Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Really Loved

When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.  That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.  Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.  But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real, you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand.

May we all be Real.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Just live

Sometimes it moves pretty quick.  When you don't have time to think.  React.  Remember days when all you had was time.  Time to reflect.  Now.  Now is for living.

Just live.

Wake up, tie your boots on and get out in it.  Smell it, feel it.  Roll down the windows so you can hear it.  Listen.  Make some noise so you can be part of it.  Put your hands in it.  Deep.  Pick it up and toss it around.  Break it open against the ground.  Flip it over.  Drink it up.  Let it spill. Touch.

Take the time to do that.

Take the effort to throw it a mile high and kick it when it comes down.  Hug it and don't let it go.  Stare at it.  Clench your fists and yell it.  Raise your arms to celebrate it.  Hold its hand and dance.  Close your eyes and take a chance.  Make it happen.

Crawl through it on your hands and knees.  Surrender.  Defy.  Rebel.  Let it break you down.  Get up with it.  Run with it until your legs give out and you can't breathe or move or shout.  Encircle it.  Let it in.  Float in it.  Spin....Smile.  Ride.   Stack it up into the sky.  Burn it down to feel the heat.  Chase it down a city street.

Tell it jokes until you cry. Cry with it.  Cry with it until you smile.  Laugh with it for awhile.

Make it pretty.  Give it away.  Cover it with mud.  Let it stay.

Race it to the edges of the Earth.  Jump with it.  Fly above.

Dream about it.

Shower it with love.  Protect it.

Never.  Ever.  Forget it.

Don't forget it.

(Note to Self)

This is it. 

~P. Soule

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Seeing you

This heart of a parent
is a road that has run parallel 
to yours, always side by side,
but there is something not shared.
A scene I see, but you cannot.
Cannot yet,
until you have the
heart of a parent.

These eyes, seeing you grow
and change.
These eyes, seeing you leaving me
bit by melancholy bit.  
Tearing me, but filling me and adding
your beautiful embroidery, 
color and joy.

It hurts in a strange, wistful way, 
yet is the greatest joy I've known
I don't know how it can both be.
Someday you will know how I feel.

You will walk into your life,
barely looking back.  
And that will be okay.
I will always be watching you,
wistfully and slowly.  
Seeing myself in that townhouse window, 
newly pregnant
and beseeching God for a baby girl.
That girl is You. 
I know you.
I love you.
My road is different,
but always I will be near.
Now, go!  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Remind me. Why are we doing this again?

It’s the end of the semester. You are tired. Sometimes you want to drive right on past class and just go shopping.  Why are we doing this again? Here’s why:

Your child is being exposed on a weekly basis to intentional listening to music, listening to and following instructions, sitting still and moving about on cue, taking turns, borrowing items and giving items back to the owner, participating as a team in group dances or singing games and basically getting a wonderful preparation for the social expectations of school. Kindermusik is social/emotional education.

Your child is listening to animal sounds, jazz music, Classical pieces, string instruments, keyboard instruments, folk songs, new compositions, multi-cultural music, major, minor tonalities and more. They will have been exposed to many types of music that most children never hear. Their brains are being tuned for musicianship - whether that takes the form of performance or just the ability to understand and therefore deeply enjoy the performances of others. Kindermusik is music education.

Your child is experiencing cognitive development. Since music stimulates the entire brain, every concept introduced in song has at least double the staying power. They have experienced counting games, counting fingerplays, songs and activities about the parts of their bodies. They are learning to connect the written and spoken word which will in turn enhance reading ability. Older children are actually reading and writing notes and rhythm which helps build visual tracking skills, mathematics understanding and reading ability. Kindermusik is math, literacy and arts education.

Your child is developing physically. From the tiniest of our babies who have begun to creep to reach a scarf or are becoming very quick at snagging a rolling ball to our big kids who are gracefully acting out choreographed motions, they are experiencing meaningful movement activities that aid physical development. They are dancing to the beat or with the rhythm of many different meters and styles of music. Finger plays, choreography, beat keeping games - these activities will build coordination and a sense of rhythm that will help them dribble down the court or soccer field, swim with consistent rhythmic strokes, become graceful and musically sensitive dancers or gymnasts and connect bat and baseball efficiently and adjust their tempo to reach the base at just the right moment. Kindermusik is physical education.

Your child is learning to communicate. Kindermusik’s intentionality in develop children’s language skills is noticeable. Infants are hearing words sung and spoken rhythmically, seeing signs that will help them communicate, and watching mom and dad’s mouths work while they are massaged and have their arms and legs exercised. Toddlers are playing with sounds and words, listening to and imitating sounds they hear and communicating during storytime and - well, all the time!  In the Imagine That! preschoolers class, the children are very actively talking to the teacher and shaping the lesson, contributing ideas and telling their own stories - lots of them! Young Child kids are now able to differentiate their speaking voice from their singing voice and are learning to sing not just for their own pleasure, but in a way that is pleasing for others to hear. The oldest are speaking expressively and persuasively and are using the combination of the spoken word and music to become fabulous storytellers. Kindermusik is language development.

Kindermusik is whole-child development disguised as fun. Your kids are learning in ways that you know they would not have so consistently experienced in any other place. Oh, yeah - that’s why we’re doing this!    ~Ms. Heidi

Monday, February 4, 2013

Music stimulates 9 parts of the brain

Music is such an important part of every culture around the world that no one can argue with the impact or benefits of music.  But what this info-graphic illustrates so vividly are those specific parts of the brain that are affected.  According to these authors, there are nine parts of the brain (nine – count them!) that are stimulated while playing and listening to music.  Astounding!  Read more HERE at the Kindermusik Int'l Blog! 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Top 10 skills children learn from the arts

 What a good article on the benefits your child reaps from the arts!   Read the article HERE.

I like how this reader puts it:  "This article is not asking college students choose a career in the arts, it is asking education systems for K-12 to incorporate the arts as an important part of a holistic approach to education. Creativity, confidence, focus....all of these skills are incredibly important in EVERY vocation. How can a scientist CREATE the next break through in the medical field if they can't think outside of the box? How can a doctor have good bedside manor if they can't EXPRESS empathy for their patients? How can a lawyer command a courtroom without CONFIDENCE and excellent speaking and PERFORMING skills? There is a huge problem in our current education system where we ask children to sponge and recite information, but do not teach them how to have their own ideas. How do you teach INNOVATION? With the arts".   And then call me and enroll your child in Kindermusik with Heidi!  A good beginning never ends!  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

To my students and most of all my dear piano students who bring me such joy....

Feeling this filling heart,
hoping that you, my children,
will know that I
had a poem for you.
But it left me and is lost
and, my tears fall.
Silly, I know.
but it rhymed just right.
Ah, but here’s the thing
I hope for you ~
Sounds to know
rhythms to perk up your ears
and senses.
And if you can play,
play with all your heart.
It can be simple or elaborate.
Just play.
Play because God put it there.
Music is a gift, never forget.
Pass it on.
You will always be a blessing.
And if you’re lucky,
you will be able to look at the listeners
and see a tear in their eye.
And they will tell you
It was a thing
Of joy. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Music Wall

Please make me a music wall at my house!  See more of this wonderful idea by clicking here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kindermusik is not just 'entertainment'

Sometimes parents come to class with an expectation the Kindermusik curriculum just can't meet.  They just want one thing:  instruments.  Some may be able to hear what I am saying and come around to realize that they really don't want just instruments. But others are not flexible.  (Thankfully this is extremely rare, though). 

What I do is validate their interest in instrument exploration, but I would also make sure that they understand that movement (dancing), fine motor work (finger plays), communication skills (vocal play), patterning for the brain (singing songs in different forms; ABACA, etc.) and book reading (etc) are what truly make for a well rounded class. Kindermusik puts it all together and that's what makes it unique and irreplaceable in their development. Yes, kids are drawn to instruments, but 45 minutes of just instruments will eventually become boring and it won't make a well rounded education, it will just be entertainment. Kindermusik is NOT just for entertainment.  And I love that about Kindermusik. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Click here for a great idea called Family Draw. I love this blog and I hope you'll frequent it.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

How to miss a childhood

Each minute of every day, we are presented with a choice on how we spend our moments. We can either miss the moments or grasp them.  Read more here about a mom's challenge to us all. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Edible plants and flowers

This week in Village class we explored flowers for the song Flowers Sweet. The focus of this lesson is on smell and sensory stimulation. We will feel the flower, smell it, look at it and describe all those things to develop language as well as a connection to the scent. I studied up on 'edible flowers' and actually have many on the list in my own yard! I think I'll try to embellish some salads this week and surprise my family! As you know, babies will mouth anything and everything. And, while I’m not going to encourage them to eat them in class, I do want something safe for them to explore with the numerous nerve endings and sensors around the mouth.

To prepare the flowers for class (and for eating if you choose), I give them a gentle bath in a very mild soap solution. I then rinse them thoroughly in a clear water solution by “swishing” them and I pat them very gently with a paper towels to dry them. This retains their freshness and scent, but removes any types of residue that might be on the flower. You should not eat flowers that you have sprayed or sprinkled with pesticides or any such thing.

There are many websites with information about edible flowers. I like this one because it gives you the pictures and explains what the flower tastes like. NOT ALL FLOWERS ARE EDIBLE!! Sometimes just parts are edible; like tulip petals are edible, but you should never eat the bulb.