• Tammy Keorkunian

Entertainment Verses Educational Programs?

Are you a parent in search of quality programs for your child? Early childhood is the most important time in developing the brain and whole child in regard to their emotional, mental, and physical well-being. In this short window, we want to take advantage of appropriate activities and experiences that will enhance our children's well-being in their present life, so that their future life can reap the great benefits of their primitive experiences. How can we choose wisely in this short window of development?

Education verses entertainment? What do you look for when signing your child up for a music and movement program? As an expert in this field, and after 17 years of teaching early childhood music and movement and training teachers too, I can confidently say that there is a fine line that can be crossed between an educational program and entertainment program. An educational program can be silly, animated and entertaining, while an entertainment type program can also be silly, entertaining and educational. What's the difference? There's much to share in this area, but I want to give one distinct difference and tip! That way you can make an informed decision on whether you want an entertainment style program or an educational style program. And, at the very least, you can have a better idea of what type of programs you and your child are attending. #1 Distinct Difference! Leans more toward Entertainment. Your child and most of the group are acting more as audience members, watching and being entertained. The facilitator is acting more as a performer rather then an educator. While this can be super fun, engaging and have educational value, it tends to fall short of the educational impact that an early childhood music and movement curriculum based program offers. Leans more toward Educational. Your child is interacting in a way beyond simply watching (though there are observer learners, this is different) or even some movement, like stomping feet and jumping up and down. Your child is interacting a lot more. For example, playing with instruments, singing along, having a more personalized experience, connecting and interacting with others, caregivers, parents, as well as exposure to a variety of music, genres, and culturally diverse music. The facilitator is exposing your child to a variety of sounds, rhythms and so much more in a way that is consistent, fun, playful and repetitive. If your child is more of an observer in class, he or she is acting out what they are learning at home often. Entertainment is great fun and can offer educational value, as well! An educational platform fosters a lot more development in an area like music and movement, which will take your child to great heights beyond their early years. There is a distinct difference but can look like a fine line. I hope this tip helps! I'd love to get your feedback!

Stay tuned for more tips and ideas this summer!

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