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It's Only Rock and Roll (but Toddlers love it)
It's Only Rock and Roll (but Toddlers love it)

by Iris Williams, Toddler Teacher

The power of music is always evident in our Toddler Communities!

From Irvine Berlin to the Rolling Stones to Louis Armstrong, music, in its infinite creative expressions - singing, dancing, playing an instrument - is a universal language. It can reveal our innermost feelings, stimulate the autonomic nervous system, and has the potential to contribute laughter, exercise, conversation, thus forging friendships between adults and children alike.

Are you enjoying listening to, dancing or singing along to your favorite tunes? What are your favorite tunes? Would you be willing to take the time to share your personal Billboard Top 10 Chart with your children?

In the Toddler Community, we emphasize the importance of singing, dancing, playing and listening to music as an integral part of a Montessori education. Drumming, tipping a rain stick, and shaking maracas are simple percussion instruments that encourage expressiveness. If You're Happy and You Know It; The Wheels on the Bus; Down by the Bay; and You are my Sunshine are a few songs which convey the beauty of language and the power of the emerging human voice. Singing and dancing the Hokey Pokey challenges the children's coordinated movement and serves to build an awareness of how to dance together as a group. The children always have a choice of participating (or not) until they feel comfortable joining in the fun.

One of the most precious sounds that might be heard in the morning is a child who is humming, singing - doing so for the sheer joy of doing it. Years ago one student regularly sat on the bench looking at the book, Every Little Thing by Cedella Marley (daughter of Bob Marley). We had sung the song many times and one day, this child started singing it clearly and with gusto while paging through the book and repeated this act many times in the following weeks. (We LOVE repetition!) This spontaneous musical delivery certainly planted seeds for appreciating music from that day forth.

Enjoy music in your home and in your car (not just in the shower.) Your children will be happy to join in when their most-beloved people share what makes their hearts sing, especially when conveyed in an atmosphere of joyful participation.