"Big kids and adults who play an instrument or participate in sports know they need to practice daily to improve. Even when repetitive practice feels a lot like hard work, they do it in their quest to improve. Amazingly, very young children embrace repetition in their quest to learn as well. For them it feels like fun and games when they ask to listen to a favorite song, book, or movie over and over again, but with each repetition they are learning.
Because repetition is fun for young children and a key to their learning process, we make a point to repeat songs in class from week to week. We typically include 2 or 3 new songs each week, with the remaining songs repeated from the prior week. By swapping out a few songs each week, we slowly make our way through all the songs included on the current CD.
One of my favorite analogies regarding the importance of repetition is as follows:
“When you create a memory, a pathway is created between your brain cells. It is like clearing a path through a dense forest. The first time that you do it, you have to fight your way through the undergrowth. If you don't travel that path again, very quickly it will become overgrown and you may not even realize that you have been down that path. If however, you travel along that path before it begins to grow over, you will find it easier than your first journey along that way.
Successive journeys down that path mean that eventually your track will turn into a footpath, which will turn into a lane, which will turn into a road, and into a motorway and so on. It is the same with your memory: the more times that you repeat patterns of thought, for example when learning new information, the more likely you will be able to recall that information.
So repetition is a key part of learning.” - Michael Tipper, "Why Repetition is Important," Happy Child International, www.happychild.org
-Rob Sayer, The Music Class, Inc.