Introducing Music, Language and Health to Children. From the book: Beyond Natural Cures
By: Aurore Adamkiewicz, NHD
The area of foreign language learning is as diverse as the area of music learning, especially when it comes to early childhood. Everyone seems to know the earlier the better research but many feel lost and confused as to how to approach these two important subjects. Brain scans have now proven that the bridge between the two sides of the brain, the corpus callosum, is actually 15 percent larger in adults who started music lessons before the age of eight than in those who started later. The corpus callosum carries a hundred million nerve fibers; a 15% increase in its cross-section suggests a vast increase in information flow (2002). Similar research has been recorded about children who grew up bilingually with an increase in the density of gray brain matter (2004).
An early experience with music and foreign language has a profound effect on the performance of the brain and the entire human body. The fact that the majority of American music education is spent on learning music, rather than creating it, shows that music learning is not a perfect science and could be dramatically improved upon (Jourdain, 2002). Another sad but true fact is that foreign language is not routinely taught until after the ages of 12 to 14 years old in the United States. This compelling research has not caught up to or yet changed an educational system that holds on to out dated concepts and that has, in many ways, failed our children in the area of the Arts. So, do we as parents aggressively over intellectualize our children, to get all of their training in with grand hopes of virtuosity and genius mentality? Indeed, not, I propose that a child’s intellect can be both trained musically and protected reverently. One way we can accomplish task is to first ask ourselves what our ultimate motives and goals are for our child. This question should help us first, create an age appropriate lesson structure which honors the child and secondly, to help the child develop a life long appreciation of music and language.
Memorization vs. Comprehension
I will never forget the wise words spoken by my children’ music teacher on the…
“Music is the thread that weaves the academic day together. In the early years, the child is exposed to singing and music through the mother. In Grade 1, introduction to the pentatonic instruments usually begins – via the flute. As homeschoolers, teaching music and foreign language can seem very intimidating at times. The AMHC Program, created by Dr. Aurore does just that – teaching pentatonic music and foreign language, with the added element of color and sound therapy woven effortless into the lessons. We are so enjoying this program! It encompasses songs in Spanish, German, and French…
Dr. Aurore has spent years studying and mastering alternative therapies. As a musician herself, it was only natural that she founded the AMHC and created a healing and holistic music program which encompasses color and sound therapy, along with foreign language and music appreciation and development. There is much to this program, though to implement it, all you really need is a few basic materials – mainly the book, some stickers, and a pentatonic instrument (glockenspiel, flute, or lyre are the ones she recommends) – though a complete list of recommended supplies is included in the book. Most waldorf inspired homeschooling parents will have block crayons and watercolor paints, etc.
The program is easily laid out with each note of the pentatonic scale being assigned a therapeutic color based on the scientific research of color and sound by Dr. Darius Dinshah, author of “Let there be Light.” Marking each note on the pentatonic glockenspiel (ours is an Auris from Sweden), the child can easily follow along with the sheet music, which is also color coded. They say the notes and then the colors as they play along. And then they can sing the lyrics once the song is mastered. This program does a wonderful job of not intimidating the child and allowing them the pleasure of being able to *read* the music to play a song which sounds fantastic thanks to the perfect pentatonic scale. I also love that this program can overlap with other songbooks so that it grows *endlessly* with the child. While I admit that I have not done much research on color therapy, I have heard some rave reviews about it from the holistic community.
Seeing how well my daughters are taking to it and the success that Dr. Aurore has had with her own children (including her son who was not only healed from a diagnosis of autism, but was invited to study in the piano program at the prestigious music academy Interlochen at 8 years old.) I feel very positive about the merits of this program. The confidence this program will build through the years can not be underestimated as within creation of any kind, comes true happiness and satisfaction. I believe this program strives for true music comprehension. If you have been looking for a program to enhance your music and foreign language studies, this just might be what you’re looking for!”
Jen DiMonte, Waldorf Homeschooler, Mother of two and creator of Ancient Hearth Homeschooling blog: http://ancienthearth2.blogspot.com/2010/03/amhc-phase-i-pentatonic-color-and-sound.html
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