- What is the idea behind Kindermusik?
Kindermusik is a developmentally based method of enhancing a child’s early years through family centered music making, offering an enriching enrironment in which the child can explore, create and develop a love of both music and learning in general. We believe that young children learn best when they have a love for the process, not just an eye for the outcome. We believe that the parent is the most important educator for the young child and that being involved as an active participant and co-educator helps the child to flourish in any early learning endeavor. To the casual observer of any Kindermusik class it may look as though we are just playing and having fun. While the approach is playful, every aspect of the Kindermusik Curriculum is built upon a solid musical and developmental foundation. While playing 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 lives.
- What do you do In Kindermusik Class?
Each Kindermusik class includes several important components. Singing and rhymes are used to develop language skills, encourage expressive vocal use, nurture the development of pitch, and increase awareness of the sounds and rhythms in speech. Movement, including free-dance, patterned movement, and musical movement stories, provides the physical experience which children need to explore and understand concepts such as high and low and fast and slow. It also builds coordination and assists in growing social skills. Instrumental play nurtures awareness of sound quality (timbre), allows individual exploration of the way sound is produced and how that sound can be modified. Instrumental play also helps to develop steady beat and gives a basis for play as part of an ensemble. Early literacy is developed through active involvement in storytelling. At all times, the developmental stage of each individual child is respected and encouraged within the wider scope of the activity as the parent or caregiver adapts the activity to the special needs of their own child.
- Why should I start a music class at such a young age?
Instinctively, we know that music belongs in the lives of young children. Young children are ready for music! They are in their critical period for developing a solid foundation in music, and musical potential is often lost if it is not nurtured and maintained in these early years. Anyone who works with young children, even infants, knows how eager and receptive they are to appropriate musical experiences. Additionally, recent brain research has pointed out non-musical crossover benefits of early music study and how important early music exposure is to a baby’s normal development. In a Kindermusik class, parent child interaction is fostered, socialization with other children is encouraged, fine-motor and gross-motor development is enhanced, and language skills flourish. As you can see, we are SO much more than just music! That being said, Kindermusik also helps each child develop musically at the right time and in the right way. A Kindermusik Graduate has a solid foundation and a giant head-start when he or she moves to private instrumental, voice or even dance lessons.
- Why choose Kindermusik over Suzuki or other private lessons?
Many parents have found that this is not an either/or choice. Kindermusik and private lessons are not mutually exclusive. In fact, Kindermusik supplements and enriches private lessons. In addition, several Suziki components are used in the Young Child program. The appropriate developmental nature of Kindermusik activities ensures that learning is never “too much, too fast.” It is the experience of many private piano instructors that a child who begins lessons much before age 7 or 8 is no further ahead of the child who begins at a later age. Kindermusik contains all of the needed elements to develop a child who is musically aware and who has the solid foundation to make private lessons a natural and joyous next step. Children who grow up in Kindermusik have had chances to succeed, be nurtured and encouraged in their early creative explorations and develop a core of music theory instilled through voice, body and mind. Music for them is a natural part of their environment, and they have gained the language of note, rhythm and expression to help them as they select which instrument they most wish to make their own. Many experts agree that early musical enrichment lays a foundation for musicianship which may accelerate later progress on an instrument. Children who graduate from Kindermusik have a strong basis in theory, musicianship and instrumental technique. More importantly, they have been allowed to develop the whole child through music in a supportive and reassuring atmosphere laying the groundwork for a positive outlook towards continued musical learning and learning in general.
- Why choose Kindermusik over other activities?
As our children grow, a world of possibilities in the community opens up to them. We can send our children to any number of activities. But, they don’t all involve the family and THAT is part of the magic here at Kindermusik. Being able to enjoy our families in a rich musical environment is priceless. These days, children are being pushed out into the world at younger ages than ever and it’s nice to have an activity where family involvement is celebrated. Kindermusik provides carefully designed curricula made to suit the child’s stage of development and the family’s needs. Professionally recorded CDs provide music for dancing, singing along, creating and playing along, or just for joyful listening. Ebooks help to develop early literacy. Our Kindermusik Online Parent Guides provide the family with tested ways to expand the week’s themes beyond the classroom experience with games, activities, parenting information, ASL, and craft ideas. Our Parent Guides are to Kindermusik what lesson books and instruments are to formal lessons, or shoes and leotards are to ballet class–an essential part of full participation in the class as a whole. Music is the one activity that lights up the whole brain as well as promoting physical coordination, improving social skills, building self-esteem and developing cognitive abilities and talents. Plus, there is the added benefit of a love of music that will last much past the time when the soccer cleats, tap shoes and karate belts are put away. Dr Carla Hannaford, author of Smart Moves says, “The importance of having families working together, where everyone benefits from the sense of belonging, gets directly at the heart of what we, as a society, are needing at this time to raise healthy, loving children…All of this is provided in the Kindermusik program”.
- My child loves music but doesn’t participate.
Not to worry! Although this is sometimes frustrating to parents because of our performance oriented society, pushing children to perform has no place in an Early Childhood program of any kind. We believe the parent is the child’s most important teacher and the home is the most important place for learning to grow. When you think about it, success should be measured more by what a child does all the rest of the week than what he or she does in the 45 – 60 minutes at class. Remember, Kindermusik is about process, not performance. Every child can be successful in a Kindermusik class no matter what his developmental level. And, we often find that an observer will choose to participate when he or she is ready.
- My Child has special developmental needs. Is Kindermusik for her?
Absolutely! Many children with special physical, emotional and learning needs have thrived AND improved in Kindermusik. We welcome all ages and stages and work with families to create a learning environment where all children progress.
- Is Kindermusik really this fabulous?
Yes! Kindermusik works for all children because it is carefully researched and developmentally appropriate. Each child learns at his or her own level and ability and revels in it. There is not one standard of performance that anyone is trying to meet and the WHOLE child is developed through the magic of music. Kindermusik is the epitome of joy, connection, growth and family time all wrapped up in a musical package!