Okay, raise your hand
if you learned the ABC Song when you were little.
Now keep your hand
up if you learned it before you even knew your letters (trust me, you
most likely did, so keep your hand up). Now put your hand down if
you've ever forgotten the ABC Song
Your hand's still up, isn't it?
That, in a nutshell, is the magic of music and literacy. It makes
sounds and words into patterns so our brains can remember them.
Simply put, music powers the young brain.
Singing with a child connects neural pathways and increases the
ability to retain information. In other words, it builds memory. Music
builds a strong sense of rhythm, which leads to a better ability to
understand and produce language. Singing develops spatial reasoning
which allows children to recognize patterns and later helps in
problem-solving. Songs are rich in vocabulary and by nature build
I'm Nancy Stewart, and this site reflects my desire to share the
knowledge I've gained over my decades as a composer and performer of
children's music; but I also wanted to develop ways for parents,
family members, and teachers to harness this power for themselves.
"Sing With Our Kids" is really two
It's a combination of both this website, and a nine month-long project
within my own community of Mercer Island, Washington where I will be
able to fine-tune and develop ideas and techniques. Everything that
happens between now and the end of summer 2014 with real families during the
project will be documented and woven into the information already on
the website. In this way, it will be a living growing resource.
end of summer 2014 this site will reflect what we've all learned together
and will continue to grow as more people contribute their experiences.
If you live in the Seattle area, I invite you to attend any of the events and
programs, all of which will be free. And wherever you live in the
world, you’ll be able to follow the project on my
and use all of the ideas, songs, and materials generated to help
children within your own family and community develop early learning
skills as you sing with your kids!
- Nancy Stewart
Follow the project on my
I got the idea to make a live pilot project part of this website’s
resources, I realized my own community would provide the perfect
“laboratory!” Mercer Island is geographically small, but has a
library, book store, twenty-some preschools and daycares, three
elementary schools, numerous churches and synagogues, two retail
business districts, and lots and lots of parks! We raised our
children here, and I have sung with children who are now parents.
Their children’s grandparents are my peers, and my friends. So we are
already connected. I look forward to getting to know my own
community in a whole new way, and giving you songs, ideas, and tools
to do the same!