The Center for Young Musicians staff is busy creating a memorable family music and nature day! Please join us for a free, online, pop-up music class Saturday, June 6 that will incorporate nature, singing, listening, make-at-home instruments and more! When you sign up, we will send you details for how you can have fun preparing for the class. Scavenger hunt, anyone? And since this is online, please invite family and friends to join from their homes across the country.
Nature and music really do go hand in hand. Read on to get the big picture on the nature and music connection:
Have you ever noticed how naturally connected children are to nature? Have you stopped to think about how much nature exposure our kiddos are actually getting? Studies have shown the benefits to our well-being. For all of us, time in nature provides measurable improvement in mental health, heart health, and even sleep habits! Especially interesting are the recent findings that show a decrease in ADD/ADHD symptoms when children spend quality time in nature!
So, knowing the importance of nature, you might not be surprised to find an emphasis on it in early childhood music programs, such as Musikgarten at the Center for Young Musicians. How does music tie in to nature? Well, start with that quote up there. Listening is the cornerstone of all learning. When we listen in the woods, we are attuning our ability to focus our listening, as we are surrounded by such a variety of sounds: wind in the trees, birds calling out to one another, rustling leaves, a babbling brook, a Bull Frog bellowing…how many can you name? You might hear deep, bellowing bullfrog sounds, and also higher-pitched tree frog sounds. It’s a veritable chorus of frogs out there! Try singling out sounds with your child and comparing what you hear. Are insect sounds long and sustained, such as a buzz from a bee, and other times rhythmic expressions such as the percussive chirps of a cricket, or a katydid?
But still you say, What is the benefit of exploring and experiencing nature for music study? Look at it this way. Do we want children to be able to express emotions in music? When we find tickly things in nature, and explore them through touch, we will have a better sense of producing light, delicate sounds on an instrument! Or, what does it feel like to trudge through snow? Heavy, slow, steps, with bended knee and swinging arms? When it comes time to perform music that is full-bodied and requires a depth of tone and a full sound, your child will have that sensation inside of them, ready to emerge through the music! How about the skills gained through purposeful listening and distinguishing sounds? That ability is preparing a child to listen acutely to their own playing, as well as taking in music of others while playing in an ensemble. If we were just teaching typing, we wouldn’t need those experiences, because our goal would not be to convey joy through our musical expression. But we do share music with others to enrich our world and bring beauty to it in a meaningful way. Music is in our senses, and how we experience the natural world around us indeed shapes how well we tell our story through music.
“Play on!” is a familiar Shakespeare quote, and you and your children can do just that through a free Nature’s Music class designed for you, your family, and friends across the globe!
Saturday, June 6, 2020, at 10:00 am – 10:45 am