The Power of Music for Early Language Acquisition
Music and spoken language are two sides of the same coin. Both are learned the same way, by instinct and by ear, and both appeal to young children by linking their senses with their curiosity. Having taught French to young children through my own songs for twenty-five years, I am still marveling at how naturally, quickly and efficiently language is learned through music (and its close relatives: dance, mime, and visual images), and how these areas combine to create a world of discovery and wonder. This is exactly what my songs are about, and why they are so popular and infectious with the kids (and their parents!)
Foreign language acquisition has become a cornerstone of children's education in our world, resulting in a huge demand for creative, ever-evolving programs. Children change constantly, and require a pedagogical approach that adapts to their needs. From nine months of age to four years of age, my program connects at the deepest level with a child's natural love of singing, dancing and playing, thereby making my students better talkers and listeners, smarter thinkers, and happier players and peers. There is power in notes, and learning French has never been this easy or fun!
About Muriel's Songs
My songs are original compositions about everyday themes of childhood interest, such as animals, colors, numbers, parts of the body, clothing, toys, food, seasons, and more... Melodies, rhythms and sounds effects are carefully orchestrated in order to illustrate the song's meaning and style. I interpret them on the CDs.
Classes are organized into playgroups. The multimedia approach was conceived to offer both structured and play activities at the same time. Original French songs and traditional comptines are taught through dance, mime, puppets, musical instruments, storytelling and art activities. Humorous props and colorful illustrations are systematically used in order to help children associate French words with the action of the songs. The constant flow of singing and play are never interrupted, allowing children to immerse themselves naturally into French language. All activities are age-appropriate. There is no English spoken during class: Muriel leads by example.
A Child-Centered Method
I have carefully observed children during class or in playgrounds. I have paid close attention to their behavior and conversations, all of which has offered me great insight into their worlds. While I am with them, lyrics and melodies naturally come to me. This is how I feel, hear and compose songs, using my own voice and the inspiration which children give me. I consider it an essential part of my practice to implement a "child-centered" method where children are encouraged to fully live "their" song. Thus, children will find in me a teacher, an artist, but also a friend, as the "child in me" is always alive.