Music has always been a way for children to remember stories and learn about the world around them. I can still remember the fun rhyming stories from my childhood. I loved singing “Old MacDonald” and the “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. They had the three “R’s”: rhythm, rhyme and repetition. I was learning to read while having fun and strengthening my comprehension all without even knowing it!
How often do you see young children just dancing to music with no instruction or training? They seem to be naturally "wired" for sound and rhythm. Besides providing enjoyment, music also plays an important role in language and literacy development. Lots of research tells us that both language and music require rhythm, and that music can help children hear speech sounds.
With summer upon us, and children having more time for unstructured play and fun reading, I thought it would a great time to provide you my favorite tips and resources for sing-a-longs and getting into the rhythm of summer reading with a little music.
- A post from Scholastic Teachers about using popular music to improve reading and to inspire writing. There is a really fun video by Taylor Swift also talking to students about how reading inspired her to become a song writer.
- PBS Parents has a nice article entitled “Boost Memory and Learning with Music”, that I also found very informative.
- Cantata Learning has a ton of resources and research for teachers like these 11 articles about how music supports learning and literacy.
- Cantata Learning shares ideas for getting in the rhythm of summer reading in this blog post.
- Teachers can share stories and songs with students using the Cantata Learning video series. Each video includes engaging on-screen storytellers, illustrations and a fun sing-a-long song. You'll find my childhood favorite "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" here too!
- A post from Shannon McClintock Miller about ideas for using Cantata Learning Books and Music in the library, classroom and at home.
This year I was fortunate to be introduced to Cantata Learning. They became a new sponsor of annual Be-a-Famous Writer Contest. They provide resources to support intentional and purposeful teaching and provide a joyful learning experience. Cantata Learning music and books will help you teach critical literacy skills, meet essential requirements and standards, and make a difference for children. I’m so excited they are providing their books and music as prizes this year to the contest winners.
So get into the rhythm of reading this summer, here’s a little music to get you started! Remember, reading can be fun!!