Awesome YouTube Channel
A lot of young children love to sing and dance to music. While children’s music seems absurdely silly to adults, music can be a fun, engaging way for children to learn language (vocabulary, sentence structure, direction following, etc.).
As a speech language pathologist, I am constantly looking for appropriate music samples to introduce in speech therapy. What’s appropriate, you ask? For me, appropriate means songs that:
- teach new vocabulary including nouns and actions (e.g., the wheels on the bus; head, shoulders, knees, and toes)
- incorporate following directions (e.g., hokey pokey)
- involve movement (e.g., hokey pokey, if you’re happy and you know it)
- allow for reciprocal imitations for social exchanges (e.g., let’s go riding in the elevator, popcorn song, etc.)
AND (as if that wasn’t enough), I want these things to be exemplified at a SLOW rate. If you do an itunes or youtube search, you’ll find that A LOT of preschool music is presented rapidly and that’s not ideal for a young child learning language. There is research that suggests young children have difficulty processing rapid speech. This makes sense in the context of music. If the speech signal set to music is moving quickly, your child won’t have enough time to process all the words spoken to music. This can lead to missing key information for following directions as well as missing out on learning new vocabulary and sentence structure. In therapy, I often have ‘music time’ but I teach/sing the songs with the child and family members so that I can slow the temp way, way down. This also has the added benefit of promoting social interactions/exchanges without distracting technology (e.g., iPads, iPhones for music).
I recently came across a super AWESOME youtube channel and it’s quickly become a favorite of mine. The channel is called JBrary and it’s run by two children’s librarians, Dana and Lindsey, from Vancouver, British Columbia. Their channel is filled is slow paced and engaging songs that can help promote language development for kids in the toddlerhood through preschool age ranges. I typically learn a song that I want to target in therapy and carry it out the way they model in the video. If you are a parent/caregiver/teacher/SLP/OT/PT, be sure to check out their youtube channel or website!