What’s the importance of learning through movement to music? Does it really enhance the learning? Children are born with a major thrust to grow brain cell connections. They seek involvement, active engagement, and hands-on participation in their physical environment.
Babies and young children are like little physicists seeking out all the sensory stimulation and cause/effect experience they can wrap their little bodies around. They are scientists experimenting with everything they can get their hands (and mouths) on: gravity, momentum, parabolic flight paths, stimulus-response are among the subjects they study.
We all know about the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. There are actually two other senses that we depend upon. The proprioceptive sense is stimulated whenever we use a muscle or compress/use a joint. The vestibular system responds where, or how, the head is positioned in space and to the speed of bodily movement. (It’s how you know where different body parts are when your eyes are closed.) It provides a reference point for the other senses to process their information in relation to. Educational research shows that multi-sensory teaching produces the best learning. When there is a difficulty learning through one part of the brain, the other senses and learning modalities can compensate, compliment and enhance each other.
So kids are hard wired to seek sensory input through movement- and movement involves the visual, auditory, tactile, propriocepive and vestibular sense. (If you move in the wrong part of the yard one can stimulate the nose, too.) Use of the correct music can engage, motivate, focus, reward and provide the maximum environment for learning. Use music that is meaningful to the learner, not overly “busy” or distracting or loud or fast, age appropriate, lyric appropriate, and- oh yeah, – fun! Moving to the right music can compliment and cement in the skill/lesson/goal you are trying to teach.