Thursday, April 1, 2010

Music and Memory

If you work with children, then you are already aware of the power of music to enhance the recall of materials presented. Just look at the ABC song. How many of you learned your ABC's by singing them? How many of you still sing through the ABC song in your head when you are alphabetizing something?

As a child, I learned not only my ABC's with song, but also the months of the year, how many days are in each month, books of the Bible, days of the week, etc. When I begin to sing these songs in my head, I'm amazed at the amount of recall I have after many, many years!! 

I frequently use music to enhance memory during my sessions and even compose little ditties when working on new objectives. One of the ditties that I've used for many years is the one I wrote to teach my own children when they were quite small, how to spell their first names. Both of my children have seven letters in their first name, so it fit with both. The ditty can be changed to accommodate longer or shorter names - as seen in the second song.

I've added guitar chords, in case you want to play along as you sing it!

Of course, the key to making these melodies and the associated content stick is to repeat it frequently. Fortunately, children love to sing familiar melodies over and over!


  1. I love this post. =) Thank you so much for this. We use musical cues with my daughter, Jaimie. I'm going to link to this post from my own blog because I think this is valuable info.


  2. Thanks Chynna and thanks for linking!

  3. I want to know how you made the printout of those musical notes!!! I love the name song idea too!

  4. Thanks Pamelela, love your site and the info u share. I think I'm a music therapist/preschool teacher wearing a nurses hat. Found u via Deborah's Twitter teachpreschool, r u on twitter?
    Check out my fun health songs and more 4 kids, think u will like. Sincerely for healthy Kids,

  5. Hi Deborah - I have an ancient music program called Music Pinter Plus that allows me to write music and print it in pdf. Glad you like the name song!

  6. Dawn - glad you found my site! I am not on Twitter yet - learning to tweet is on my list of things to do! Thanks for sending your website too.