Have you ever wondered: Why do we have a movement component in our music classes? What types of movement experiences should I expect?

Young children experience the world through movement. Movement plays an important role in how and what children learn. It is a crucial component to ALL learning at this age. This is why it seems to us adults that the child is constantly moving.

Our classes use circle dances, finger plays, free/expressive dances, imitative movements (ie: moving like a car, train or animal), and much more in every single class.

There are several important movement concepts that are used in our Kindermusik classes:

Body Awareness: Labeling, moving, focusing on and controlling specific and isolated body parts as well as the whole body.

Spatial Awareness: Fostering an understanding of how our body’s move in space and understanding our personal space. We use important directional words like: around, through, over, under, up, down, inside, outside, behind, next to, to the side, etc.

Fine Motor Experiences: The movements made by coordinating small muscles such as fingers, hands, toes and feet. These experiences greatly help children develop writing skills! Read more

Listening to and identifying sounds is the earliest phonological awareness skill and one of the most important pre-literacy competencies. Without this skill, there will be no progress toward phonics, spelling, or text comprehension.

How Children Become Phonologically Aware

Children become phonologically aware in a specific developmental sequence, beginning with the larger sound units (e.g., tapping each word in a sentence), then focusing on parts of individual words (e.g., blending two words to make a compound word, such as cup-cake), and finally focusing on smaller sound units (/b/-/ig/) within words.

This developmental sequence is universal…meaning that children who are English language learners are able to transfer phonological awareness skills from their first language, even when the two languages are very different! And children who speak other alphabetic languages also progress through the same sound-awareness sequence, from larger to smaller units.

Kindermusik@Home Activity that Supports Phonological Awareness

There is such a thing as training an ear. Parents can extend the application of a listening activity like this one from Kindermusik@Home to pre-literacy by gathering a variety of sound-making materials and playing with different pitches, paces, and lengths of sound. The more experience children gain in learning to identify the subtle nuances between musical timbres and pitches, the more prepared they will be to recognize and identify the distinct sounds within words.

Kindermusik@Home activity: “Which Woodwind?” Give young children’s listening skills a workout with this fun, musical game. Kids will learn to identify a piccolo, flute, oboe, bassoon, and bagpipe.

This post was written by Minds on Music (the Kindermusik official blog).

Here are the upcoming unit descriptions for December, January and February 2015-2016.

Cuddle & Bounce (0-1 year olds):

December
Mama Goose:
 Nursery rhymes endure for a reason. They’re quirky, rhymey, and memorable–and are also magical for speech and language development, as they work to “wire” the brain for communication before speech even begins! What bliss to share something with your child that your parents shared with you–or better yet, to learn and share one for the very first time! Welcome to Mama Goose.



January
Nighty, Night:
 
It’s nighttime, but not quite bedtime yet! Let’s use our vision to explore the night. We’ll see the moon and the twinkling stars, and say hello to Wee Willie Winkie and the man in the moon! Finally, it’s time to get ready for beddy-bye—with bathtime, a little playtime, and then it’s time to say Nighty Night!




February
Peekaboo!:
 A house with a baby is a house full of love. (And fun…and toys…and noise!) Peekaboo! peeks into the “1, 2, 3, punch” patterns of repetition, anticipation, and surprise. Have fun with vocal play, sensory exploration, and learning through play.




Sing & Play (1-2 year olds):

December
Family All Around Me: 
For toddlers, family means everyone who loves them! They are often surrounded by family members, friends, and other loving caregivers who look after them and shape their days. Family All Around Me celebrates these bonds and offers lots of opportunities for fun, connection, movement, and instrument play.




January
Rain or Shine: 
Up the water spout, down the water spout, you know how it goes. We’ll use our senses to explore the sights, sounds, and sensations of sunny days, rainy days, and all the other kinds of days in between. Rain or Shine, we’ll be ready for some fun!




February
Around the House: 
Home is where the heart is but also where the cooking, eating, playtime, bath time, and pets are! Around the House makes its way through the typical routines and day-parts, from active games and play-alongs to calming, rocking lullabies.




Wiggle & Grow (2-3 year olds):


December
Family & Friends: Sing, dance, rhyme, move, and play your way through this celebration of why our very special Family & Friends matter so much! Using our imaginations, well visit our friends houses, interact with family, go to the market, play with playmates, and more.

January
Silly All Over: This month, you’ll catch a case of the giggles. Motor skills and self-control get a workout with plenty of stop-and-go motion, energy gets tapped with plenty of up-and-down, and sense of humor gets a tickle with silly sounds, silly movements, finger plays, and fun. Hold onto your funny bone, because you’re about to get Silly All Over!

February
How Do You Feel?: Young children can go from happy to upset and then back again in the blink of an eye! Understanding and managing emotions can be complicated, but using music to explore and identify different feelings, their causes, and how we can navigate them, can be useful (and even fun)!

Move & Groove (4-5 year olds):

December
Jazz Kitchen: What’s cookin? Step into our Jazz Kitchen and you’ll find out! With a bowl full of movement and generous servings of vocal play and improvisation, you’ll be well on your way to a jazzy good time.


January
All Keyed Up: Were All Keyed Up! There is magic to be found in those 88 keys! Immerse yourself in the magic of keyboards of all kinds: pianos, organs, synthesizers, &  harpsichords. You’ll explore staccato & legato sounds, get to know a few famous composers, & even experiment with composition.

February
Feel the Music: Don’t you just love when you can Feel the Music? Music is a powerful trigger of emotions. In this unit, we explore how music can elicit feelings as well as how to express feeling through music. We start with facial expressions as they relate to music and build up to listening to and engaging with the music of one of the great masters of emotion, Ludwig Van Beethoven.

We like to tell parents that they are their child’s first and best teacher because it’s true! Sure, parents may not always know all the answers—like that initial night home from the hospital (now what?!) or when a baby experiences a growth spurt and wakes up every two hours (why?!).

But, thankfully parenting is not about personally knowing all of the answers all of the time. It doesn’t change the fact that parents ARE the early childhood experts when it comes to their own children.

Of course, everyone needs a little help and affirmation now and again…even the experts. Music can be the go-to resource to help make parenting just a little bit easier and support a parents’ unique role in a young child’s life. In fact, we think music gives parents super powers! Music can provide moments throughout the day (or night) to pause and celebrate the parent-child bond and reinforce a young baby’s development. Here are a few ways babies benefit when parents add music to their parenting toolkit. Read more

How early music instruction impacts early literacy development

Still wondering if you should sign your little one up for a music class?? Check out all of these wonderful benefits: Read more

Here’s a glimpse of what we’ll be learning in our Cuddle & Bounce class this Fall. This one of a kind baby music class will keep a smile on your little one’s face! This class includes: infant exercises, infant massage, baby-safe instrument play, songs, listening, moving/dancing, and so much more! We do all of these while singing or listening to music. Below are the unit descriptions for the first 3 months. Classes run September through June! Join anytime! We prorate.


September
Zoom Baby: Bumpity-bump, zippity-zoom, babies are on the go! This unit is packed with move-move-movement, as spatial development takes focus. Activities that explore distance, speed, placement, reaching, dancing, rocking, bouncing, and wheels-on-the-bus-ing all get baby zoom-zoom-zooming to big smiles in Zoom Baby.


October
Music Makes My Day: If you think about it, your day-to-day routine is a lot like a piece of music. Ups, downs, repetitions, patterns, fast parts, slow parts, and lots (and lots) of improvising! Music Makes My Day focuses on daily rituals and parts of the day, and gets you thinking about anticipation, improvisation, singing, instruments, new rituals, and other ways to make your same-old routine fun and musical.


November
Old MacDonald: Time to tune up baby’s listening ears, because we’re off to the farm! With a hee-haw here and a cock-a-doodle there–when Old MacDonald gets involved, you never know whom you might run into.

 

Come check out a free demo class!! During the last week of August we are offering numerous demo classes! Wondering what a baby class is like? Come and see for yourself! Wondering if your child is ready for Wiggle & Grow? Come see. This 30 minute class will give you a taste of some of the fun that Kindermusik offers. You’ll see a class in action. Have fun singing, dancing, playing instruments, giggling, and learning while you see just what makes Kindermusik soooo special. Come play with us!

Register for fall before the end of the month and receive a free set of rhythm sticks!!!

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We have some exciting classes lined up for this school year! If you have never checked out a class, now’s the perfect time!

What is a Kindermusik Class? Well, simply put, they are the best early childhood music and movement classes for kids ages 0-6! Trusted. Proven. Educational. And of course, fun! Kindermusik International is the world’s leading provider of music and movement programs for young children, enjoyed by over 1 million families in more than 70 countries. And our mission? It’s simple. Music is the best vehicle for early childhood learning. We want to instill a lifelong love of music and learning in children. Our program is based on research demonstrating the benefits of music at each stage of a child’s development. We start from where your child is, regardless of his age, and provide activities that stimulate his mind, body, and sense of play.


Read more

Every stage, or “season,” of early childhood has its triumphs and its challenges.  At Kindermusik, we believe that music and movement should be a huge part of both the celebrations and the everyday moments of each stage of childhood.

That’s why Kindermusik classes are not just filled with happy music and delightful activities for kids, but are also full of practical tips and musical helps for parents.  And it all comes packaged in such a way as to also give you invaluable insights into the way your child will grow and develop into the special individual he/she is meant to be. Read more