AMES–For more than 20 years, two-time GRAMMY nominee Justin Roberts has been creating music helping families and children navigate the joys and sorrows of growing up. Roberts’ visit to Northwood Preschool Center Friday, Jan. 29 kept his young audience engaged and entertained while they practiced the essential elements of music learning.

Principal Brandon Schrauth said music learning is an important part of the preschool experience, and he invited Roberts because he is a master at integrating learning standards into his concerts.

A former preschool teacher, Roberts said the interactive aspects of his concerts naturally meet the learning goals for young children.

“It’s so important for children to experience music as part of their learning,” he said. “It helps with brain development and function, and supports and enriches foundational for concepts for math, science and language.”

Regardless of such empirical benefits, Roberts said, music is something people can enjoy and appreciate throughout their lives.

Hendrix Baumgartner, age 5, is on track for a lifetime of music enjoyment. He said he liked the concert from beginning to end.

“I learned my voice is an instrument I always have with me, and my hands are a drum,” he said. “I liked the last song best because we got to dance.”

The Iowa Learning Standards for music, rhythm and movement include:

  • Participation in a variety of musical and rhythmic experiences, including singing,dancing, listening, playing simple rhythmic and tonal instruments, and creating and singing chants, rhymes, and fingerplays from diverse cultures.
  • Demonstrating meaningful creative responses when listening to music to reflect the expressive elements of music.notices differences in pitch, rhythm, patterns, dynamics, tempo, and timbre.
  • Demonstrating an awareness of music as part of daily life indoors and outdoors.