Listening skills are essential – discover a fun and simple way to help your child become a good listener!
What’s the most fun, exasperating, rewarding and humbling job you’ve ever had? Being a parent!
As busy parents of young children, we are under constant pressure from others and ourselves to do the right thing. We get advice about whether we should start gymnastics, or is it too early, should we start formal instrument lessons, or sign up for sports, dance class, academics… you know how it is; and before we know it, our lives are filled as we rush our children from one important activity to another.
When children reach elementary school, they are required to listen… the ability to focus, listen and pay attention are all predictors of future academic success.
Listening Skills are Important for Academic Success
In this fast-paced, multi-tasking world, our senses are overwhelmed with the sounds and stimuli of life. We live with constant noise and never give ourselves the chance to simply listen; intently, deliberately, with focus and purpose. When children reach elementary school, they need to be able to listen; with focus, purpose and to pay attention. A great deal of information is delivered to children in this way, and the ability to focus, listen and pay attention are all predictors of future academic success.
Designed for young children ages 3–6, Listen Together can help! We give children an opportunity to listen; to actually listen without other distractions. Because it is purely auditory, children are not sidetracked by visual stimulation, such as flashy screens on TV and devices, and can focus, listen and pay attention to what they hear on the Podcast.
Each Listen Together Podcast is 10–15 minutes long and contains songs and a short story, centered on a theme. Your subscription gives you access to two Listen Together Podcasts each month which are available on the 2nd and 16th of the month.
Enjoy a sample podcast yourself in a few moments.
Meet the Voice behind the Podcast
As a mother of two boys I hunted around the radio for the kind of programs I listened to as a child growing up in England (Listen with Mother, BBC), but found nothing! Eventually I realized that perhaps I could put my education, experience, and my musical background together to come up with something myself. Listen Together Podcast was born!
Benefits of early exposure to musical activities
- better performance in math and reading
- better body control
- higher self-esteem
- increased success in getting along with peers
How is Listen Together Podcast different from other music for children?
There is an abundance of music out there for children, mostly for entertainment purposes, so what makes Listen Together different? Most of the music is written especially for the podcasts, with several important features in mind. Commercially produced CDs sound great, but the songs are often sung in a range not suitable for children. This is because the singer is usually concerned with his or her own performance, rather than how it will work for children.
Appropriate Voice Range for Children
Children do not need to listen to great voices, with huge orchestras or electronic music blasting away an accompaniment. They need songs sung by pleasant voices that are in tune (like yours and mine!) and in an appropriate range that is neither too high nor too low, with a simple accompaniment that does not distract from the melody or lyrics.
Listen Together Podcast songs are:
- Sung in a range that is neither too high nor too low for children’s voices
- Sung by pleasant voices with minimal accompaniment
- Written with simple language and repetitive phrases
Accessible Song Lyrics
Our songs are accessible to children. (I test them with my very honest preschool and kindergarten students!) This means the songs are easy to learn both melodically and lyrically. In fact you will find that the language used is repeated many times and often has only slight changes from verse to verse where we might substitute different actions, body parts or different animals. These are all factors that help children not only learn the songs, but allows them to be creative as they use their own ideas in the music.
The accompaniment is minimal as it is the melody and lyrics that should take center stage. Of course there are exceptions. Every good rule has worthy exceptions! Sometimes, we want the accompaniment to convey something particular to enhance the entire song. For example, in our sample podcast below there is a song called “Stomp Crash!” The accompaniment deliberately emulates dinosaurs stomping and crashing their feet. Listen to it with your child and feel the music encouraging you to stomp and crash too!
No Visuals Encourages Listening and Imagination
Listen Together stories are designed to listen to! Sounds simple. Think about how much you can use your imagination when there are no pictures to look at, or a TV screen to lead your mind. Have you ever read a book, then watched the movie and been disappointed? What we have created in our minds, using our imaginations, is at odds with the director’s choices. Our songs and stories encourage children to listen carefully, pay attention, to think, create and imagine.
Children are exposed to a wealth of language that they will begin to use in their own conversations. They will hear repetitive patterns of words as they begin to predict what will happen next. They will become immersed in the lives of characters that exist in a recognizable world, engaging in activities that are real and meaningful, whether the characters are children, grown-ups or even dinosaurs!
Try before you buy – click the play button below to listen to a sample podcast now!