Yes- it seems like it’s getting old but your child wants to hear the same song over and over again. (“Hello Hey”, anyone?)
Why? Because repetition helps children to learn. They need repetition to grow and develop, particularly with learning. The growth of neural connections in the brain are strengthened through repetition and a one time experience is not enough for a neural connection to form and stabilize. It’s through repetition that this becomes possible and that’s why it’s so important to do an ongoing weekly music class.
Children are so natural about this learning process because they don’t KNOW that repetition is helping them learn something but they have the desire and excitement to do it over and over again. When a child starts to learn a new song, skill, book, etc they want to experience it repetitively because there is empowerment in knowledge. They feel confident in knowing the words and proud to do things independently. Beyond the scientific explanations, this is what repetition does for them. It gives them confidence, it gives them the desire to continue to learn and challenge themselves.
As an adult and educator- It’s amazing to be a part of new learning for little minds and it’s difficult to not put an adult expectation on a child’s experience. How do we become an expert at something? By practicing and doing it over and over again. You practice reading, walking, driving- you don’t do those things in one try. You have to practice them over and over again. It takes time for your brain and your muscles to form those connections and it’s done through repetition. So, as grown ups we should not judge a situation or activity through our eyes but through the experience of the child.
At Little Rockers we are extremely aware of the curriculum and activities we are doing at each class. We strive to balance between teaching new songs and new activities with activities and songs the children already know. We may add a new song with an old activity. Or we may mix up the instruments that we use each week but do the same songs. We also add a lot of transitions in between songs to expand on rhythm or melody. There are little ways that we change the class enough for the kids to learn but not so much that they are surprised. This is why it may seem redundant at times, for the adults, but the patterns are important for kids. Children love knowing patterns and predicting patterns, so we have patterns in class that we change slightly to help in a child’s development within class. After all, music is all patterns and one of the reasons children respond so well to it in life, communication and social development.
So just embrace the repetition and when you hear that song for the zillionth time realize that it’s your child’s brain working hard to learn, grow and develop. How cool!
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