Today we launch the “Get your Bigger Better Brain at home” series. This is in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the move by countries around the world to shut down school and commence at home learning for an extended period of time.
This shift to at home learning has been incredibly rapid. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced teachers to shift their whole way of teaching in a matter of days. Although schools and teachers are trying their absolute best, preparing parents for the challenge of guiding their children through at home learning while many of them are trying to do their own jobs remotely or deal with the fallout of losing their jobs is incredibly difficult.
The speed and magnitude of the changes has meant that, understandably, some important messages may have gone astray. The importance of continuing a practise schedule at home and maintaining the learning goals may have not made it into the home learning timetable. Similarly, we are not hearing very much about the stress that COVID-19 is causing our students, but parents will no doubt be seeing this stress come out in tantrums, defiant behaviours, low mood and lethargy in their children.
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There has never been a more important time to keep parents and students up to date with the importance of music learning during this stressful, at-home learning time. Using music as a stress relief, a mood changer, an immune system booster and a cognitive supercharger has never been more important. Learning music in order to maintain cognitive capacity, continue their musical development, support their persistence and impulse control as they experiment with what works best in terms of at-home learning has never been more important.
We want to help. As you would know BBB’s mission is not to tell you how to teach, our mission is to give you access to research which can help you help others understand why and how music learning is so important for brain development. To that end the “Get your Bigger Better Brain at home” starts today and is specifically aimed at producing materials you can immediately share with parents and students.
This is how it works
Every day for the next two weeks we will release an activity idea. This idea is based around activities that can be done at home to either relieve stress and/or supercharge their brains for learning. We’ve produced activities for children between 5-18 years of age. We have listed the activity and how to approach sharing or motivating your child to add the activity into their day. The activity itself is only a starting point for creative adaptions or suggestions.
We are focusing on the ongoing benefits of music learning. Each activity includes a list of the brain benefits it offers for your student. We want this to be the key to motivating parents to suggest these activities to their children. This is where you as the teacher can really use the brain science to show how vital music is for managing a child’s stress and engaging them in effective learning at home.
Not every activity is for everyone however just doing one of these activities every day will help. These activities are not designed to be a different activity every day. We want to catch the attention of your parents on just one or two of them, but to do this we have to give them lots of different, and sometimes whacky, ideas. We would suggest you either – share one activity every day or watch for the activity you believe best supports your teaching and would really spark the interest of your parents and students.
You will see we have used the word child instead of student. This is because these resources are specifically designed to be immediately shared with your parent community.
For members and educators we have added in some extra videos to support your knowledge and explanations behind the brain science in these activities. If you aren’t a member yet, join today to start accessing our professional resources, all of which are designed to help you supercharge your understanding of the neuroscience of music education. Our readings will count towards your professional learning hours for the year, and our membership is tax deductible.