Being the proud father of two kids and the husband of someone who is very talented musically (sadly I cannot call musicality one of my talents), I have had the pleasure of plenty of children’s songs. Singing is not only fun and can connect your next generation to a vital cultural thread, but singing has been at least anecdotally linked to the development of early language skills in children. But since we happen to live in a monolingual American English household, just about all of the songs we’ve sung to and with our children, have been in English. In the vein of being a hardcore language geek who deeply appreciates language diversity, I thought it’d be fun and enriching to provide you with a compendium of classic children’s songs in a variety of the world’s languages. As you sample the linked song clips, try to identify themes in the tunes, as they compare to the songs you came to love as a child and may also sing to your children. These could be melodic themes, onomatopoeia, alliteration, or content themes. Or, you could simply just enjoy them!
Do you have a little Stevie Wonder on your hands? Lady Gaga? Do you hear singing at all hours of the day? If so, you know that singing and songs are a significant part of your child’s life. In fact, many children sing more than they talk! Through singing and song, children can actually achieve improved articulation skills, just from belting it out. Even simple children’s nursery rhymes can help develop pronunciation and articulation skills. For children who need any type of speech and language therapy, music is essential. It is motivating, familiar, rhythmic, stimulates a variety of senses and most of all – FUN!
We finalize our in-depth look at tools for speech therapy with Music. Yes…music can truly be an effective tool for speech therapy! Think about it, rhymes, patterns, sounds and movement all help bring about speech language comprehension and articulation. According to “Use of Music in Speech-Language Therapy,” an article by Mary B. Zoller, “Using music is a multi-sensory experience that enhances a number of other skills that impact on speech and language development.” The use of music as a speech therapy tool serves to energize and engage a child, and encourages the child to actively participate. And the good news? You do not need to be a musician or a great singer to reap the benefits of music as therapy! Even using a silly voice and acting out the lyrics is helpful in engaging your child and a way to get them to listen attentively and unknowingly engage them in speech therapy exercises. As we have mentioned throughout this series, this does not serve to replace a proper evaluation or treatment from an SLP, rather music as a tool for speech therapy that you can do at home or in conjunction with your current speech therapy regime. Continue reading
Sometimes, even the most verbally hesitant child will launch into his favorite song without a second thought. Music truly is a universal language, whether you’re singing “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” or picking out some elegant harp arrangements for your walk down the aisle. And because music is so highly portable, it makes an excellent tool for speech therapy sessions on the road or wherever your summer vacation takes you. Sing favorite nursery rhymes with your child on car trips. As well, check out some of our recommended singing apps for your iPad or iPhone.