Music, Movement & Magination, Inc.® (MMMKids) is dedicated to educating young children using fun, innovative music and comprehensive curriculum materials all of which are based on national standards for early education. We believe using an integrated educational approach provides children the opportunity to be fully involved in their learning experience while at the same time providing a foundation for academic success. Combining our expertise and experience in curriculum design closely with our musical experts, we have designed our proprietary instructional Program. Our research-based Program provides strategic use of our original music, prescribed movements, supporting visual aids, and activities. We provide all the research-based, in-classroom materials and training which are needed for teachers to leverage the MMM Program’s instructional approach and philosophy to engage students, increase literacy, build academic vocabulary, support language and reading fluency, and trigger brain development with young learners.
Our unique, proprietary, sustainable products and tools assist educators and parents in creating fun, meaningful and appropriate learning experiences for children. Each MMMKids theme-based classroom Supplemental Curriculum Kit includes a Teacher Resource Manual with 18 lessons, corresponding 20-song Music CD, and Companion Data CD containing hundreds of visual aids, manipulatives, activity pages, and other resources. In addition to this classroom component, MMMKids provides an engaging parent/home connection component for linking the parent to classroom instruction, which enables parents to be more involved with their child’s learning.
Incorporated in 2004, Music, Movement, & Magination, Inc.® is founded on solid business practice. MMMKids maintains a positive reputation in the community, is fully insured, and serves as a member to a variety of professional organizations. While MMM is a relatively new contributor in curriculum design, the principal developers and owners build on extensive experience in education, professional development, music, and business.
Research-Based Methodology of Instructional Practice
• MMM’s curriculum, learning design and products incorporate all domains of healthy child development.
• Brain Development – Music, movement, visual aids and manipulatives, unlike many other teaching methods, have the ability to trigger synaptic connections among all areas of the brain. The brain stem is triggered through the underlying beat of the music as it matches the internal rhythms of heart rate and respiration. The mid-brain/diencephalon is triggered by the natural response of movement to music, especially when simple movements are tied to learning concepts. The limbic portions of the brain are triggered by one’s normal emotive response to music which in turn allows for increased engagement in learning. Lastly, the cortex and neo-cortex are stimulated by the use of standards based music introduced through interactive dialogue and reinforced by visual aids and manipulatives.
• Cognitive/Language Development – The MMM Program facilitates solid cognitive development and critical language acquisition skills. The Program has the capacity to meet learners who often are at differing cognitive states (i.e. Magical Thinkers vs. Concrete Thinkers). Phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension are all key components of the Program.
• Social Development – The MMM Program is designed to encourage interactive play and learning. Social skills are enhanced through the MMM lessons, thus preparing children for future interactive environments and social connections.
• Emotional Development – Encouraging a healthy self-esteem and building confidence are embedded in all MMM Materials. Furthermore, the MMM Program allows children outlets for expression and simple risk taking that facilitates impulse control, positive interactions and a positive self-concept.
• Physical Development – The MMM Program is designed to channel a child’s natural propensity for activity into structured play allowing children to refine fine and gross motor skills while encouraging development of rhythm and overall coordination.
• MMM’s products have been empirically proven to enhance literacy.
A recent qualitative study conducted through California State University at San Marcos looked at the effects of music and movement on the literacy development of young children. Using Music, Movement & Magination’s ABC’s & Much More, researchers compared reading fluency with that of a teacher-directed read-aloud environment. The participants in this study were chosen from a convenience sample within first grade classrooms in a suburban area of Southern California. The sample controlled for gender, race, reading level, and English Language Learners. The research concluded that the group involved in the music and movement based curriculum (Music, Movement & Magination’s ABC’s & Much More) displayed a higher growth and improvement in their reading fluency scores compared to those students involved in the teacher-directed read-aloud program. One hundred percent of the students in the music and movement treatment group showed marked improvement, while only 55 percent of the students in the teacher read-aloud curriculum program showed progress; the remaining 45 percent showed virtually none or even a regression in skills. (Andrea Villegas, MEd.; 2008)
In conclusion, the students who were involved in the highly-enriched Music, Movement & Magination curriculum displayed a higher increase in reading fluency scores, showing that those students involved in the music and movement curriculum program were able to read more accurately and with greater speed than those in the standard teacher directed read-aloud curriculum program.
MMM’s Program is aligned to the National Reading Panel’s Big 5 Ideas in early literacy as measured by DIBELS.
1. Phonemic Awareness – Rhyming and alliteration are natural components in music lyrics thus providing a natural link to greater phonemic awareness. MMM’s vast collection of sub-titled visual aids also help children connect the fundamental mapping of speech to print. Specifically, skills such as letter sounds and letter blending are directly addressed in ABC’s & Much More Thematic Unit.
2. Alphabetic Principle – MMM’s products also promote alphabetic understanding helping children learn that words are composed of letters that represent sounds. The sub-titled visual aids and manipulatives are a key component for developing word recognition along with MMM’s ABC’s & Much More Thematic Unit.
3. Accuracy and Fluency – The innate rhythm and tambour of music can be directly connected to the rhythm and prosody of reading fluency. Research discussed above clearly indicates the benefits of MMM’s program used in a first grade multi-cultural classroom in increasing fluency in students.
4. Vocabulary – Enhancing vocabulary through music is a proven strategy. MMM’s strategic process of interactive dialogue when introducing new concepts and vocabulary coupled with the reinforcement of visual aids and manipulatives creates the foundation for children to attach meaning to the lyrics sung in MMM’s standards based songs. Furthermore, paired movements allow for greater comprehension and retention of vocabulary.
5. Comprehension – Greater comprehension is the overall result of MMM’s multi-faceted creative approach. Again the process of interactive dialogue, music, and movement with visual aids and manipulatives allows for students to construct meaning. Furthermore, the MMM Program enables powerful student engagement and stimulated interest necessary for successful comprehension.
• MMM meets Educational Standards.
MMM’s products align with Common Core and state educational standards and have been correlated by lesson to these standards. During the development of our music, curricula and supporting products, educational standards are the foundation for each and every component.
• MMM’s instructional philosophy and services support the Response to Intervention (RTI) initiative.
Music, Movement, & Magination’s Early Literacy Supplemental Program is standards based and provides high quality first instruction with appropriate social, emotional and community-oriented support for all students in Tier I of a Response to Intervention model. Because the MMM Products are comprehensive in nature our Program can serve as a curriculum enhancement for acceleration within the core curriculum.
With its modular design, MMM materials can also be utilized for the supplemental cycle of Tier II, to provide additional learning opportunities for Tier II students. Research supports being responsive to each student’s style of learning – visual, auditory or kinesthetic. The structure of each MMM lesson allows the students in Tiers I and II of RTI to respond to new concepts by using their primary learning style to process the information while engaging in activities that incorporate all three learning styles. Additionally, MMM’s program offers a multitude of materials (visuals, manipulatives, activities, etc.) that can be utilized to meet the additional needs of Tier I and II students.
The MMM Program is designed with three learning levels: Bright Beginners, Magical Minds and Super Smarties so that children can be placed at a level equivalent to their abilities. Our Program allows the flexibility for teachers so they can adapt their instructional approach to meets students’ needs in all three RTI tiers. Lastly, family and community engagement are critical strategies for increasing student understanding. MMM’s Home Connection Kits can serve as additional reinforcement for all students in all RTI Tiers.