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

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