The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #111084   Message #2339111
Posted By: Azizi
13-May-08 - 07:23 AM
Thread Name: Children's Music and Pre-Literacy
Subject: RE: Children's Music and Pre-Literacy
I'm sorry, black walnut, that I'm not able to help with you identify studies that speak to these conclusions that I've reached through my experiences as a child, and my experiences with children on an informal and more formal basis.

I agree with what Mo said.

And I would also add [and I believe that Mo would agree} that music also helps develop, teach, and reinforce other cognitive and social skills.

For instance, I think that, in addition, to teaching the importance of individuals working together as a group, "show me your motion" circle [ring] games with one person in the middle that were performed during African American slavery times, helped teach and reinforce survival skills. Among those survival skills were being alert {since you never knew when it would be your turn to be in the center of the circle}, moving quickly {when it was time to move into the center of the circle, or move out}, and thinking ahead {having alternative plans}. That last skill was important in group play because the center person was usually supposed to perform a different movement than those who had preceded her or him in the center. Because the action was supposed to flow with no gaps in time, the center person had to be ready with alternative plans of action. And these strategies would be important survival skills in real life.

For what it's worth, although I have found that African American children beyond pre-school ages don't play circle games anymore [and those pre-schoolers who play them, almost always do so at an adult's inititive and direction], the concept and practice of "show me your motion"/ selecting a new movement as the "soloist" has "survived in the performance of some contemporary girls' foot stomping cheers.

These cheers are a relatively new genre of children's recreational movement that are performed by two or more children {usually girls 8-12 years old} while chanting and doing choreographed movements which emphasize bass sounding foot stomps and [individual] hand claps or body pats...