March 23, 2022 by admin 0 Comments

Growing Big Hearts with Noggin’s Big Heart Beats Album

Noggin’s Big Heart Beats Album is a lineup of catchy songs  — all available on the Big Heart World website — that are intended to help children (and grown-ups) grow big hearts. The songs, which deal with themes like identity, friendship, and helping others, can be played for fun or built into social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculums. 

“When we considered how best to introduce SEL concepts and themes to kids, we immediately gravitated toward music,” said Sean Farrell, who leads Noggin’s original content development. “We wanted to create music and songs that families would happily roll down the windows of their car and turn up their speakers or play in the family room and dance together.”

The Link Between Music and SEL

Music — singing and making music and moving to music — with children naturally supports the development of important social and emotional skills, including self-confidence; self-regulation; and interpersonal/social skills like sharing, turn taking, cooperating with others and solving problems together.

  • Newborns are able to identify rhythms and melodies heard in the womb
  • Music creates social connections between grown-ups and children
  • Children as young as 3 can notice emotions in songs. They can notice feelings in clips that are just 0.5 seconds long!
  • Music instruction has been shown to increase self-regulation skills

“There is powerful research from leading scholars on the value of music in creating a healthier and more flexible brain, and in laying the foundation for learning,” said Michael Levine, director of Learning and Impact at Noggin. “The use of music both recreationally and in educational settings helps create cognitive flexibility and enhances other multi-sensory literacies that are critical to help children compete and cooperate in a global community.”

Using Big Heart Beats Album to Grow Big Hearts

Julia Levy, the producer of the Big Heart World social and emotional learning initiative, joined with the team at Noggin on March 23, 2022 at the AFT / Share My Lesson virtual conference to share tips on how to use the Big Heart Beats Album and music and movement generally to support social and emotional learning.

“Music is a powerful tool that educators can use to engage children’s minds and bodies in new ways, introducing and reinforcing important ideas and growing kids’ big hearts,” Levy said.

Big Heart World released a learning guide that educators and parents can use to explore the Big Heart Beats album and use the songs to support children’s social and emotional learning.

Learn From the Artists: Music Grows SEL Skills
Artists behind Noggin’s Big Heart Beats Album — Chris Sernel (Oh, Hush!), Alex Geringas, and Wil Fuller — shared how music helps grown-ups and children develop social emotional skills. You can listen to their songs here.
“Music can absolutely help kids to process, comprehend, and feel their emotions,” said Sernel. Watch the whole interview here!
Learn from the Artists: What Does Growing Big Hearts Mean?

Alex Geringas and Wil Fuller; Flor de Toloache; and Chris Sernel (Oh, Hush!) discuss what growing “big hearts” means to them. Listen to their songs here.

Learn from the Artists: Creating "Real" Music With Toys
Chris Sernel (Oh, Hush!) explains how his 3- and 5-year-old daughters inspired him to create “How You Feel,” one of the songs in Noggin’s Big Heart Beats Album. He created the song using his children’s toy instruments! Hear him talk about his inspiration and demonstrate using toys to create something amazing.
Big Heart Beats Album Learning Guide
The Big Heart World team created a learning guide to help educators and parents learn from the songs and find some ways to incorporate them into playful social and emotional learning lessons. 

March 8, 2022 by admin 0 Comments

You’re Invited to an #SELday Dance Party!

SEL Day — March 11, 2022 — is a day dedicated to celebrating social and emotional education, a topic near and dear to our heart here at Big Heart World! We’re partnering with our friends at SEL4Us to give our friends a chance to show their support for growing big hearts through dance. 

Music and movement supports children’s social and emotional development and this is a great moment for all of us to show our support for growing big hearted kids!
We hope that you — and the families you work with — will dance your way into this special day with us with a social media dance party. This is a party where everyone is invited. No special dance moves necessary. In fact, it’s best if you DO dance to your own beat! 
Dance With Us!
  1. Play “I Love Myself” from Noggin’s Big Heart Beats Album. (Here it is on Spotify or on the Big Heart World site.)
  2. Dance and record!
  3. Share a short video on your favorite social media site between now and 3/11/22 and tag #SELday and #BigHeartWorld.

If you need help making your video, just reach out and we’ll help you put it together!


We can’t wait to dance with you this week!

Do you want to learn more about social and emotional learning? We encourage you to check out our new SEL infographic

March 7, 2022 by Julia Levy 0 Comments

What is Social and Emotional Learning?

Two years into the pandemic, my second grader told me he’d like to plan a playdate with a friend from school. A minute later he asked, “But what do kids DO when they go over to each other’s apartments?” For us, pandemic life is now “normal” and the regular parts of growing up — from hugs to playdates — are not. And, as a parent, I join parents around the world wondering what the long-term impact of these years will be on my own children and how we can help kids bounce back from this time. 

During the pandemic, children missed out on many parts of “normal” life. For most parents, the top worry is their children’s exposure to a broad group of skills called “social and emotional development.” Skipping two years of play dates, for example, has ME worried about my child’s ability to relate to others, work together, and solve problems as a team. 

At the start of the 2021-22 school year, six in ten U.S. parents said their top concern for the coming school year is their child’s social and emotional wellness, about double the percentage of parents who voiced concerns about their children’s academic learning (source). 

So, what is social and emotional development? Why does it matter? And how can educators and parents prioritize it right now? Learn more in our new infographic about social and emotional learning. 

Big Heart SEL InfoGraphic (800 x 2800 px)

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Emma DornBryan HancockJimmy Sarakatsannis, and Ellen Viruleg. COVID-19 and education: The lingering effects of unfinished learning. McKinsey & Company, July 27, 2021. 

Joseph Drulak, Roger Weissberg, Allison B. Dymincki and Rebecca Taylor, and Kriston B. Schellinger. The Impact of Enhancing Students’ Social and Emotional Learning: An Analysis of School-Based Universal Interventions. Child Development, January/February 2011.)

Susan D. Hillis et al. COVID-19-Associated Orphanhood and Caregiver Death in the United States. Pediatrics, December 1, 2021.

Damon E. JonesMark Greenberg, and Max Crowley. Early Social-Emotional Functioning and Public Health: The Relationship Between Kindergarten Social Competence and Future Wellness. American Journal of Public Health, October, 2015.

Stephanie M. Jones, Emily J. Doolittle et al. The Future of Children. Social and Emotional Learning. Princeton, Brookings, Volume 27, Number 1, Spring 2017.

McGraw Hill 2021 SEL Survey. 2021 Social and Emotional Learning Report. McGraw Hill, 2021.

Vivek H. Murthy, M.D., M.B.A. U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory: Protecting Youth Mental Health. December, 2021.

National Scientific Council on the Developing Child.  Establishing a Level Foundation for Life: Mental Health Begins in Early Childhood: Working Paper 6. Updated Edition, 2008/2012.

Paul Terefenko. Q&A With Paul Tough: Environment Matters for Student Success. EducationWeek, June 30, 2016.

Roger Weissberg. Promoting the Social and Emotional Learning of Millions of School Children. Perspectives on Psychological Science, January 18, 2019.

Roger Weissberg. Why Social and Emotional Learning is Essential for Students. Edutopia, Feb. 15, 2016.