Spotlight on the NEW Sing & Play for 1s and 2s…. Please bring your young toddler for some special time together :)

August 17, 2013 at 12:29 am | Posted in Babies, Children's Music, Dancing, emergent literacy, Family, Family Support, Fathers, FREE DEMO, FUN, Gymnastics, Kindermusik, Language, Love You Forever, Mom's, Music, Music Making, Musical Instruments, Parenting, Singing, Special Needs, Whole Body, Whole Brain, Whole Child | 1 Comment
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Offered at Neighborhood Academy of Music on Tuesdays at 10:45am-11:30am for a one time registration fee of $25.00 and monthly fees of $50.00 for ease of budgeting.

Get ready to sing, play, and move with your little one in this high-energy music class designed to be just right for children under two years of age. This new Kindermusik curriculum focuses on your child’s beginning movement, helping to build the muscles your baby needs to walk, and vocal development, helping to nurture your child’s speaking and singing voice. With a mix of both parent-child joint activities and child-focused activities, you’ll be able to join right in on all the singing and dancing while also getting the chance to observe how your older baby or toddler learns on her own. Embark on Kindermusik’s fun new exploration of singing, swaying, laughing, and playing through Sing & Play, a just-right mix of early-childhood vocal play and language development, together time, and music and movement activities!

Our 4 week units will continue year round and as long as you are enrolled you will also be eligible for any Playdates or Special Occasion events at no additional cost! 🙂

Here is what to expect with your digital home materials… Similar to Cuddle &  Bounce, just a little different developmental focus.

Ebook/Reading with your baby/toddlers

Concepts/Ideas: Reading with babies, incorporating reading into your day, babies’ vision, pointing, voice inflection, routines. This activity can include baby at computer, but print-out and audio are both in Download Center for those who prefer not to bring baby to computer. Physical books available for optional buy-up by parent in the US; by educators in other countries.

Baby Talk/Communicating with your baby/toddler

Concepts/Ideas: Vocal play, language development, signing, touch, face-to-face, back-and-forth, visual expressions, mouth movements.

Video Field Trip/Listening and Watching

Concepts/Ideas: 30-45 seconds of video exploration related to theme (e.g. train, bird). This activity invites baby to computer briefly, but print-out images and audio are both in Download Center for those who prefer zero screen-time.

Movement

Concepts/Ideas: Parent-driven movement ideas. On floor w/parent on back, child on knees; tummy time ideas; rocking, holding, flying, hammocking, dancing while facing or facing away, bouncing, etc.

Fingerplay/Toe Tickle/Nursery Rhyme

Concepts/Ideas: Illustrated or video steps for a specific fingerplay, toe tickle, or nursery rhyme.

Object Play/Props

Concepts/Ideas: Featuring mirrors, balls, fabrics, rattles, textures, surfaces, varied environments, etc.

Routines & Rituals, Day-to-Day

Concepts/Ideas: How to make an interactive learning experience out of day-to-day activities like folding laundry, going to the grocery store, things to do during a car ride, bath time, waking up, going to sleep, meal-times, in restaurants, meeting strangers, etc.

Music

Concepts/Ideas: An activity with music front-and-center. Featuring instruments, songs, singing, steady beat, pitch, etc.

DOWNLOAD CENTER

1. Printable story
2. Printable lyrics
3. Downloadable music
4. Printable activities

Printable “activities” will contain image/s to accompany video field trip, illustrated instructions/reminders for fingerplays and other activities, and printable card reminders of activity benefits (e.g. four great ways to stimulate vestibular system, ways to vary your reading, signals that your baby is overstimulated, tips for beach play).

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Calling all Johnston County Kindergarteners!

August 23, 2009 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Art, Asian, Children's Music, Dancing, elementary, FUN, Kindermusik, Language, Music Making, Musical Instruments, School Readiness, Singing | 4 Comments
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Mom and Dad, is your kindergartener so ready to start school that you need something this week fun to do that feels a little like school? Something that has the elements of fun and games mixed with some sure to get your child ready for school activities? How about Kindermusik Adventures Around the World?

Tuesday-Friday, August 25th-28th from 8:00am-11:30am we will be exploring the music, dance, culture, games, and instruments of Japan, Germany, England, Africa, and Mexico. We will certainly have FUN as we become world travelers! Activities will include singing, dancing, storytelling, game playing, pretend play, crafts, instrument making, and food and culture exploration. Children will receive a home CD of the music we explore, a notebook of information including picture folders of activities, and songs from each country, a map placemat to help us find each country in our world, instruments and crafts from each country, and a carry bag with travel stickers and a passport to mark our journey! Materials cost is $40.00 and Tuition is $70.00 for this fun-packed time. Link here if you would like your child to join this enriching and fun week!

Dream Pillow Starts October 22nd… bring your infant to class!

October 19, 2008 at 11:21 pm | Posted in Babies, emergent literacy, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Music Together, Musical Instruments, Parenting, Singing, Village | 1 Comment
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Dream Pillow Home Materials

Dream Pillow Home Materials

Come join the fun as we begin our newest Village unit, Dream Pillow, next Wednesday, October 22nd, at 9:15am, or Monday, October 27th at 10:45am. Dream Pillow illicits images of all things special about the night: the moon, the stars, dreaming, and the nighttime rituals families enjoy on the way to a peaceful, sleeping child. This rich musical unit is filled with all of this and more. The title alone brings images of rocking, cuddling, singing, and lulling to sleep, but leading up to sleepy time are many upbeat and playful activities for parent and child to enjoy.

Babies and adults alike will swirl to a dreamy cloud dance in “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland.” They’ll also play baby appropriate instruments to “Aiken Drum,” and “Sarasponda.” Favorite nursery rhymes like “Wee Willie Winkie,” and “Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling,” are sprinkled throughout the classes. The wonderful calming voice of Arthur Joseph tells tales of his own lullabies with his children. It’s easy to weave many of the class songs and activities into your families’ daily routines.

Home Materials: A board book that calms and relaxes—Dream Pillow Lullaby, Home CD of the songs heard in class, a set of Art Banners for the nursery wall that strengthens vision and promotes early literacy, and a wooden Star baby instrument for music-making at home.

Kindermusik Village is a true bonding experience for baby and parent. The Kindermusik Village class provides a delightful environment unlike any other. Through a unique blend of multi-level activities that include creative movement, vocal play, object and instrument exploration, and a colorful literature component, baby’s growth and development are stimulated and all senses engaged.

Kindermusik Village is for lap babies, crawlers, and walkers. It incorporates the most current research on early childhood development and provides families a special place for learning and connecting with other parents and babies through music and movement. For your convenience, we offer online registration.

Come dream a little dream with me……………

Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton OPEN HOUSE and DEMO DAYS events!

August 11, 2008 at 7:05 am | Posted in Babies, books, Children's Music, enroll, FREE DEMO, FUN, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Music Together, Musical Instruments, Singing | Leave a comment
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Nothing lights up little faces like the songs, sounds, and activities in a Kindermusik class. Come and try one for yourself at DEMO DAYS, our upcoming OPEN HOUSE and OPEN REGISTRATION at Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton in the Riverwood Cultural Arts Center. We are holding our OPEN HOUSE in conjunction with a worldwide Demo Days event occurring August 2nd through 17th in Kindermusik studios from Australia to Hong Kong, from South Africa to The Netherlands and from Maine to California! Our goal is to bring the joy of Kindermusik to as many children as we possibly can. Come and be part of the fun in our lovely studio! On Saturday, August 16th from 10:00-noon and 1:00-3:00 pm the studio will be open for you to try out a Kindermusik class, check out the home materials we will be using for this fall semesters classes and register for your choice of classes. Register at our Demo Days event and take home a Kindermusik “Get Up and Move” CD plus $10.00 off your registration fee! We have Kindermusik classes for children 6 weeks through 7 years. As always we offer sibling discounts, our traditional core curricula or family style classes, and monthly payments.
 
Demos are scheduled at 10:00-10:30am and at 1:00-1:30pm. Reservations are requested to provide the best experiance for you and your child. If we fill these two demos we will add two more immediately following. You may place your reservation by calling 359-0022 or 359-3473 or emailing us at kmclayton@mindspring.com by Friday morning August 15th. 

 

Hope to see you there!

Kindermusik ~ Seven Magnificent Years!

July 29, 2008 at 7:58 am | Posted in Babies, Children's Music, FUN, Imagine That, Kindermusik, Kindermusik for the Young Child, Music, Music Making, Music Together, Musical Instruments, Our Time, Singing, Village | Leave a comment
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Here is a video compilation of the Seven Magnificent Years of Kindermusik’s core curricula all recorded in classes at my studio. Enjoy!

Music Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View

July 20, 2008 at 11:20 pm | Posted in Children's Music, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Musical Instruments, Parenting, Singing | 15 Comments
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Make-up Music Lessons from an Economist’s Point of View
By Vicky Barham, Ph. D.
I’m a parent of children enrolled in Suzuki music lessons. I’d like
to explain to other parents why I feel – quite strongly, actually –
that it is unreasonable of we parents to expect our teachers to make
up lessons we miss, even if I know as well as they do just how
expensive lessons are, and, equally importantly, how important that
weekly contact is with the teacher to keeping practising ticking
along smoothly. I think that it is natural for we parents to share
the point of view that students should have their missed lessons
rescheduled, but if we were to ‘walk a mile’ in our teachers’ shoes,
we might change our minds about what it is reasonable for us to
expect of our teachers.

Like many parents, I pay in advance for lessons each term. In my
mind, what this means is that I have reserved a regular spot in the
busy schedules of my sons’ teachers. I understand – fully – that if I
can’t make it to the lesson one week (perhaps my son is sick, or we
are away on holiday, or there is some other major event at school)
then we will pay for the lesson, but that my teacher is under no
obligation to find another spot for me that week, or to refund me for
the untaught lesson. And this is the way it should be.

In my ‘other life’ I am an economist and teach at our local
university. Students pay good money to attend classes at the
university; but if they don’t come to my lecture on a Monday morning,
then I am not going to turn around and deliver them a private
tutorial on Tuesday afternoon. When I go to the store and buy
groceries, I may purchase something that doesn’t get used. Days or
months later, I end up throwing it out. I don’t get a refund from the
grocery store for the unused merchandise. If I sign my child up for
swimming lessons at the local pool, and s/he refuses to return after
the first lesson, I can’t get my money back. So there are lots of
situations in our everyday lives where we regularly pay in advance
for goods or some service, and if we end up not using what we have
purchased, we have to just ‘swallow our losses’. On the other hand,
if I purchase an item of clothing, and get home and change my mind, I
can take it back and expect either a refund or a store credit.

So why do I believe that music lessons fall into the first category of
‘non-returnable merchandise’, rather than into the second case
of ‘exchange privileges unlimited’ (which I think is one of the
advertising slogans of an established women’s clothing store!)?
Speaking now as an economist, I would claim that the reason is that
items like clothing are “durable goods’ – meaning, they can be
returned and then resold at the original price – whereas music
lessons are non-durable goods – meaning, once my Monday slot at 3:30
is gone, my son’s teacher can’t turn around and sell it again. The
only way she would be able to give him a lesson later in the week
would be if she were to give up time that she had scheduled for her
own private life; and that seems pretty unreasonable – I can’t think
of many employees who would be thrilled if their bosses were to
announce that they couldn’t work from 3:30 to 4:30 this afternoon,
but would they please stay until 6:30 on Thursday, because there will
be work for them then!

Many teachers hesitate to refuse our request to shift lesson times
(because our busy schedules *do* change), because unless they keep us
parents happy, we will decide to take our child somewhere else for
lessons (or to drop musical study), and they will lose part of their
income. This is particularly true in areas with lower average income,
where it can be particularly difficult to find students. So rather
than telling us that ‘well, actually, the only time when I’m not
teaching and that you can bring your son for lesson is during the
time I set aside each week to go for a long soul-cleansing walk, and
I *can’t* do that on Monday at 3:30 when you should have turned up’,
they agree to teach us at a time that really doesn’t suit their
schedule. Teachers who are ‘nice’ in this way often, in the long run,
end up exhausted, and feeling exploited; they try to draw a line in
the sand. However, too few parents ask to switch only when absolutely
necessary, and too many parents want lesson times when it suits them
this week, which is not the same time that suited last week. The only
time that I would feel entitled to discuss shifting a lesson time is
if the reason I can’t make the lesson is because (i) I have to do
something for the Suzuki school and the only time at which that other
event can happen is during my lesson time; (ii) my teacher were to
ask us to participate in some other activity (e.g., orchestra, etc.)
and that other activity were to create the conflict. If the conflict
arises because my child is in the School play, and they have their
dress-rehearsal during his lesson time, then I feel that I must
choose between the two activities, and if he attends the dress
rehearsal my private lesson teacher doesn’t owe me anything.

During May, my eldest son will be missing three lessons because he is
going to accompany me on a trip to New Zealand to visit his great-
grandparents. I do not expect my son’s teacher to refund me for those
missed lessons, or to reschedule them by ‘doubling up’ lessons in the
weeks before or after our departure. Since there will be lots of
advanced notice, I might ask her to consider preparing a
special ‘practice tape’ for that period, or to answer my questions
via e-mail, but if she doesn’t have the time (the second half of
April is going to be really busy for her, and she wouldn’t be able to
do the tape until more or less the week we left) and so has to
refuse, then that’s fine. I certainly don’t expect her to credit me
with three make-up lessons; there is no way for her to find a student
to fill a three-week hole in her schedule during our absence.
Instead, I hope that she will enjoy the extra hour of rest during
those three weeks, and that we will all feel renewed enthusiasm when
we return to lessons at the end of the trip.

Article Copyright © 2001Vicky Barham

Vicky Barham, Ph. D., is the mother of two children who are enrolled
in Suzuki music lessons in Canada. She also teaches Economics at the
University of Ottawa. The TMTA webmasters became acquainted with Dr.
Barham through the Internet and were so impressed with her sound and
logical expressions about music teaching that we asked permission to
publish her ideas for all to share. Her ideas are expressed in two
articles on this website. The article on make-up lessons may be
printed and distributed to others as long as you do not charge any
fee for the article and as long as you give Dr. Barham credit for the
article. Thank you to Dr. Barham for so generously sharing her
expertise with us.

Kindermusik Fall 2008 Semester at Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton

July 18, 2008 at 1:17 am | Posted in Babies, Children's Music, Family, FUN, Imagine That, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Music Together, Musical Instruments, Our Time, Sign & Sing, Singing | 1 Comment
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Fall Semester begins September 2, 2008 at Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton
Check out our Kindermusik Curricula Descriptions below
and please visit our
Website for the Schedule and Registration information.

Village (newborn to 1 ½ years)

Zoom Buggy Home Materials

Zoom Buggy Home Materials

Zoom  Buggy!—Swoosh, vroom, and clickety-clack your way through this delightful unit. Babies and adults will dance, sing, and play instruments to the theme of being on the go. Chug around the room to the song “Little Red Caboose,” hold on tightly while “Riding in the Buggy,” and dance your way to “Zoom-e-oh!”  Engage in rituals and playful activities such as infant massage, lap bounces, exercise, and quiet time.

Home Materials: Colorful board book—Zoom Buggy, Home CD of the songs heard in class, two Art Banners, and a baby instrument for music-making at home.

 

Dream Pillow Home Materials

Dream Pillow Home Materials

Dream Pillow—This title alone brings images of rocking, cuddling, singing, and lulling to sleep.  But leading up to sleepy time are many upbeat and playful activities.  Babies and Adults will swirl to a dreamy cloud dance “Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland.” They’ll also play baby appropriate instruments to “Aiken Drum,” and “Sarasponda.” Favorite nursery rhymes like “Wee Willie Winkie,” and “Diddle, Diddle, Dumpling,” are sprinkled throughout the classes. It’s easy to weave many of the class songs and activities into your families’ daily routines. Home Materials: Board book that calms and relaxes—Dream Pillow Lullaby, Home CD of the songs heard in class, two Art Banners, and a baby instrument for music-making at home.

Our Time (1 ½ years to 3 years)

Milk & Cookies Home Materials

Milk & Cookies Home Materials

Milk & Cookies makes everyday home activities and chores easier and more fun with music! Cook and sing to “The Muffin Man”; dust and clean to the original song “In My House”; get ready to wash clothes to the delightful poem “Washing Machine”. Baking cookies, eating cupcakes, blowing on hot cross buns, wiggling like jelly, going grocery shopping and making tea are all represented in familiar as well as new songs. Move, play, and sing together in developmentally appropriate activities created just for 1 ½ to 3-year-olds. Capture the familiar and new moments of the day and learn how music can impact your toddler.
Home Materials: Two Books—At My House and Cookies, Two Home CDs, Stir Xylophone instrument, and a Home Activity Book—all arriving in a durable lunch bag.

Imagine That! (3.5 years to 5 years)

Hello Weather Home Materials
Hello Weather Home Materials

Hello Weather! Let’s Play Together!—sunshine, rain, snow, thunderstorms, and more in this imaginative and delightful weather-related musical adventure. Preschoolers create storm sounds with a drum to “Wild Storms,” jump in pretend puddles to “Mud Puddle Jump,” throw pretend snow-balls to “Snowballs,” and sing along to “Colors of the Rainbow.” They’ll be surrounded in a creative musical environment that integrates music, pretend play, story telling, movement, and more.
Home Materials: Two books—Michael Finnigan and Hurry Home, Little Kittens, Hello Weather Play Set, Two Home CDs, Family Activity Book, and Instruments—ankle bells and rain shaker with scraper.
Young Child (5 years to 7 years)

Young Child Semester One Home Materials

Young Child Semester One Home Materials

A pressure-free approach to learning, but concrete enough because your child is ready for the more abstract thinking processes that music requires. Play remains the primary way a young child learns, so throughout the curriculum there is a consistent effort to balance active learning with the emotional reasoning aspects of a young child’s development in mind.
Home Materials: Children’s Folder, Music At Home cards & stickers, Games Bag, Family Songbook, Home CD, and Carry Bag. Instruments can include glockenspiel w/mallets, dulcimer, and recorder.

Family Time  (Newborn through 7 years)

Here There & Everywhere Home Materials

Here There & Everywhere Home Materials

Here, There and Everywhere—the five sub-themes center around different family outings:  a visit with a friend, an outing at the park, a trip to the city, an afternoon at the aquarium, and a day on the farm.  Move like animals with this unit’s story Flip-Flap, Sugar Snap!  And follow a girl’s adventure as she loses her jambourine during the day’s outings and then finds it in the story Jingle-Jangle Jambourine. 
Home Materials: Two Books—Flip-Flap, Sugar Snap! and Jingle-Jangle Jambourine, Two Home CDs, Family Guide, Board Game, Waggs the dog Hand Puppet and Finger Puppet, and Two Jambourine instruments.

Sign & Sing (6 months through 3 years)

Sign & Sing A Home Materials

Sign & Sing A Home Materials

Session A: Everyday items around the house—a ball, bubbles, mom and
dad—become the objects of learning in the classroom and at home.
You’ll teach parents the sign language methods of the experts, such as making the sign in front of a child, on a child’s body, and knowing when a child is most engaged and ready to learn. All assembled in this easy-to-understand format so you can open your teacher’s kit, and be in the classroom teaching with confidence.

Sign & Sing B Home Materials

Sign & Sing B Home Materials

Session B: This session reviews the first three Keys to Signing Smart Success™ and provides an in-depth look at the final and fourth Key. New concepts such as in and out, up and down, big and little, tall and short will be explored with more songs and animal-themed activities.

Parents are you looking for ways to improve your child’s success?

June 22, 2008 at 12:37 am | Posted in Brain Development, Children's Music, emergent literacy, FUN, Kindermusik, Music Making, Music Together, Musical Instruments, Parenting, School Readiness, Singing | 2 Comments
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Kindermusik ~ Why enroll?

Mom and Baby                                                             
A recent study found that repeated enrollment in Kindermusik improves a child’s ability to plan, guide, and control their own behavior. 
• “Children currently enrolled in Kindermusik showed higher levels of self-control than those never enrolled and those previously enrolled ….This suggests that in order for children to reap the benefit of increased self-control as a result of Kindermusik participation, it is important to have repeated and recent Kindermusik experiences and remain enrolled in the program.”
• “Four-year-old children who had been exposed to Kindermusik for longer periods of time are better off in terms of self-control namely a child’s ability to plan, guide, and control their own behavior-than similar children with less Kindermusik history.”
• “These experiences, stop-go, high-low, fast-slow, short-long, and loud-soft, whereby children’s motor behavior is guided by the music, appear to be good exercise for young children’s emerging self-regulatory skills.”  

The study, “The Effects of Kindermusik on Behavioral Self-Regulation in Early Childhood,” was conducted in 2005 in the psychology department at George Mason University in Virginia. Results were made available to Kindermusik in May, 2005. The study was conducted by Adam Winsler Ph.D and graduate student Lesley Ducenne in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University. The 15-month study included 91 children between the ages of 3 and 5 who were split into three groups:  23 students currently enrolled in Kindermusik, 19 students previously enrolled in Kindermusik, and 49 students of similar family backgrounds from local preschools who had never had Kindermusik. The children were observed doing a variety of tasks that required selfcontrol such as slowing down their motor behavior, delaying their gratification, refraining from touching attractive but forbidden toys, quietly whispering, and compliance with instructions to initiate or stop certain behaviors. Parents also completed surveys.

The study was supervised by Adam Winsler, Ph.D, Applied Developmental Psychology in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University.

Girl and Xylophone

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

Summer Camps and Classes at Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton

May 31, 2008 at 10:40 pm | Posted in Babies, Children's Music, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Music Together, Musical Instruments, Parenting, Sign & Sing, Singing, Voice Students | Leave a comment
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Click this link to view a PDF of our flyer.

summercolorflyer20081

SummerFlyer2008

 

Making your home a more musical place for your children…

May 3, 2008 at 9:45 pm | Posted in Children's Music, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Musical Instruments, Parenting, Singing | 2 Comments
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Kindermusik educator Amy B. in Plymouth MI recently was giving some advice to a fellow new educator on helping families to make their homes more musical. Thank you Amy for sharing!

Making Your Home More Musical

Here are a few ideas for home–a lot depends on the age of the child, so some will apply better to different ages. Basically, just as elementary school teachers suggest “littering your house with books” to encourage young children’s reading and enjoyment of reading, I would say, “litter your house with music”! That is, put it all around your whole family, so it becomes an important part of your everyday life.

–Use your home materials; use your family activity book for ideas to do at home; do the “homework” projects in Kindermusik Imagine That! (ages 3.5-5 years) and the at-home activities in Kindermusik of the Young Child (ages 5-7 years); practice with your child so s/he can feel successful in class

–Sing, dance, and play music at home–often–Kindermusik CDs, other good children’s music, your own favorite “family appropriate” singers and musicians. Make it a fun part of your family’s day.

–Listen to a wide variety of music–classical, folk, country, jazz, a bit of rock and pop (o.k. can you see my bias showing), music from other countries. Borrow some CDs from the library with out-of-the-
ordinary music to find out what you and your family like.

–Keep a “music basket” with your egg shakers, zig zag blocks, fiddlesticks, resonator bars, slide whistles, drums, tambourines, etc., etc., etc. in it. Put it in the same room with a CD player so it’s easy to put on some music and march, dance, and play–often. Try to avoid the temptation to ask your children to “not make so much noise” 🙂 Of course, some instruments, like slide whistles and loud drums, make great basement and outdoor “parade” instruments!

–When you get to Kindermusik Imagine That and KIndermusik for the Young Child, keep your child’s current instrument and bag very handy for them to get out. Yes, sometimes that means you’ll get to class without your slide whistle, drum, book, folder, or glockenspiel–but so much better to actually use them during the week- -and your child can share with a friend or use a spare from her teacher in class.

–If you–Mom or Dad–play an instrument, play it for and with your child. Doesn’t matter if you played it in junior high years ago and it’s been in the attic since then. Children enjoy hearing it because A–it’s a real instrument, not just the sound of one on CD, and B–it’s Mom or Dad playing it. Ask other family members to share whatever they may play–maybe Grandpa plays a bit of piano, Grandma plays the accordian, or Uncle Joe plays the balilaika (or whatever 🙂 ). It’s a great way to share your family’s culture and history as
well as music, and often others will not think anyone would want to hear them unless they’re asked.

–If you have older children, or older cousins, have a family music night where everybody plays something–whatever instrument they’re learning to play, or sing a song. Have everybody join in for a sing-a-long and/or “family jam” with all those instruments from the music basket.

–If you have relatives and friends with older children, go to some middle school and high school concerts. They’re cheap, usually free, and children can see others who are still learning to play and sing. High school musicians are often very accomplished already. Find out what your local high school is performing for a spring play or musical. Look for local productions of ballet, like The Nutcracker at Christmastime.

–Look for family concerts and events in your area. I know this is harder in smaller communities, but maybe sometimes make it a special event on a trip to a larger city. Orchestras, bands, choirs, parades, theater, ballet, puppet shows, children’s performers, summer concerts in the park…the list is almost endless.

–If you’re not ready to invest in a piano, look for an electronic keyboard–one that is more than a kids’ toy without being a huge investment. Put in in a place where your child can easily play it (not “play with it”) and explore it–simply expect them to treat it kindly and gently (playing with fingers, not fists or feet). You could even consider looking for a used child-size violin or guitar–not to start lessons on it, just to explore and play.

–Try to avoid the temptation to rush into formal lessons–again a great reason for Kindermusik for the Young Child since it is process, not performance based and is age- and developmentally appropriate!

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