“The earth has music for those who listen.” ~not Shakespeare
Apparently the authorship of this quote is highly debated. But don’t quote me on that. The words, whether anonymous or not, ring true! 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 time in nature!
So, knowing the importance of nature, you might not be surprised to find an emphasis on it in our Early Childhood Music offerings 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? Try it the next time you and your children are at the park. But still you say, I just want my child to play the piano! What is the point of all this nature in music lessons? Do you want your child to be able to express emotions in music? If 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 they play 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! If we were just teaching typing, we wouldn’t need those experiences, would we?! Music is in our senses, and how we experience the world around us shapes how well we tell our story through music! “Play on!” (Shakespeare!)