Singing Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes and Little Songs to Children Gives them a Profoundly Useful Tool for Learning and Relating to Others
Posted February 12, 2017on:
I’ve learned a couple of concerning things lately. One nice person, who brought her baby granddaughter to one of my Sing Books performances at a local library, told me that she is a piano teacher in one of the more rural parts of Virginia. She said that the lessons for her students are a huge investment for the folks in her community, and that school music programs are largely not existent in these areas. I’ve not independently verified this, but she was certainly credible and concerned about this issue. She said that students come with very little musical awareness. They’ve not gotten music in school and they’ve not gotten it at home until they came for a piano lesson.
In a separate conversation a couple weeks earlier, I learned from a Pre-K teacher, that children don’t so much come to school anymore knowing Nursery Rhymes. These rhymes and little songs, though they might at first seem just like silly little songs, and maybe even a waste of time to learn and study, are incredibly important for reading readiness. When a child knows a rhyme by heart, that child’s brain has already been wired to look and listen for patterns. The brain is also more ready to take what it already knows and understands and match up the sounds to the letter symbols that represent words and then thoughts encountered on paper. Without this basic ability, children are already behind in learning skills which will serve them for the rest of their lives.
Pertaining to both of these stories is the almost magical quality music has for bringing people together. If parents all sing, for example, HEY DIDDLE DIDDLE to their children, all those kids already have something in common. They know the same songs. They can relate to each other (regardless of any other physical or cultural difference) by singing it together, and then they can use it as a common touchstone, alluding to it in different contexts. If kids come to school already knowing a whole repertoire of these little rhymes and songs, it’s a treasure trove of knowledge and experience upon which they can draw for communicating with others, relating to the world around them, and as tools for learning.
Here are some useful Links on my blog to access information and resources (song history, sing-alongs, printable songs sheets, for example) so you can sing to kids you know:
MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES: SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS)
MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES FOR SBWE
A compilation of Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme titles linked to posts about the rhymes so you can learn more and sing along
MOTHER GOOSE AND NURSERY RHYMES – INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED
Mother Goose and Nursery Rhymes with Individually Illustrated Singable Picture Books
MOTHER GOOSE AND NURSERY RHYME COMPILATIONS
A list containing compilations of Mother Goose and Nursery Rhyme Singable Picture Books, including links and resources for learning, singing, and playing the tunes
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS): HOST PAGE
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS): LITTLE SONGS
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS): LULLABIES
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS): MANY SONGS ONE TWINKLY TUNE
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS): MOTHER GOOSE NURSERY RHYMES
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK SERIES (SBWE SBS): POETRY
SING BOOKS WITH EMILY SONGBOOK (on Pinterest)
The collection of song sheet for which Emily has original content (music, words, arrangement, guitar chords or layout art for traditional songs)