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We hope you enjoy our blog - we try to provide helpful updates about our music, what we are up to and cool things we find to do with music, activities for kids & families, and every day stuff! Stay Silly, Silly Bus

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Audiation and Learning

An important building block for learning music skills and concepts is audiation. You may be familiar with the term inner hearing. The term audiation (inner hearing of music or silently hearing music) was coined by music education researcher Edwin E. Gordon.

Audiation is Gordon’s term for hearing music in the mind with understanding. It is the process of thinking music and comprehending music in the mind. Gordon describes audiation as the foundation of musicianship.

Audiation is the process of mentally hearing and comprehending music, even when no physical sound is present. It is a cognitive process by which the brain gives meaning to musical sounds. In essence, audiation of music is analogous to thinking in a language as said by Edwin E. Gordon.

Mary Ellen Pinzino states that audiation is a way of knowing in melody and rhythm. It is a unique human capacity outside the realm of words. To audiate is to "think" music, but in melody and rhythm rather than in words. Audiation is another way of knowing. Audiation is the musical imagination. It is the man-made music of the mind. It is the sound fantasy that provides the framework for understanding the music we listen to, the music we perform, and the music we read and write.

Audiation is a process. It is the construction of meaning in music. It is the process of making musical sense of the music we hear, perform, read, and write. Just as thinking is essential to speaking, listening, reading, and writing language, audiation is essential to tuneful and rhythmic performance, music listening, reading, and writing. Audiation is the whole of music literacy as said by Mary Ellen Pinzino.

Audiation or inner hearing takes place when we “silently hear” and give meaning to music without the sound, i.e., thinking a melody, clapping a rhythm pattern from a song while thinking the melody. The development of audiation is basic and invaluable in building all musical skills. We should always strive to cultivate the audiation of rhythm and tonal patterns, melodic lines, and phrases. Audiation must be the first step in one’s music experience prior to introducing notation, and other aspects of music theory.

Try this exercise to experience audiation or inner hearing. Silently think the melody of “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Did you think one note at a time? Or did you think groups of notes. Did you internally hear the notes as a pattern?

We do the same thing when we silently hear language. We hear words, not letters one at a time. The more words we have in our vocabularies, the better we hear and comprehend the meaning of what we are hearing. Just as we give meaning to language, we must give meaning to music through relevant patterns of tones and rhythms. Likewise, the more tonal and rhythm patterns we have in our music vocabularies, the better we will hear and comprehend the meaning of the music. To help your child or student develop music listening and speaking vocabularies, have the child listen and move to a variety of tunes. Invite them to sing many different melodies.

It is very important to develop audiation or inner hearing and listening skills in the early years of a child’s life. What a powerful gift and music foundation to give a child.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sillybus.net

Lyrics, Melody and Memory

While observing a student teacher in a first grade music class recently, I was struck by the phenomenon of students chanting a poem and then asking if they could add a melody to the poem. When the teacher asked comprehension questions about the poem prior to adding the melody, student responses were general. When the same questions were asked after adding a melody to the poem and singing it, student responses were more specific. They often sang their responses. Adding the melody to the words seemed to help ingrain in their memories the meaning of the poem. Perhaps it was the simultaneous action of the right and left sides of the brain which helped the students to recall additional information from the poem after a melody was added.

This observation reminded me of my own music teaching at the elementary level and the frequency with which I would add melodies to poems, chants, and stories to help students remember key educational themes. Many times, classroom teachers would tell me that because students sang songs about the fifty states, math concepts, historical facts, rhyming words, etc., their students were more successful in remembering and recalling this information. The students seemed to more readily grasp and retain information when learned through the enjoyable medium of music.

It is common for my former music students to see me in the grocery store or at a restaurant and tell me that they still remember, many years later, the lyrics from the educational songs they had learned in their elementary music classes. Many students could still remember lyrics that we added to classical melodies and have instant recall of both the lyrics and the melody even 20 years later.

Clearly, combining music and lyrics has great merit and enhances the academic achievement of students. Educational, singable lyrics paired with appealing melodies can stimulate the child’s memory and aid retention of the song content. Such is the main goal of Silly Bus and the educational songs they write and record for children. For preschool and kindergarten children, songs are a fun way to teach children basic concepts such as colors, numbers, the alphabet, months of the year, etc.

How can we determine if the child has learned a concept presented in a song? After the child has listened to the song several times, play the song again and invite him or her to listen carefully for the key phrases and repeated sections of a song. Have the child tell the story described in a song and share any information they recall from the song. Parents and teachers can then assess what the child has learned and involve the child in discovering and exploring the relationship between the new learning experience and his or her current knowledge. Movement also assesses and reinforces the learning experience of adding lyrics to a melody. Kinesthetic learning through movement is a natural way to heighten the child’s understanding of music and the information conveyed in the lyrics. Through the child’s movement, parents and teachers can see and assess the child’s understanding and knowledge gained from a song.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sillybus.net

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Enhancing A Company’s Brand with Educational Music for Children

In today’s competitive landscape it has become increasingly important for companies to differentiate themselves from the competition. One of the ways this is being done is through the use of brand and marketing programs that support families and children. Campaigns focused on this not only allow companies to show their support of families, but also create lasting images that allow market positioning with the next generation of customers.

A children’s educational marketing campaign is one way to enhance brand and market position. Educational agendas create connections with families and children across demographic groups and are viewed as very positive in the minds of both existing and potential customers.

Topics promoted in this type of educational campaign can include the ABC’s, basic math, health and fitness, and energy conservation.

Educational Media Creations Company, LLC (EMCC) is on the forefront of developing these types of integrated promotional campaigns. Through its Silly Bus brand, EMCC works with companies to develop one-of a-kind music and videos for kids. Silly Bus products are easily promoted in CD, DVD and digital download formats which allow companies to keep cost low while providing tangible product and brand placement directly into the hands of their customers. This type of product allows a company’s brand to last longer given the product value and tendency for people to keep the songs and videos in their library for repeated reviews in any setting.

To enhance brand in the market place companies should consider:

  • The average age group of children in their target market;
  • The mix of mothers and/or fathers most likely to receive the message; and
  • The channels that provide the best positioning of the message and product.

By taking a few initial steps, a company can quickly differentiate itself from the competition and simultaneously develop lasting relationships with future generations that will ultimately become the customers of tomorrow.

For more information, please visit: http://www.sillybus.net

Best Suited Music for Kids

In today’s busy world, it is increasingly important for parents to optimize quality time with their children. As mentors, educators and playmates to their newborns, toddlers and preadolescents, parents shape their children’s social and intellectual development more than any other influence. Educational children’s music offers parents the unique opportunity to positively impact their children’s lives through simultaneous entertainment and education whether at home or on-the-go.

A child’s mind is a clean slate. Early impressions, especially if routine, act as the child’s foundation and are essential to his or her long-term success. As such, parents should carefully select the experiences to which their children are exposed.

We all know that music is a powerful and pleasant experience as well as a medium for communicating feelings, emotions, and information. Music nourishes the positive elements of our nature. It is, therefore, very important for parents to use music in creating and nourishing the positive virtues that are essential for their kid’s healthy development.

The question now arises, what kind of music is best suited for kids when they are in the early stages of development, especially when they are between 1 and 10 years of age? Music with lyrics that cover educational topics or fun sounding musical songs can go a long way in creating a fun-filled learning experience for kids. Additionally, playing educational songs that promote physical activities such as running, jumping, dancing and playing can be extremely beneficial in promoting healthy lifestyles that can last a lifetime. Song content can teach early learning topics such as the alphabet, basic numbers and counting, identifying sounds, colors, names of cities, stars, animals and so on.

Educational music is no doubt an important component of a kid’s learning process in life. It is not surprising that kids learn basic concepts quickly when these are set to musical tunes and melodies that they can sing along with and dance to. This approach to education can also be one of the most enjoyable ways of learning for a child.For more information, please visit: http://www.sillybus.net