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Music, Math, and New Friends

At the end of most school days, I stand at the bottom of our main stairway and say goodbye to our students. This week, I have noticed many students who are new to CFIS this year coming out of their classrooms hand-in-hand with new friends, excitedly talking about their day and making plans to play together again tomorrow. It warms my heart to know that our returning students welcome new friends so openly, and that new students already feel at home and connected to our community.

This week has been audition week for our secondary school’s musical production of Newsies. Having an office in the same hallway as our music rooms allows me to eavesdrop on our “big kids” as they practice for their auditions. From nervous grade sevens to more seasoned high school performers, I have been blown away at how kind and supportive they are to one another. They encourage and coach each other, and there are high-fives and hugs as they exit the music room after their audition time.

Highlights from our music teachers:

Mme Tiphaine (preschool & JK): Every morning we begin by singing a good morning song: “Bonjour les amis,“ and then we dance or play instruments. The seasonal changes of autumn are a great theme to explore in music: we are going to listen to the sound produced by different leaves and sing a song about the colours of the leaves and the wind blowing on top of the trees. If you want to know more about what is happening in music, feel free to check out our music board in the hallway as we like to post pictures and write our highlights of the week.

Mme Jaycock (kindergarten): It is my first opportunity to work with your children this year.  I look forward to getting to know them, and watching them grow in the years ahead.  In the past weeks since school has started, we have be getting to know each other, learning about the music classroom and the kind of activities we do here that are different from the regular classroom.  We have taken the time to look at some executive functioning skills like the concept of personal space, through literature and through active exploration in the music room. Children's literature is a great tool for language acquisition and learning about the world around us.  I also love to use literature as a springboard into learning about musical concepts. For example, we read a story called Ruby Sings the Blues to help begin our exploration of vocal dynamics like loud (or forte), soft (or piano) and to discover a musical symbol called the crescendo where sound moves from loud to soft.  I look forward to continuing our exploration of basic music concepts in the weeks ahead.

Did you know…

That exposure to music helps build important pre-math skills in young children, and even in infants? By tapping rhythms and singing repetitive melodies, children get their first taste of one-to-one correspondence and patterning, two critical concepts to early numeracy development. This article from the National Association for the Education of Young Children provides an excellent description of the links between music and math for our little ones:

Have a wonderful weekend;