There is no better place to foster this development than in your home. Rather than passive listening, fun musical play activities create an effective learning environment and foster family bonding. When children listen, move and experiment, they learn. When children interact with parents, they learn. Combine these elements purposefully and your child's music aptitude will thrive.
Experience has proven that early childhood music education programs really work. The brain of a child under the age of three is, in the words of brain researchers, “plastic”, or moldable. This is because the human brain does much of its growth after birth, in its environment. The brain’s synapses actually grow to meet the demands placed upon it. Different environmental demands grow specific and unique brain synapses.
To create the new synapses necessary to achieve natural musical ability, the brain must be exposed to music while it is growing. The rate of brain growth declines with age and so does the opportunity to “hardwire” the brain for optimum music aptitude. Early music education programs carefully control the environment to encourage the growth of the brain musically. Research and statistics have shown that children in early music education programs reach musical milestones up to five years faster than their counterparts, and are more likely to continue with formal music training later in life.
Babies are acutely receptive to music. When participating in MMP2, some are quite expressive about it and others observe and study the musical activity. They are fascinated by the different sounds and movements. You might see you little one's eyes light up, or hear coos or babbling. Some babies kick and wiggle. Babies rely on parents to model and interact with them, setting them on a path to musical success. Whether you are a highly trained musician or simply enjoy singing and moving to music, our Parent Manual will guide you in ways to musically interact with your child, so your baby can benefit from the latest research in early childhood music education.
Toddlers respond to and make music more easily just as they begin to grow in verbal ability. Just as we speak with and encourage speach in our children, they need a strong musical environment to stimulate growth and encourage practice. Toddlers begin to initiate music making and weave music into their normal play routine. Children love to explore music and are amazingly receptive to unusual meters and tonalities that often befuddle even learned musicians. Their young brains are able to absorb and grow around the music we present, so we are extremely careful in developing our song collections. Every song in the curriculum is there for a reason so that the growing brain is challenged by a careful balance of tonalities, meters, music styles, voices, movement and dance activities, and instruments.
Preschool and Kindergarten children are still growing their brain at rates they will never again experience. Children in this phase begin to participate more fully in musical activities and will usually master the first level of music competence. At this point, many children take more ownership of music making and begin developing composition skills. Research and statistics have shown that children in early music education programs reach these musical milestones up to five years faster than their counterparts, have higher emotional quotients, and are more likely to continue with formal music training later in life.
Each family will approach the Making Music Praying Twice music curriculum differently and with unique abilities and skill sets. If you are an accomplished musician, you will certainly have an advantage in creating a strong musical environment for your child. If you love music and can sing and move to a beat comfortably, that is all you really need to help your child prepare for future formal instruction. If you feel that you have no musical ability, chances are you did not have a strong musical environment in your early years, and we will help you break the cycle of “nonmusical homes”.
Making Music Praying Twice is unique in that it is “faith inclusive” for the Catholic child. We recognize faith as an important and, in fact, central aspect of life. If a child participates in a music program designed to reach the elements of her daily life, the music of her faith must be addressed.
Some of the most beautiful music in the world has been written for the Lord. God is the source of all beauty and knowing Him naturally enhances our appreciation of beauty. Faith truly enhances the music experience.
Likewise, our Church history, countless Scripture references, and innumerable individuals can attest to the fact that music can enhance a faith experience. MMP2 is not a religion class. Instead, we aim to present the music of a child’s culture in ways that impact her daily life. Unless faith is recognized as a part of a child’s culture and a part of a child’s daily life, the music program will fall short of it’s goal. By presenting music from a faith perspective, your child’s mind and body, as well as his soul, are respected and educated.
Attending a class or program is not realistic for all families. Time, location, cost, work, or the schooling of older children impede many families. More importantly, many classes do not include songs of faith, excluding a large segment of music which is spiritually and culturally significant to our children.
In actuality, the main goal of most commercial music classes for young children is to restore music making to the home. There is a reason why parents attend the classes with their children. The reason is that all of these programs know that you are the most important factor in your child's growth and success. MMP2 will give you the tools and information you need to unlock your potential to guide your child toward realizing the amazing musical potential God has given.