Kindermusik ~ A Whole Brain Activity

February 7, 2008 at 12:29 am | Posted in Brain Development, Children's Music, FUN, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Musical Instruments, Parenting, School Readiness, Singing, Wendy Jones, Whole Body, Whole Brain, Whole Child | 2 Comments
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Boy thinking

The following article is the result of pairing an article by fellow Kindermusik Educator, Wendy Jones with some thoughts of my own…

“The impact of music on your child’s early development is undeniable and profound. Pick up any paper or parenting magazine and you will find it awash with articles and new studies showing the importance of music in giving your child a healthy start for both mind and body. The same papers are filled with options for children- dance, piano, tot sports or gymnastics, and more. So, how to choose to give our children the best without overwhelming or over-scheduling them? One way of approaching your choices is finding an activity that creates an atmosphere to develop the whole brain and body.”

The idea of “whole brain” means utilizing both left and right brain at the same time. For example, left brain activity is responsible for logical thinking, facts, sequential and analytical thinking, while right brain activity is responsible for utilizing the imagination, creativity, feelings, and intuition. Music classes are one way of utilizing the “whole-brain”. As a result musical activity makes your child learn better. The key words here are “musical” and “activity”; not just listening to music but being involved in music making and musical moving.  

So what can your family do to provide a “whole-brain”, “whole body”, “whole child” experience? Be involved in musical learning and moving. For your youngest member of the family sing, dance, feel the beat, play instruments to the beat and expose them to a variety of quality musical experiences. As your child becomes more able to communicate participating in music and movement is still a key to learning. Now add memorizing of songs, learning about note values, and rhythm values, and facts about the kinds of music you move and sing to and you make it a “whole-brain”, “whole body”, and “whole child” experience. Plus it is just plain FUN! 

There are many articles online about this topic and I recommend if you are interested, that you Google right and left brain, and music and the brain and you will see literally millions of responses. However, there is something right here in Clayton that will assist you as a family to achieve “whole-brain”, “whole body”, “whole child” success! What is it? Kindermusik!

“In each level of Kindermusik’s classes, children and their parents sing, dance, play instruments, explore, make choices, develop new skills, and learn- together. Dancing and creative movement strengthens the body and increases coordination. Singing aids in expressive language development, good speech habits, and healthy lung development. Instrumental play develops eye-hand coordination and the ability to understand patterns and sequences. No rushing from class to class; it’s all right there in every Kindermusik lesson! But most importantly, families are sharing in the development of a love of music and learning, an interest their children will carry with them lifelong.” “I’m learning as much as she is!” comments one mother; “I wish I could have learned music like this when I was her age- this is just what I’d always hoped to find for her. We both look forward to it each week!”

No longer downtown but in the Riverwood Cultural Arts Center on Cunningham Lane, is Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton. There are classes for infants through early elementary age children and they involve the family. Now is the time to look into what is being offered as Spring semester is starting. For the older elementary child and on through adult age there are private lessons. If your schedule is tight and you think you are too busy, you might want to check out the Monthly Specialsone day events and 4 or 5 day classes that allow you to try out Kindermusik without the semester commitment. Don’t forget Summer is right around the corner and there are short class offerings for you to break up the monotony of your summer already waiting online for you to sign up! Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton offers a full range of Kindermusik Core programs, including Village for 0-18 months, Sign and Sing for 6 months-2 ½ years, Our Time for 1 ½ to 3 ½ years, Imagine That for 3 ½ to 5 years, and Young Child for 5-7 year olds. Additional classes for Families and Preschoolers are also available, as well as Monthly Specials to aid you in making a wise choice for your family, and private voice lessons for your older child and teen or even for you.  To learn more about Winter/Spring Semester, Monthly Specials and Summer Schedule opportunities please call Julie Stewart at 359-3473, or 359-0022; you may also email your interest to kmclayton@mindspring.com or check things out online where you can register now! www.kindermusikofclayton.com  Kindermusik of Clayton & Voice of Clayton is a part of the Riverwood Cultural Arts Center in the Riverwood Athletic Club Development.

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Away We Go!

February 6, 2008 at 11:32 pm | Posted in Away we go, Children's Music, Dancing, Family, FUN, Kindermusik, Music, Musical Instruments, Our Time, Shiney Dinah, train | Leave a comment
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Every day I teach Kindermusik is a day I see growth and success in the faces of young children and their parents.

 This evening in our second Away We Go class the entire group of children and their parents were so engaged and having fun. Our ‘train’ zoomed and crawled and stopped and started and whistled and dinged it’s way around and around. Even the shy ones became so involved. I must get the camera out again to capture some of this fun! During music and movement storytime you would have thought Shiney Dinah was right there in the midst of our class. The children were mesmerized during the story and already many of them are choo, chooing and tapping the beat to our train rhythm on every page. We hid and found egg shakers, car keys (specially made for class) and jingle bells over and over. I hid the keys on top of my head and wouldn’t you know that was a favorite place for all the keys to be found! Dancing was also fun! This is going to be a great semester!

Our Time Harmonicas and Buddy Greene!

January 12, 2008 at 4:44 am | Posted in Children's Music, FUN, Harmonica, Kindermusik, Music Making, Musical Instruments, Our Time | 5 Comments
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Our Time Families get two Harmonicas for their instruments this semester! As your children learn how to play the harmonica this semester keep in mind just what they are capable of accomplishing… Amazing harmonica player Buddy Greene will astound you!

Vegetable’s as you have never heard before!

December 12, 2007 at 10:02 am | Posted in FUN, humor, Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Musical Instruments, Vegetable Instruments | Leave a comment

So if you have a picky eater…here’s another way to enjoy vegetables!

Thank you Miss Terri for this great link!

Can’t get enough of those Bottle Bands – Check this one out!

November 23, 2007 at 5:38 pm | Posted in Bottle Band, Chorus, Christmas, FUN, humor, Kindermusik, Music, Musical Instruments, Nutcracker | Leave a comment


St Lukes Bottle Band
Thank you Michele and Sara for this great link!

A bottle band special… Whoa Christmas is coming!

November 21, 2007 at 5:13 am | Posted in Bottle Band, Chorus, Christmas, Copenhagen, FUN, humor, Music, Music Making, Musical Instruments | Leave a comment


The Bottle Band of Copenhagen playing beautiful music … I bet they were Kindermusik Kids don’t you? Thanks Michelle for the heads up!

Music Lessons Pay off in Higher Earnings Harris Poll says…

November 16, 2007 at 4:20 am | Posted in Kindermusik, Music, Music Making, Musical Instruments, Parenting, Singing, Voice Students | 1 Comment

Music lessons pay off in higher earnings: poll

Those hours practicing piano scales or singing with a choral group
weren’t for nothing because people with a background in music tend to
have a higher education and earn more, according to a new survey.

The poll by Harris Interactive, an independent research company, showed
that 88 percent of people with a post-graduate education were involved
in music while in school, and 83 percent of people earning $150,000 or
more had a music education.

“Part of it is the discipline itself in learning music, it’s a rigorous
discipline, and in an ensemble situation, there’s a great deal of
working with others. Those types of skills stand you well in careers
later in life,” said John Mahlmann, of the National Association for
Music Education in Reston, Virginia, which assisted in the survey.

In addition to the practical skills gained from studying music, people
questioned in the online poll said it also gave them a sense of personal
fulfillment.

Students who found music to be extremely or very influential to their
fulfillment were those who had vocal lessons and who played in a garage
band. Nearly 80 percent of the 2,565 people who took part in the survey
last month who were still involved in music felt the same way.

“That’s the beauty of music, that they can bring both hard work and
enjoyment together, which doesn’t always happen elsewhere,” Mahlmann
added in and interview.

 http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071114/lf_nm_life/music_dc

High Tech learning is not what it is made out to be…read on…

November 3, 2007 at 7:03 pm | Posted in books, Christmas, Kindermusik, Music, Musical Instruments, Parenting, Toy Recals | Leave a comment

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In this pre-Christmas, post Chinese-lead-fear, time I think it is very important to point out to parents some concerns regarding what they buy their kids for Christmas. Parents are looking for safe gifts that will benefit their children and create fun and educational kinds of experiences.

In this effort to find the perfect gifts for your young ones I want to recommend some research on your part to find the best age-appropriate gifts for your child. So I did a search online … Safe gifts for Children … and what do I see as the hot recommendation? Computer games, software and technologically advanced toys. Parents beware! Please, please do not buy computer software gifts for your 2 year old! Instead give them a movement and music experience or something active… read on why I believe this …
 
W..H ..Y kids D .O .N .’ .T __ N .E .E .D __ C .O .M .P .U .T .E .R .S

Don’t feel guilty about not buying your toddler a Pentium, You may be doing the kid a favor.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

“FAILURE TO CONNECT: HOW COMPUTERS AFFECT OUR CHILDREN’S MINDS — FOR BETTER AND WORSE”
BY JANE HEALY | SIMON & SCHUSTER | 352 PAGES

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ANDREW LEONARD in a book review on Salon 21st writes…”When my soon-to-be 4-year-old daughter changed preschools a few months ago, I worried about the new school’s lack of computers. The old school had a Macintosh, and the kids would spend half an hour or so each day messing around with learning software programs and sending their parents unintelligible e-mail. But the new school was far from the computing cutting edge, and that made me feel guilty: Was I hindering my daughter’s ability to successfully compete in the 21st century?

I certainly wasn’t helping out at home. You might think that someone as obsessed with technology as a professional technology reporter would make sure his kids were programming in C++ before kindergarten. But in fact I don’t own a single “learning software” program. To my enduring shame, I’d much rather kick back and watch “The Simpsons” with my daughter than escort her through the interactive CD-ROM version of “Green Eggs and Ham.”

Bad Daddy, my daughter might blurt. But maybe not. However unwittingly, however base my motives, by limiting my daughter’s exposure to computers I may actually have been doing the right thing — at least according to Jane Healy, author of “Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children’s Minds — for Better and Worse.”

“Failure to Connect” is no neo-Luddite rant; instead, it’s a must read for anyone who cares about kids and computers. Healy is an educator with decades of experience, and she has researched her topic to exhaustion. Demolishing the hype of what she calls “technology pushers,” Healy delivers a hearty rebuttal to the conventional wisdom that declares that every child’s classroom and bedroom should have its own computer. Not only is there scant evidence that computers actually enhance “learning” in the very young, she argues, but there is good reason to believe that too much computer time can actively stunt the healthy development of a child’s mind.

“Some of the most popular education software may even be damaging to creativity, attention, and motivation,” she writes. Bold words, and not ones that the “edutainment” software industry wants to hear. But they’re well worth saying. According to Healy, the market for edutainment programs for home use in the U.S. is growing by 20 to 30 percent a year. And just last year, school expenditures on technology reached $4.34 billion.

Meanwhile, music and art programs — which, unlike computers, have been demonstrated to increase “intelligence” — are constantly being defunded, class sizes continue to rise and underpaid teachers are expected to master nonstop waves of new technology with little technical support or training. What’s wrong with this picture? ….”

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Link above to the complete article…and I recommend this book to help you understand the safe use of computer software for your children and other ways of stimulating their brains to encourage the development of healthy learning.

The alternative … recommend Grandma and Grandpa buy a Kindermusik semester and some fun rhythm instruments for your child! What could be better … quality time with your child in a FUN LEARNING experience!

Have a happy and safe shopping time this Christmas! Miss Julie

A Primer on Music Lessons…

October 9, 2007 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Babies, Kindermusik, Music, Musical Instruments, Parenting | Leave a comment

This article appeared today in the Omaha World-Herald newspaper. In it you’ll find some great advice  on when and what to provide for music lessons for your  child.
 

Too young to play an instrument? By Jane Palmer

What are good starter instruments? For babies: rattles (maracas), tambourine, bongo drums. For toddlers and preschoolers: rhythm sticks, sandpaper blocks, maracas, drums, finger cymbals, triangles, cymbals, gongs, jingle bells, xylophone-type instruments with removable bars and chorded zither. Toy instruments won’t hold a youngster’s interest for long. Age 3 and older: new or gently used piano, which should be tuned once or twice a year. Second best is a digital electronic keyboard with touch-sensitive, weighted keys. Young violin players: smaller violins, scaled to a child’s hands and body.
 

How young can children typically start music lessons? For traditional piano lessons, at age 7. For band and orchestra instruments, in fourth or fifth grade, when children are big enough to manage the size of the instruments and have more lung capacity.
 

How can you get preschoolers interested? Listen to all styles of recorded music from birth. Sing together and play singing games. Participate in Kindermusik or other music experience programs for babies through age 7 or 9. Find local programs online at http://www.kindermusik.com.%20look/ for preschool programs that devote at least 10 percent of their time to music.

How much are lessons? From $15 to $40 for a 30- or 60-minute session.

How do you obtain instruments? Introductory instruments such as sandpaper blocks may be available at toy or school supply stores. Most instruments require a trip to a music store. Ask for a student instrument. Turn down artist instruments, which are higher priced. Buy a used instrument to further cut costs, and ask about service and repairs after the sale. You may find a bargain in classified advertisements or at a pawn shop, garage sale or thrift store. Make sure everything works. Music stores often have a rent-to-own program. If you keep the instrument longer than atrial period, you own it and your monthly payments apply to the purchase. On the rental agreement, take note of the interest rate and total cost. It may be cheaper to obtain your own loan. 

Sources: Joan Reist, past president of the Music Teachers National Association and retired associate professor of piano pedagogy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Lance Nielsen, president of the Nebraska Music Educators Association and director of bands at Lincoln East High School. National standards published by the National Association for Music Education at http://www.menc.org/. 

Thank you again Molly McGinn for finding this gem of am article!

Last week in Imagine That I asked parents to listen with their children…

October 8, 2007 at 2:10 am | Posted in Children's Music, Imagine That, Kindermusik, Musical Instruments, Parenting, School Readiness | 1 Comment

Last week I asked Imagine That parents to ‘listen’ with their children during the week. My email to parents went like this…

“In Kindermusik we strive to improve your child’s listening abilities through Music Listening activities. This week we listened to “Silly Slides,” a recording that contains glissando sounds. The children identified the sounds of different instruments (clarinet, trombone, slide whistle) playing glissandos. Listening discrimination is a valuable skill, one that can lead to the ability to make choices, to understand sound, and to appreciate beauty of sound. We also tried to emulate the sounds we heard in “Silly Slides” with our slide whistles! It sure was fun! 

While listening to your Home CDs this week, ask your child simple questions such as “Do you hear a man singing or a child singing?,” “Is that music fast or slow?,” or “Do you recognize any instruments that are playing?” Encourage listening for preferences by asking such questions as “Do you like the sound of that song?,” or even “Why do you like that song?” It is never too early to start talking with your child about her preferences, encouraging him to make comparisons and talk about distinctions. “

I was delighted to receive an email from one of my parents with the following link. It is an  instrument listening chart with pictures and recordings of the instruments in the orchestra. The Dallas Symphony Orchestra in fact has a wonderful website just for children. Link to it here and enjoy all that it has to offer!

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