I'm in the midst of piloting a new music/literacy residency for Kindergarteners: What's In A Name? This residency is filled with songs, chants, and other activities that help children develop the skills they need in order to read. Working with me are two wonderful kindergarten classes (and their teachers) at Lee Elementary in Canby, Oregon. I was part of the design team at Young Audiences that developed this residency in partnership with the award-winning television show Between The Lions TM.
Literacy will be one of my major themes for 2010 on this blog. What? Written literacy on a music blog? Yes! Howard Gardner listed music as one of the "languages" and vehicles for learning - and teaching. Lyrics - the words in songs - are one form of expression using the written word. Playing with and distinguishing types of sound - auditory awareness - helps a child develop phoenemic awareness - the ability to differentiate individual "letter" sounds or phonemes. More about this in the next post.
For now, know that the love of reading can be instilled without our being literacy specialists! I know that the love of reading starts when we share a book with a child -- with a group in a classroom or day care, visiting reading time at your local library, or one-on-one. So grab a book, sit down with your child, and enjoy the magic!