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‘To make pre-primary kids learn, collaborate! Don’t instruct’

Music and Movement educator at Apeejay Rhythms, Sreemoyee Gangopadhyay explains how experiential learning with sounds is the quickest way to help children absorb new concepts

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Specialising in Linguistics, Odissi Classical Dance and Hindustani Vocals, Ms. Sreemoyee Gangopadhyay (31), an educator at Apeejay Rhythms Kinderworld, Greater Kailash-II, has been training children of 2 to 6 years. In her classes, she encourages them to showcase gestures, speeches, sounds, and body movements to express themselves. Why so? She shares in an interview, Read On:

How is music and learning interlinked? Is it helpful in making pre-primary kids learn?

Art is integrated with the school curriculum at Apeejay Rhythms. For pre-primary children, anything becomes attractive or attention-worthy owing to its colour, symbol or sound. They learn through interactive patterns, rhythms and rhymes. That is why, Music and Movement is an effective way to make them learn smartly. They have a tendency to lose their attention span easily and in order to sustain it, tapping, dancing, clicking, and clapping, etc., become effective tools of learning. They stimulate their curiosity, and thus, we can tap into their inquisitiveness.

What is the quickest way to build trust with the little ones?

Like-mindedness. If you share common interests with a child, s/he would feel that you are on the same page with them.  

During Covid-19, many children have become shy or reserved. How can they be helped?

The pandemic has been a lesson for parents and educators that foundational years are very crucial for children. In this time, most children have faced an issue with communication because they have not got a chance to express themselves in front of anyone other than their family. For a 2 to 3 year-old, seeing so many new faces and adjusting to them has become difficult. Lack of exposure has impeded their ability to express because they have missed out on peer-to-peer contact. Parents can help their children by allowing them more space to interact with others of a similar age group.  

Could you tell us some easy ways to engage children?

If you have a utensil or any object around you, use it to make a sound. This helps kids understand that beyond speech, there are many things that they should pay attention to. Children are often very perceptive towards hand gestures, body movements, posture, facial expressions and emotions. It would interest you to know that if a parent is acting distant, a child would immediately pick it up.

My suggestion is to try to engage their five senses in any activity you do. For example, you know that the child loves a certain colour and an object, such as a ‘pink flower’ – you may use these keywords in your sentences, in different combinations such as a pink chair or flowerpot, etc., so that they become immediately interested and attentive.

In Music and Movements, we teach them to make sounds of different animals, name them so that they are able to associate with it. This technique of forming associations works wonders.  

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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