instrumental song. Move around the room in different ways such as walking, tiptoeing, hopping, and twirling. Let you child observe you, follow your lead, and copy the movements. As your child becomes familiar with this game let them take the lead and you follow them!
Scarf Dance —
This activity nurtures your child’s creativity. Give your child a scarf or a piece of cloth. Play a recording of a song and let your child wave the scarf to the rhythm of the music. Wave the scarf over your head and across your body crossing midline as often as you can.
Loud or Soft —
Your child will improve listening skills with this activity. Play a recording of a song loudly or softly. Tell your child to listen carefully to the song. When it is loud, he or she marches around the room. When the music is soft, he or she tiptoes around the room.
Mirrors Mirrors
This fun activity helps your child improve concentration. Play a slow piece of music and have your child stand facing you. Move very slowly using a variety of arm and leg movements while your child copies you. Then let him or her make the movements while you mirror them.
Musical Instruments can also be used during movement activities. Instruments can be a motivating way to encourage grasp/release, bilateral integration, eye hand coordination, crossing midline, cause/effect skills, and basic motor imitation.
Jim Gill is one of my favorite artists. I have been using his songs in my practice for 10 years. Jim Gill has several CD’s out and I must say they are wonderful to move to. The kids and the teachers love the upbeat songs and catchy lyrics. You can check out his website at http://www.jimgill.com/
Here is a list of my favorite:
Irrational Anthem
Toe Leg Knee
Hands are for Clapping
Alabama, Mississippi
List of Dances
Let’s Dance Now
Poison Ivy
Leaky Umbrella
I love to use shakers with Alabama Mississippi. Here is the basic movement pattern I use with this song
Alabama – shake over head
Mississippi — shake on knees
New Orleans — shake side to side all the way to the floor (I like to have the kids bend their knees to work of quad. strength if unable to do this movement simply have them reach down as far as they can go.
Repeat pattern throughout the song
For my upper grade levels I have even brought in a map to show them where each of these states and city are located. From there you can open up discussions of how long it would take you get there, the climate, culture, etc.
I hope you enjoy these songs!!
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