“Ladies & Gentleman! I see a song. I paint music. I hear color …. Come, listen, and let your imagination see your own song.” says the violinist illustrated in a monochromatic black. But as he begins to play, colors begin to fill the pages. Pictures begin to form and the song begins to tell a colorful story.
When I was teaching, I would read the introduction to my class, then, I would play music – different types of music. Some days it would be light classical while others, it might be slow jazz. I would ask my learners if the illustrations matched the music as I turned the pages. Did they feel the pictures were telling the story of the music they were hearing? Why or why not? I enjoyed hearing their explanations. I loved watching them feel and connect to the music.
Many times, as an extension to the book, I would provide blank paper with crayons or paint, and I would play different types of music; again, it varied day-to-day. I encouraged the children to turn the songs they were hearing, and feeling, into pictures. I wanted them to interpret the songs on to paper and make the music come alive. I loved their descriptions when I asked them to tell me about their drawings. What an amazing experience to watch the children connect to the music and “see a song”.
Yes it is true – Learning begins the moment a child is born.
Keep in mind, it is not necessary to start flash cards or download “educational apps” to put your infants ahead of the game. (and in fact – please don’t do that.) Instead, it is as simple as spending time with your babies/ children, having face to face time with them, singing and reading to them, playing with them, and building relationships with them. That is honestly what will help them become “school ready”!
BTW – in my opinion this is not just a low-income issue.
“Neural pathways are laid from the moment of birth and throughout a child’s earliest years. If a child doesn’t receive sufficient affection, language stimulation, attuned responses and more from birth to age 4, she or he will arrive at Pre-K with deficits that can never be entirely eliminated. Though it’s shocking to consider, these children truly have been brain-damaged in a subtle way.”