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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduction  3 it possible for you to add the joy and energy of music to movement experiences without the effort of first having to locate appropriate music. The songs that are part of this program are entirely original, having been written specifically for the activities they accompany. They expose the children to both electronic and acoustic instruments and to as many musical elements as we could manage to include. I believe in variety, and variety is what this music offers the children (and you)! Benefits of Moving & Learning Movement experiences in general—and in Early Elementary Children Moving & Learning specifically—have many benefits for children. They exercise the whole body, including the mind, and not just the muscles; they create a love of movement that should develop into a lifetime desire for physical fitness; and their success-oriented philosophy provides numerous opportunities for learn- ing, participating, and enjoying. The following are some of their more specific benefits. Physical Development Perhaps the simplest and most important reason children should be allowed and encouraged to move is to develop movement skills. Although it is commonly believed children automatically acquire motor skills as their bodies develop, maturation only means that children will be able to execute most movement skills at a low performance level. Continuous prac- tice and instruction are needed if the performance level and movement rep- ertoire are to increase (Gallahue and Cleland Donnelly 2003). In other words, once a child is able to creep and walk, gross-motor skills should be taught—just as other abilities are taught. Furthermore, special attention should be paid to children demonstrating gross-motor delays, as such delays will not simply disappear over time. As Linda Carson explains, families and teachers “would not advocate learn- ing to read or communicate by having their children enter a ‘gross cognitive COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL