One of the most important aspects of the Kindermusik experience is the opportunity we provide you to truly partner with your child. It is absolutely critical that you spend the time you have together in class each week to be fully present with them. Developing a habit of connecting with them will pay huge dividends in your relationship at home, and what better place to make that time investment than at Song of the Heart Studios where we prime their brains and bodies for learning and connection?
Dr. Becky Bailey of Conscious Discipline teaches us that we must focus on our inner state before we can control our behavior. The same is true for children. They must be in an inner state of calm and security before they can learn, comply, or make sense of the world around them. The ability to self-regulate and manage our emotions and inner state requires TWO people. For adults, those two people are YOU and YOU. Your INNER VOICE is what regulates your INNER STATE.
Children have no inner voice to help them self-regulate. And yet two decades of research has shown that self-regulation is more critical to a child’s future happiness and success than early academic achievement. A child’s ability to self-regulate is more important than early reading, writing, or math skills. The average child does not develop inner-speech until around 6 years of age. Some girls may develop it as early as 4, and some boys may delay until 9!
So how can children manage their emotions and self-regulate if they have no inner-voice?
That’s why they need YOU. Remember that it takes TWO to self-regulate? THIS is why we partner with our children. This is why we focus on connection so much. This is why children crave and need your attention. It is through your guidance and example that they can learn to calm their inner state and to manage their emotions.
Every Kindermusik lesson has a moment or many for you to connect with your child. Our Foundations through Level 2 classes are non-stop parent-child partner joy-fests. Our Level 3-5 classes are focused on more musical training and less parent partnering, but even in those classes you are given a few moments at the end to join in with your child and partner with them. Make the most of our structured sharing time! And remember that you always have access to the at-home materials online that you can utilize to partner with your child.
Remember you are your child’s PARTNER as well as their parent. Partner up in class. Partner up at home. Partner with them whenever they need help navigating their overwhelming emotions. Use those I Love You Rituals, or a favorite fingerplay or lap bounce from Kindermusik, or your own special family brand rituals. And as always, remember that connection builds cooperation and promotes JOY.
As we have had a few new families join us for Summermusik, it’s important for you to know a few of our best tips to get the most out of your experience. It’s a good reminder for our returning families as well!
PARTNERSHIP:You are your child’s partner in class. What does this mean? It means you make eye contact with your little one. It means you engage playfully with them. It means you notice what they are doing, label what they are doing, and help them build upon what they are doing. It means that you are fully present with them, fully engaged, and focused on them and their process. If your older child is in a drop-off class, the same thing goes for the few minutes of sharing time at the end of class. Let them show off and shine and share. Watch them. Encourage them. Cheer them on. Hug them. Sing with them. Make your time together special.
MOVERS GOTTA MOVE:
Maybe your child is one of those children that just can’t sit still. That’s okay and totally normal. Movers gotta move. It’s how they process information. If your child needs to get up and walk away from the circle and explore, go with them. Follow them, meet them where they are, then bring them back when they are ready.
EVERYONE’S EXPERIENCE IS RIGHT:
Every child experiences Kindermusik in just the right way for them and their development. There is no wrong way to experience Kindermusik. If your child doesn’t appear to be fully engaged in the activity, don’t stress. They are still learning. They are still taking it in. They are absorbing the information and experiencing it in a way that is just right for them. Is your kid off in the corner looking at the lights? Is your child sitting on the rug content to watch others instead of joining in? Does your child avoid eye contact with the educator and want to be held the whole time? Great! Do what they need. Follow their lead. Their brains and bodies are still benefiting from the class experience.
Children learn best through play, and repetitive play at that. They need repetition of activities in order to fully process that information and formulate the dendrite connections in their brains. Our educators are experts at reading a classroom and repeating an activity as needed by the students. They tailor their lessons on the spot, in the moment, based upon what the children before them need. And more often than not, children need just one more repetition. Adults always tire of an activity quicker than a child does because an adult’s brain can assimilate new information more rapidly. There’s a developmental and cognitive reason that children ask for the same bedtime story over and over and over. They need that repetition to learn. So even though you may feel like an activity is tired, trust that your child needs it to reap the brain benefits.
Here at Song of the Heart Studios we strive to develop a sense of community and culture, and we want all of you and your children feel like a part of it. That extends into the classroom. Your class is unique. The specific blend of children, adults, and educator all bring something different to the experience; you all contribute. So please think of your class as your musical tribe. Participate fully. Get to know each other’s names. Make eye contact with other adults and children in the room. We invite you to become part of our studio family.