Raffi is the best-selling children’s musician ever. He has sold a LOT of records, and his influence is worldwide. There are a few important reasons why he is so popular and why he should be a part of the CD or MP3 music collection for your children.
Here are a few key reasons why you should consider adding Raffi to your music collection:
1) Raffi’s music is all about PATTERNS
Toddlers love patterns. Patterns help them to understand and to exercise a degree of control over their lives. When my 18 month old daughter covers her face and says “Willow, where are you?” she is looking for a pattern. I respond, “Willow, where are you? I can’t see you Willow.”, next she reveals her face, and I look overly surprised that she is there (she LOVES this). She hides and I can’t see her, she decides to reveal herself, and lo and behold, there she is. This is a pattern that develops a sense of being for a child (yes, I am gone when I am hiding, but I can appear when I choose to and people will acknowledge this).
Math and language are also all about patterns. Jump counting leads to adding and multiplying (as groups of ‘jumps’). Next, subtracting and dividing. Patterns in stories lead to an understanding about how text works, then prediction and understanding, and finally connecting text to self.
Rhyming is also a form of patterning, and a precursor to language development in children. Patterning helps children to learn word-families and prefixes and suffixes and to learn to invent words. All of these skills are crucial to early language development.
Raffi is wonderful because his music is filled with patterns. He incorporates repetition of story lines and sequencing of numbers all throughout his music. Even the simple timing that he uses in his music reinforces patterning and repetition.
2) Raffi’s music is FUN
I loved Raffi as a kid. My three favourite songs were: Mr. Sun, Brush Your Teeth, and Aikendrum. All of these songs were filled with patterns (as I realise now) and were fun to sing. I also loved “I Wonder If I’m Growing” at about three years of age because I could ‘relate’ to it. It was on my vibe. Cool stuff for a kid. I would play this record over and over again.
As an adult, I also appreciate the fun in his music. I actually enjoy singing along to these songs and performing the actions that go with many of them. Kinda like Sesame Street, there is enough to keep adults and children alike, having fun and engaging together.
If you have never listened to Raffi with your young one, I highly recommend it. He is the best-selling children’s artist in the world for a good reason; his music is fun, sounds great, and is educational. If you do already listen to Raffi, consider buying more albums. Quite simply, Raffi is terrific!
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