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1 Joyce Bibzak, M.Ed., M.S. Using Music and Movement to Help Little Ones Develop Language.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Joyce Bibzak, M.Ed., M.S. Using Music and Movement to Help Little Ones Develop Language."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Joyce Bibzak, M.Ed., M.S. Using Music and Movement to Help Little Ones Develop Language

2 2 Introduction My background: School Counselor Graduate Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Elmhurst College Currently a Developmental Therapist Working with Toddlers and Their Families Last But Not Least, a Mom and a Grandmother Our topics will include: Part I: Effective (And Fun) Language Teaching = Singing and Moving. But Why? Part II: The Ear/Brain/Body Connection that Makes It Work; and What Happens If It Doesn’t Part III: How It All Comes Together for Young Children

3 3 We know that movement and music seem to help children learn---especially language. WHY? What is it about this particular combination of activities that fosters the development of language in young children?

4 4 Finger Plays! YOUR Favorites???

5 5 What Do ALL Finger Plays Have In Common?

6 6 Common Elements of Finger Plays Using Music and Movement: Rhythm Rhyme Often Melodic Movement of Body Usually Memorized Often Passed on Orally So, how do all these elements come together to teach language?

7 7

8 8 Listening to (and processing) music involves discriminating timbre and pitch and recognizing familiar melodies.

9 9 Timbre: How we hear the differences between the sounds of different instruments or voices

10 10 Pitch: How we hear the tones move up or down as we listen

11 11 How we remember familiar songs and melodies

12 12 Right Frontal Lobe = Timbre

13 13 Brain Posterior=Pitch Perception

14 14 Left Frontal Lobe=Recognition of Familiar Song or Melody

15 15 When there are auditory/language processing problems they may present as: Child having difficulty following directions Difficulty rhyming words at an early age Comparatively underdeveloped vocabulary, grammar, syntax and sentence structure Difficulty separating meaningful sounds (i.e. language) from background noise Tendency to confuse similar sounding words Difficulty remembering and reproducing letter sounds

16 16 Did you know?... Language-learning difficulties (both receptive and expressive) tend to run in families, especially among male family members Research has found that many children with auditory/language processing delays also have a higher frequency of sensorimotor difficulties So… Using multiple sensory channels and movement will be especially helpful in fostering their language development as well as help in sensorimotor development.

17 17 OK… Now we know how our brain hears. How does our brain move our fingers, arms and legs to music?

18 18 Brain Synapses: Connections and exchanges of information from brain cell to brain cell This is how the different parts of the brain work together

19 19

20 20 To move in a coordinated way, we need two main elements: Vestibular (balance) skills and Propioceptive skills (awareness of where our bodies are in the space around us)

21 21 If all the systems work together as designed, this is what it looks and sounds like…

22 22 Video of “Days of the Week” and/or “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes”

23 23 Three Main Problems That Can Slow Down Language Acquisition Using Music and Movement Activities : Vestibular (balance) problems Motor planning problems Auditory processing delay

24 24

25 25

26 26 Physical Therapists can help children with balance and motor planning difficulties. Speech and Language Therapists and Learning Specialists can help with auditory processing delays BUT… WE can help children put all these pieces together to help them learn language. HOW?

27 27 By teaching them to use music and movement

28 28 In 1949, Dr. Donald Hebb determined that when many senses are used at the same time to learn a skill, there are more synapses firing simultaneously in the brain. The more synapses fired, the more brain connections are made and the more learning is retained. This is referred to as “associative learning”. In other words, “Cells that fire together, wire together”.

29 29 Remember the elements of a finger play? Rhyme Rhythm Often Melodic Movement of Body Usually Memorized Usually Passed on Orally

30 30 Of all those elements, which do you think is the most important to the learning of LANGUAGE??

31 31 IT’S… RHYTHM!

32 32 Dr. Jenny R. Saffra: “Both music and language require the ability to track consistent patterns of sound and rhythm.” Dr. Phyllis Weikart: “Being able to keep a steady beat helps a person to feel the cadence (rhythm) of their particular language.” Dr. Weikart found that using rhythm sticks to tap out syllables in words helped children develop language.

33 33 What is it about rhythm sticks and kazoos?

34 34 Phyllis Weirkart: Tapping and acknowledging each word’s syllable is one important part of helping children develop language. The other part is the incorporation of the movement of the child’s hands and arms. Brewer and Campbell (1991): “Movement and rhythm stimulate the frontal lobes and enrich language and motor development.” That’s the rhythm sticks part… now for the kazoo!

35 35 Factoid: One of the very best ways to facilitate rhythm and movement is to stimulate the balance (vestibular) system. One of the very best ways to stimulate the vestibular system is the use of… Children as young as 10 months can produce sound with a kazoo.

36 36

37 37 Video of Small Children Playing Kazoos

38 38 Remember us? /

39 39 The vestibular system is also crucial to the development of language for another reason… It enables us to move from side to side in a coordinated fashion AND also to move our eyes from left to right in a functional and coordinated way. As in READING.

40 40 Neurophysiologist Dr. Carla Hannaford states that, “the vestibular (inner ear) system and the cerebellar (motor activity) areas are the first sensory systems to mature. These systems interact, conveying information back and forth from the cerebellum to the rest of the brain, including the visual system and sensory cortex…This interaction helps us keep our balance, turn thinking into actions, and coordinate moves.”

41 41 Here’s an example of children using associative sounds, pictures, and body movements to help them remember letter sounds.

42 42 Video of Jolly Phonics Here.

43 43 And this method of helping little ones learn language is not limited to English- speaking countries…

44 44 Video of Pakistani children and teacher here

45 45 Video of Asian children with music and movement here

46 46 So, to pull it altogether… We need to involve as many senses as possible to help the brain and its interrelated systems stimulate language development in our smallest learners. As more parts of the brain are being used, more synapses are being fired, links are being made, and senses, information and experiences remembered. This is learning.

47 47 Human beings learn: 10% of what we read 20% of what we hear 30% of what we observe 50% of what we see and hear simultaneously 70% of what we discuss 80% of what we experience and 95% of what we’re taught using all channels. Dr. Carla Hannaford, 1995

48 48 References and Acknowledgements Campbell, D. & Brewer, D. (1991). Rhythms of learning. Tucson, Arizona: Zephyr Press. Hebb, Donald. (1949). Quoted in online article, Hebbian Theory., 2012. Hannaford, C. (1995). Smart moves: Why learning is not all in the head. Arlington, VA: Great Oceans Publishing. Saffran, J. (2003). Musical learning and language development. Annals, New York Academy of Sciences. NY. Tallal, P. & Gaab, N. (2006). Dynamic auditory processing, musical experience and language development: Trends in Neuroscience (2006). Weikart, P.S. (2009). The Movement Foundation for Music: A Brain/Body Connection. Presentation delivered to Missouri Music Educators Pre-Conference.

49 49 Illustrations and Photographs All illustrations and photographs used in this presentation are available at All videos used as part of this presentation are available at or You Tube. The Jolly Phonics video featuring Victoria Carrolton is available for viewing at You Tube under the search heading, “Jolly Phonics”.

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