As a music major, I am a huge advocate for incorporating music into your learning. I have seen first-hand the benefits and difference a constant music presence can make in a child’s memory skills. Music also helps with coordination, improve overall math skills and build confidence in children.
We have always had music playing for our children from the time they were infants. I play several instruments and participated in our church praise team during several pregnancies and I swear some of them were practicing their drumming skills in the womb! My children love musicals, singing and even dancing – some more than others.
But one thing remains consistent among them…they all have very good memories.
Using music as a tool for memory retention is not a new concept. In fact, rhymes have been used for hundreds of years to help people remember directions, counting, instructions for games and more. While we don’t use a formal curriculum that includes music memory, I do tend to create rhymes or rhythms as we work on sight words, math drills or even history facts. It’s just how my brain works, so I figure it will help my kids too.
Don’t believe me? Just think about those annoying commercials that get stuck in your head. Why? The jingle, rhyme or rhythm of the words are catchy and easy to remember. It’s the same for anything you want to commit to memory. Make it “catchy” enough and you’ll never forget it.
I will admit it almost comes naturally to me to create these little diddy’s, but it doesn’t for everyone. So I decided to try and find some curriculum and resources for those of you who want to add in a little musical rhythms to enhance and improve your child’s memory. Sometimes, these are great resources to help your child in a subject where they struggle, such as math.
Truth be told, anyone can create their own Music Memory system. All you need to do is gather the facts you’re trying to remember, create a rhyme or rhythm that works with it and you’re on your way. But just in case, I have gathered some great resources for you to use as well.
Grammar Songs (You Never Forget What You Sing) by Kathy Troxel – This 68-page workbook/CD combo contains 16 songs that teach grammar through lyrics and written exercises.
Grammar: Memory Boosting Mnemonic Songs by Pat Walz – Students memorize key grammar and usage rules with this collection of 20 engaging songs set to familiar tunes such as “”London Bridge”” and “”Old MacDonald.”” Includes hands-on activities and content-area connections that help students apply and extend what they’ve learned for each song. Topics covered: parts of speech, kinds of sentences, subject and predicate agreement, and more. For use with Grades 3–6.
Shurley English Grammar and Composition – This English language arts program covers grammar and composition for grades 1 thru 7. Students learn basic grammar rules through jingles, which they memorize. This program does not cover phonics, reading, spelling or literature.
History & Geography Resources
Experience Music through History: Westward Ho! The Heart of the Old West by Diana Waring – As the name of this series implies, these book and CD sets allow you to Experience History Through Music. Each title contains one book and one CD. The pages of the books hold dozens of historical pictures; bright and interesting stories connecting each of the songs to its moment in history, even sheet music and chord charts! The CDs are rousing, professional recordings that draw in all listeners. The two combine for fond memories and a grand, knee-slapping good time!
History Songs Audio CD/Book by Larry Troxel – This book/CD combination includes 11 songs teach over 100 dates and events of American history. The 24-page book also has lyrics and illustrations.
States and Capitals Songs by Larry Troxel – Sing and dance along with these catchy, fun songs that teach the names and locations of the 50 States and their capitals in geographical order. Everything is geographically connected so it is easy to follow and point on the map as you go. Sung in echo style so it is super easy and super fun! Kit includes CD and a Project Map of the USA with 172 items to label. The lyrics are on the map. Students sing the state/capital names in geographical order.
Geography Songs by Larry Troxel – Thirty-three songs teach names and locations of continents, oceans, planets and 225 countries. Illustrated workbook contains maps, lyrics, and famous landmarks.
Sue Dickson’s Songs that Teach by Sue Dickson – This set of songs covers the Preamble, the Constitution, Presidents, Inventors & Inventions and more!
Musical Math Facts Level 1 (Addition and Subtraction) by Sue Dickson – These 14 songs cover counting to 10, counting backwards, counting to 100, adding 1, 2, 3 & 4, take away nine and more!
Musical Math Facts Level 2 (Multiplication and Division) by Sue Dickson – These 13 songs cover multiplication facts for 1-12, plus a bonus 13th song.
Addition Songs: You Never Forget What You Sing by Kathy Troxel – Audio Memory puts math facts to music, singing tables in echo style. Each song is different and is repeated with a pause before answers are provided, for self-testing. Each kit includes a reproducible workbook.
Subtraction Songs: You Never Forget What You Sing by Kathy Troxel – Learn all the subtraction facts from 1-1=0 to 20-12=8 with 12 different catchy sing-along songs. Each echo style song is repeated for self testing. Reproducible songbook/workbook. Easy and fun for all! Kit consists of CD and songbook/workbook.
Multiplication Songs: You Never Forget What You Sing by Kathy Troxel – Audio Memory puts math facts to music, singing tables in echo style. Each song is different and is repeated with a pause before answers are provided, for self-testing. Each kit includes a reproducible workbook.
Division Songs: You Never Forget What You Sing by Kathy Troxel – This book/CD combination includes eleven different songs for division facts. Contains CD and student workbook.
Lyrical Life Science, Vol 1 by Doug & Dorry Eldon – This entertaining and award-winning tape and text set combines foundational scientific information with old-time traditional tunes. The songs included here are part of systematic science studies which include illustrated texts that amplify and reinforce concepts of the songs. They also include lyrics, sheet music and guitar chords for sing-alongs. This is good time listening–anywhere, anytime. You can check out Volume 2: Mammals, Ecology & Biomes here and Volume 3: The Human Body here.
Lyrical Earth Science, Vol 1: Geology by Doug & Dorry Eldon
Looking for some fun Science songs and videos? Check out these from Learning Games for Kids.
Rock ‘N Learn is a favorite music memory curriculum in our house. My kids love to listen to the funny stories and songs, because they’re learning without the effort. They have math, reading, science and more for kids preschool – upper elementary.
This site gives some great tips and ideas on how to start using music to enhance language arts and help kids remember the content.
Want some curriculum songs for every subject? Check out this site! It includes the Top 10 Curriculum songs for art & design, English, Geography, History, Math, Science and more!
This site has songs for just about everything. From a variety of subjects – math, reading, fine arts, science – to a wide range of age groups from early childhood to upper elementary.
You will find a wonderful selection of educational songs for numbers, counting, shapes, measurements, vowel sounds, sight words, telling time and much more on Education.com.
Maestro Classics has a wonderful selection of classical music perfect for elementary aged children. Grab these coordinating Lapbooks from A Journey Through Learning to bring the stories and poems to life through music.
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Annette has been married to her husband and best friend since 2003. Together they are raising their six children to follow the Lord’s will, no matter what. Annette longs for the day when she will meet her angel babies who have entered heaven before her. She enjoys creating UNIT STUDIES and FREE PRINTABLES for homeschool families. You can follow her crazy life at In All You Do where she blogs about homeschooling, homemaking and marriage while trying to maintain her sanity. She is also the owner of Thrifty Homeschoolers where she shares her tips on homeschooling without breaking the bank.