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!!!

Read more

In our Kindermusik classes, each month has a specific theme (or unit). All of our songs and activities revolve around these themes. Here are the units and descriptions for the Summer Session.

Sing & Play (birth to 2 year olds)


Big Back Yard:
 Parks, playgrounds, and yards of all shapes and sizes were made for play, play, play! Our bodies get a gross-motor “goose” when we go on a pretend adventure in our Big Back Yard.





Hello Day: 
What do you do in the morning? In Hello, Day!, you’ll greet the day with all of your senses and say good morning to the sunshine, you’ll blow away the morning dew, you’ll stretch your bodies high and low, explore and exercise fine-motor skills, and even play bath time and laundry games. Read more

Kindermusik isn’t just for kids – it’s for parents too!
You’ll love the support and friendship you find amongst the other adults in the class.  The class activities are just as much fun for you as they are for your child – and no one cares how well you sing or dance.  It’s all about the kids!  Plus you’ll take home what you learn so that along with your Home Materials, you’ll have the tools and resources at your fingertips to extend the fun, music, and learning at home.

Kindermusik classes will become the highlight of your week.
Kindermusik isn’t just one more thing for your busy schedule, it’s the one thing that allows you time to slow down and savor those precious, fleeting years from newborn to age 7 years. Kindermusik classes give you uninterrupted quality time with your child and unique insights into your child’s development.  And there’s nothing more rewarding than knowing that you (and Kindermusik!) just put that big smile on your child’s face and a happy song in his/her heart. Read more

At Kindermusik, we’re all about great ideas and helpful tips that make parenting just a little bit easier and a whole lot more musical.  And now that Spring is just around the corner, we thought we’d share some music and movement ideas for celebrating spring… and creating some very happy memories!

1. Go for a listening walk. There are all kinds of sounds to be discovered outside, especially in the Spring time.  Listen for, imitate, and then talk about the sounds that are all around.

2.  Take advantage of springtime showers. Those brief, light spring showers do more than bring May flowers… they also leave perfectly sized puddles that are great for jumping, stomping, splashing, and giggling!

3.  Blow bubbles on the porch. There’s nothing more delightful than bubbles.  But bubbles aren’t just for fun, they also help little eyes learn to track and follow moving objects and little eyes and hands to improve eye-hand coordination.

4.  Do a happy dance in the house. Turn on your favorite music and float like a cloud, sway like a tree, fly like a bird, or wiggle like a worm.  (This would be a great follow up to your Listening Walk, and it’s a fun thing for the whole family to enjoy!)

5.  Work on some spring cleaning together. We think music makes everything better, and that includes spring cleaning.  Give your child a soft cloth or small duster and let them help.  Sing and dance the chores away!

And for more fun ways to celebrate Spring and all things new…

Blog post by mindsonmusic.kindermusik.com.