By Theresa Case
What’s it like taking a Kindermusik class? Curious? Haven’t taken the step to a attend a free class in your area? Well, Theresa Case, a Maestro Kindermusik Educator and regular blogger for Minds on Music, answers just about every question you might have!
You want the best for your child, and so you are considering enrolling in Kindermusik. But as it should be, you have a few questions. After all, this is a commitment of your time, love, and money.
Over the years, we have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions… and some fabulously reassuring answers. As always, we invite you to reach out to your local Kindermusik educator as well, but here are those questions and answers to get you started towards making one of the best decisions you’ll ever make for your child – enrolling in Kindermusik.
Each class, from newborns to those who are ready for more advanced musical training, has been carefully designed to match your child’s current developmental level. In addition, our teachers take the time to tailor activities to best fit the makeup of each individual class.
You’ll also notice that there are overlapping age ranges for each class level. This overlap is intentional so that you have the choice over which class experience and which class level is best for your child. A child may enroll in, or move up to, any class level for which he/she meets the minimum age requirement. When it comes to choosing the best class for your child, your licensed Kindermusik educator is there to lend experienced and expert advice as well.
To the casual observer, it might indeed look like we are just playing and having fun. While the approach is necessarily and appropriately playful, every aspect of the Kindermusik curriculum is built upon a solid musical and developmental foundation.
While playing, moving, and singing, children are improving their rhythmic competency, developing a sense of steady beat, achieving the ability to match pitches, becoming acquainted with timbre, learning a repertoire of songs, experiencing many different instruments, increasing their ability to listen, and of course, gaining a love of music that will last throughout their life.
Kindermusik acknowledges that you are your child’s first and most important teacher, and your Kindermusik classes and Home Materials will empower you with the knowledge and tools to bring the love of learning and love of music to your child. Kindermusik is truly the essence of “quality time,” offering you a place to create special memories with your child and gain new insights into your child’s development.
You will discover a unique sense of community and belonging in the Kindermusik classroom. Not only will your child blossom in this environment, but you will come to appreciate the support and friendship from the other adults in class.
Instinctively, we know that music belongs in the life of young children; young children are ready for music, they are in their critical period for developing a good foundation in music, and full musical potential is often lost if it is not nurtured and maintained in these early years.
With Kindermusik, parent-child interaction is fostered, socialization with other children is encouraged, fine-motor and gross-motor development is enhanced, and language skills flourish. Children learn valuable school readiness skills as a rich musical foundation is laid.
In short, Kindermusik helps each child develop musically at the right time and in the right way. The result is a Kindermusik graduate with a solid foundation and a giant head-start when they move to instrumental or voice lessons.
Scientists tell us that infants are born with billions of nerve cells and a nearly unlimited potential for connections between those nerve cells. Every time an infant has a sensory experience, neural pathways are formed. The greater the number of neural pathways, the greater the brain power. Rich sensory environments are vital to the brain development of infants.
In Kindermusik, we dance in a social setting where small children can begin to understand and anticipate patterns, which preps their brains for math and musical theory. We play with steady beat, which underlies our ability to pick up the pattern of language. The bonding and comforting activities we show you in class help you and your child work through all the natural stresses that occur with growing and developing. Music increases coordination and balance, promotes literacy and language, cultivates listening skills, and encourages delightful and rewarding interaction with your child!
“I enrolled my son Alex as an infant. Alex loved the classes and so did all of the parents and children who were with him. I will try to sum up why it worked for us:
Our teacher fully believed in the program and it came across to the parents. She regularly shared information that helped us to see what benefits our children were deriving from the activities. She also constantly gave suggestions for how to participate in the activities with different age groups. Everyone had ideas to participate in a manner that was appropriate for their child.
The different ages in the class were wonderful. Parents with infants were enjoying seeing the activities of the older ones and the older children interacted so cute with everyone. There was so much sharing and kindness between the children and parents. We were constantly amazed. The children felt so comfortable with the teacher and all of the parents that many times children would walk or crawl to the teacher or to the other parents and sit with them. No one was ever bored in class. We had more wonderful experiences than I thought possible. Music is now a huge part of our lives, where it wasn’t before.”
These are the kinds of stories that we hear all of the time and are the perfect example of what parents around the world have come to cherish about their Kindermusik experience.
When it comes to preschool, many parents have found that this is not an either/or choice. Kindermusik and preschool are not mutually exclusive. In fact, Kindermusik supplements and enriches the preschool experience tremendously. The appropriate developmental nature of Kindermusik activities ensures that learning is never “too much, too fast.”
Many of the benefits of the other activities – such as promoting physical coordination and social skills, providing a structured routine, building self- esteem and developing talents and cognitive abilities – are actually all encompassed in a Kindermusik class. The opportunity to creatively express their individual imaginations through the combination singing, moving, and playing instruments activities is unique to Kindermusik.
PLUS there is the added benefit of a development for a love of music that will last much past the time when school is done and the dance shoes and karate gees are put away. In fact, as we often say at Kindermusik: “A good beginning never ends.”
Absolutely! Autistic children, children with Down’s syndrome, hearing impaired children and those with other physical, emotional, speech and learning needs have generally thrived AND improved in Kindermusik. What Kindermusik can do for children with special needs is often more significant than all that it does for those without these disabilities.
In our Young Child and Big Kids classes, children learn vital foundational music skills while they are exposed to a variety of musical concepts and instruments. Using the principles of Suzuki, Kodály, Dalcroze and Orff, students explore many facets of the musical experience-speaking, singing, moving, dancing, listening, creating and playing instruments, as well as learning to read and write music. The children develop a confident, joyful voice for singing and speaking as well as essential building blocks for a future of successful learning.
Private music lesson teachers do tell us those children who begin lessons much before 7 or 8 are not any farther ahead of the child who begins at a later age, so that’s why we recommend Kindermusik first. Plus, Kindermusik is foundational to ALL the activities your child will want to do – soccer, private music lessons, reading, math, making friends and more!
As the world’s leader in music and movement curricula for young children, we think so! However, we are working with young children here, so not every class is a dream, but most classes come close. The curriculum works beautifully because it is developmentally appropriate and musically engaging. Each child learns at his or her own level and ability. There is not one standard of performance that anyone is trying to meet, and the WHOLE child is developed through music. t’s truly magical – at every age and every stage!
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