NEW Kindermusik Semester Classes Register NOW!

January 25, 2010 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Babies, Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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Class: Village Cock-a-doodle-MOO! and Dew Drops             REGISTER TODAY!
Time: Monday at 9:15am
Class Meets: February 1 , 2010

Time: Thursday at 10:15am
Class Meets: February 4 , 2010

Cock-a-doodle-MOO! – Cock-a-doodle-MOO! – Hop on the hayride—it’s time to head for the farm! In this class, you will sing songs about the farm, including “Old MacDonald,” “Hayride,” and “Clever Cows.” You’ll engage in rituals and playful activities with your baby, including infant massage, lap bounces, exercise, and quiet time. During the week, you’ll enjoy their At Home Materials, looking through a playful picture book of animals and the sounds they make, as well as a CD of the songs heard in class and an instrument for music-making at home.

DewDrops – DewDrops – Stop and smell the roses—and lily of the valley, and tulips, and pansies. In this class, parents and babies will play and move together to songs about flowers, such as “Jasmine Flower,” “How Does Your Garden Grow?,” and “White Coral Bells.” You’ll also hear traditional Irish music, dance a jig and move to the “Irish Trot.” In your At Home Materials, you’ll will receive a CD of beautifully arranged songs from class, a board book of flowers, and an instrument for music-making at home.

Class: Our Time Away We Go!
Time: Monday at 10:45am
Class Meets: February 1 , 2010

Time: Wednesday at 9:15am
Class Meets: February 3 , 2010

Time: Tuesday at 5:30pm
Class Meets: February 2 , 2010

Away We Go! – Away We Go! – Hop on the train, get in the car, board the plane, and Away We Go! This class focuses on transportation, a favorite topic for toddlers who are on the go, go, go! Sing and play along with favorite songs, such as “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad” and “Wheels on the Bus”. Explore fast and slow, smooth and bumpy, and high and low. Read stories about ways to get around. Shiny Dinah tells the story of a train, and Giddy-Up! has a horse, speedboat, racecar, and more to help you get where you want to go.  

Class: Imagine That! Toys I Make, Trips I Take
Time: Monday at 5:30pm
Class Meets: February 1 , 2010

Time: Thursday at 9:00am
Class Meets: February 4 , 2010

Toys I Make, Trips I Take – Toys I Make, Trips I Take – Think of it like taking a course inside your child’s imagination. We’ll use the theme of a toy shop to make our pretend-creations, using rhythm and songs with every imaginary saw, hammer, and nail. The result is building your preschooler’s sense of a sequence of events, which is good for storytelling, as well as making his ideas a reality.

Class: Family Time Here, There, and Everywhere
Time: Thursday at 6:15pm
Class Meets: February 4 , 2010

Time: Friday at 9:15am
Class Meets: February 5 , 2010

Here, There, and Everywhere – Here, There, and Everywhere – In this family-sized version of Kindermusik, the music and activities center around five 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. Your At Home Materials include a hand and finger puppets of Wags—a featured character in the two literature books. Plus, two home CDs of music from class, a home activity guide, and two jambourine instruments. Each item has been carefully created to bring out the music—and the learning—in your family. Specially designed to fit the varying ages and learning abilities of your children, this set will help you bring the learning and the music-making home, as well as become a lasting, well-loved favorite of the toy box and book shelf.

Class: Young Child Semester 2
Time: Thursday at 4:15pm
Class Meets: February 4 , 2010

Semester 2 – Semester 2 – Playing simple musical patterns and songs on the featured instrument from the first session—the glockenspiel—is a central focus this semester. While learning to sing a melody, and then play the pattern on the glockenspiel, we’ll delve deeper into the understanding of musical concepts such as piano and forte through orchestra-style music such as the William Tell Overture and Peter and the Wolf. Music appreciation and understanding continues with a complete introduction to the instruments—and the families in which they’re grouped—of the orchestra.

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A Musically Illiterate Nation, a very telling article!

May 8, 2009 at 4:27 am | Posted in Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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An Article in this months West Music email newsletter immediately caught my eye! “A Musically Illiterate Nation” by Ann C. Cay, reveals an astonishing fact, and the reasons that it has occurred. Following is an excerpt from her article and a link to read the entire article. It is very compelling.

“The majority of our nation’s eighth-grade students can’t sing in tune, play instruments or read music, according to the last National Assessment of Educational Progress. If you take them to a ball game, they can’t sing the national anthem in tune, even if they know the words. Most can’t play “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” on an instrument. If you locked the refrigerator door with a combination that required simple rhythmic drumming to open it, most would starve to death. Let’s be serious now. What difference does it make if they can’t sing? They get all the music they want on the radio and through CDs. Are they going to be any smarter, richer, or happier if they can belt out a tune or beat out a rhythm?

Yes! Studies indicate that musical ability is as related to intelligence as is math or language. Music is an intelligence, says Dr. Howard Gardner, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard University. In fact, making music may affect the very organization of the brain which positively impacts achievement in math, reading, and other disciplines…” (read more)

So…A majority of our educational administrators were schooled in a time that did not focus on the arts as a mainstream part of educational curriculum, but instead as an extra-curricular, or elective class. When coupled with this fact, it is no wonder the experience factor is not a part of the decision making when examining the importance of music education in core curricula offerings. Music substantially impacts mathematical reasoning, language cognition, reading ability, and more. Consistent and frequent musical experiences are what is missing in the current generation of students and the test scores prove it. Parents are the responsible party in providing a musical rich education. What better way to establish musical benefits than to enroll your child in Kindermusik when they are infants, toddlers, preschoolers and early elementary age. When the impact is greatest and those windows of opportunity for learning are fully open and available. Kindermusik grows with your child and provides much to prepare them for success in school later on. Loving your child is what it’s all about!

Dancing with Mom

Dancing with Mom

Playing Resonator Bars

Playing Resonator Bars

Playing with Egg Shakers

Playing with Egg Shakers

Jose Antonio Abreu: Help me bring music to kids worldwide (TED Prize winner!)

February 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Posted in Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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Fellow Educator, Merri Williams wrote the following post and found it to be something I wanted to share with you. I also am a member of TED and couldn’t have said this any better myself.

…I don’t honestly remember how I first found TED.com.  I guess it was a link sent by a friend or one of those days I was surfing the web, traveling from link to link, reading whatever caught my interest.  In any event,  I was so fascinated by the expansive offerings on TED that I subscribed to their newsletter.

This week’s e-newsletter shared one of the three winning TED wishes ($100K prize) this year  – that of Dr. Jose Abreu of Venezuela,  a 70-year-old retired economist, trained musician, and social reformer who founded “the system” (El Sistema) in 1975 and has built it with religious zeal, based on his belief that what poor Venezuelan kids needed was classical music.

Abreu’s wish?  To take El Sistema to other nations, including the United States.

El Sistema is all about children,  many from neighborhoods which are so poor, desperate and crime-ridden, that hope is often extinguished in children at an early age, living in areas where residents don’t walk alone day or night.  And it’s focus is about saving them – hundreds of thousands of children – through music.

According to Dr. Abreu, music is a social system that fights poverty and overcomes it by the spiritual richness that music provides, becoming a vehicle of social change.

Each day, children from some of the poorest of the poor slums in Venezuela line up for free lessons at their local branch of El Sistema.  Beginning as early as two years of age, they start learning the basics, like rhythm, and the language of music.  (Sounds like Kindermusik!)

By the time they’re four, they’re being taught how to play an instrument. By the time they’re six or seven-year-old veterans, they’re playing in orchestras.

Through hard work and the assistance of fifteen thousand trained musicians as well as gifted kids who teach other kids, the system uses classical music to instill in the kids self-esteem and confidence.

In the thirty-four years since El Sistema was first founded, over eight hundred thousand children have passed through the organization.  While the majority of them do not continue on to be professional musicians, all of them are changed.

Dr. Abreu is quoted as saying,

“Music produces an irreversible transformation in a child. This doesn’t mean he’ll end up as a professional musician. He may become a doctor, or study law, or teach literature. What music gives him remains indelibly part of who he is forever.”

When asked if he thinks the system could work in the United States, one Sistema branch manager said:

“Yeah. But I mean, kids are kids. It doesn’t matter where they come from. And if you can help a poor kid in here, you can help a poor kid everywhere. It doesn’t matter the culture, it doesn’t matter the race. I mean, it’s music. Everybody love music.”

Make sure your computer is hooked up to a good set of speakers, turn up the sound, sit back, and prepare to be completely blown away by the power and beauty of  the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra (Sinfónica Juvenil Teresa Carreño), the national high-school-age youth orchestra of El Sistema, directed by Gustavo Dudamel,  newly named musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and product of El Sistema himself.   The two selections are Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, 2nd movement, and Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’ Danzón No. 2. 

To learn more about Dr. Abreu, El Sistema, and making Dr. Abreu’s wish come true, please visit TED.com here.

To view the El Sistema segment by Bob Simon on 60 Minutes, please follow this link.

To learn more about Dr. Abreu, El Sistema, and making Dr. Abreu’s wish come true, please visit TED.com here.

To view the El Sistema segment by Bob Simon on 60 Minutes, please follow this link.

Thanks Merri for sharing this!

Even newborns can follow a rhythm, article by Robin Nixon

January 29, 2009 at 12:08 am | Posted in Babies, Brain Development, Children's Music, enroll, Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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Here is another study pointing to the importance of recognizing babies are musical. It is my opinion what we cultivate from the earliest ages and stages is what lasts into childhood and later adulthood. That is why something like Kindermusik is so valuable to both parent and child. The parent is given the tools to cultivate a sophisticated understanding and desire to express in a musical way. Even if they are not musical as an adult, Kindermusik CD’s and activity books, literature books and instruments allow the parent to lead the way. It is such an exciting and productive process. Read the article here.  Robin Nixon calls attention to a quote from the article,  by Henkjan Honing of the University of Amsterdam assistant researcher in the study.  “While spoken language can take more than a year to develop, “music is one of the earliest things parents have with their children,” Honing said.” Nixon surmises “scientists have shown, at birth we already have sophisticated methods for interpreting the world.” Rhythm, steady beat, musical interpretation; all impact how successfully your child learns. Won’t you help your child reach their musical, intellectual and athletic potential and sign up for Kindermusik today?!

Kindermusik Rocks … Parent Testamonials

December 29, 2008 at 9:19 pm | Posted in Kindermusik | Leave a comment
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Consistency is needed in times of change…

September 18, 2008 at 5:42 pm | Posted in Kindermusik, Music, Parenting | Leave a comment
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This rings true for all of us and especially for our children.

As adults, we all know (or should know) that there will always be times in our lives that things happen, situations arise, that we have absolutely no control over – the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, even our child’s first day of preschool or first grade when it is suddenly brought home to us that those early years have passed all too quickly.

Some children breeze through the “first-day-of-school” milestone with little or no difficulty whatsoever. Others struggle – where is this place that’s called “school”?  Will I like it?  Will I have friends there?  How long before mom and/or dad pick me up?

Anxiety often results simply from fears of the unknown, and, while we, as adults, know that our children will probably be just fine in school, these are very real unknown concerns for many children.  With life getting busier and his world expanding exponentially, a child may feel overwhelmed by all the new expectations and requirements that come his way.

If this is your child, how can you help him or her adjust to that kind of change in their world?

Consistency is needed in times of change…

With all the changes in your child’s life, staying in Kindermusik provides a badly needed consistency required to make the transition easier.  In our Kindermusik classes, children learn to recognize the structure and routine of our class flow.  It makes for a comfortable, secure time in their weekly schedule where they know what to expect for themselves, and come to learn what is expected of themselves, as well.

With life getting busier, and your child’s activities more independent in nature, Kindermusik is one place where the two of you can still spend precious time focused on each other.

Thank you Merri and Lori for bringing this often spoken advice to the forefront. 🙂

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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