We often get the question, “What instruments will my child get to play in Kindermusik?” Because of this we did a Facebook live showing and discussing all the wonderful instruments and props your little one will get to use and explore during their time in Kindermusik. Check out this video to see first hand!

Check out a video snapshot of our Kindermusik for Little Musicians program (Level 3 for 3-4 year olds).

Every month we share the wonders of Kindermusik with the residents of the Belmont Village Senior Living Center. Our Kindermusik for Grandfriends events bring the young and young at heart together to experience the joy and cognitive benefits of music! This is truly a magical experience for all that attend. The toddlers love engaging with the elders and the seniors in turn are invigorated by the little ones’ youthful spirit. These events are free to current MLC families as a perk to your enrollment.

Kids are born to improvise. They have no problem picking up an instrument and playing a “song” that they make up as they go along. And jazz is all about improvisation. April is National Jazz Appreciation Month with April 30 being National Jazz Day. April was chosen in recognition of the birthdays of jazz greats that happen this month – Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Gerry Mulligan, and Tito Puente. Read more

February is Black History Month. What better way to celebrate it than through music. American music would not be what it is today without the influence of African American music. It begins from when Africans were forced into slavery and brought music to America from their homeland. As time went on, African-American music evolved into what we hear today. Here are some of the major African-American musical genres.

African-American Spirituals

A spiritual is a type of religious folksong that is closely associated with the enslavement of African-Americans in the American South. The songs proliferated in the last few decades of the eighteenth century leading up to the end of legalized slavery in the 1860s. The African American spiritual (also called the Negro Spiritual) constitutes one of the largest and most significant forms of American folksong. In the following video, Calvin Earl presents an African American spiritual song in hopes of providing a better understanding of the music created by the slaves in the cotton fields of the Old South in America. The history and secret codes within the spiritual  ‘Wade In The Water’ is brought to life in a small clip of his performance in Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia.

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Many people ask me what the difference is between our Level 1 Kindermusik Class for Young Toddlers (1-2 year olds) and our Level 2 Kindermusik Class for Toddlers (2-3 year olds). The two classes have a similar feel, pace and energy, but there are many differences.

Social/Emotional: In our Level 2 Class we work on sharing and taking turns. We may pass an instrument or prop around the singing circle for each child to explore. After their turn, they pass the instrument to the next child. This can be challenging for a 2 year olds, but through our supportive environment, most do well! We do not attempt this in our Level 1 Class. The children are not yet able to comprehend the idea of sharing. It would just end in tears or upset little ones!

Large and Small Motor Skills: In our Level 2 Class we add in additional movements into our dances and fingerplays. Children at 2 can often jump, shuffle feet, gallop, and side step so these are now incorporated in our movement activities. They can also do more complex dances with movements at specific times in the song, they can hold hands in a circle dance (teamwork!) and use some imaginative play to move like animals, etc. The 2 year olds can also do more involved fingerplays and remember longer sequences of finger motions.

Instruments: We use baby-safe instruments in our Level 1 class. Moving up to Level 2, we now add in Rhythm Sticks, Ankle Bells and Single Bell Jingles. We also incorporate Streamers (these are too long for the 1 year olds and they get under their feet) and Pom Poms (not ideal for 1 year olds who may still want to explore them with their mouths). Read more

When parents of toddlers get together and the subject of schools comes up, the question of whether or not your child will be prepared for school inevitably comes up. It’s easy to start worrying if they will be able to read and write in time. But what I know from my experience as an elementary school teacher is that children need to learn how to be ready to learn. We teachers want children in our classes that know how to get along with other children, listen to the teacher, and take turns. We look for these signs of school readiness: self-regulation, listening, social-emotional skills, plus pre-literacy and pre-math skills.

One of the best ways to gain these skills is through group music classes. Why? Well, firstly, kids learn these school readiness skills best in an environment with other children. Secondly, they also learn pre-math and pre-literacy through music. Third reason? The learning is all through play – it’s fun!  

Music class helps self-regulation

Depending on where your child goes to school, there could be up to 30 children in a classroom – that’s 30 possible distractions! So, if your child can control their own behavior, emotions, thoughts and impulses, they are better at being able to focus. In our Kindermusik classes, children are given lots of practice moving to music, stopping and then starting again – all in a safe space with other children. By taking turns, they learn how to control their behavior and emotions. They learn about personal space and controlling their bodies while dancing with their friends. So what may look like kids rocking out to their favorite songs, is really them learning what is considered safe and appropriate behavior through example and positive reinforcement. Read more

Kindermusik Summer Classes 2016
Baby Class: Ages 0-1
Toddler Class: Ages 1-3
Preschooler Class: Ages 3-5

Class details:
Flexible Summer Schedule: pick any 4 classes per session
Session 1: June 13-July 23 (no classes July 4-9)
Session 2: July 25-August 27 
Child(ren) and Caregiver attend together
Class Size: Maximum of 12 Students
Tuition: $80 (sibling discount: $60) per 4 Class Session
Kindermusik@Home provided for free

Bring your little one for some summer music fun!  You and your child(ren) will love our  summer themed classes complete with creative props, instruments and imaginative play.  Story time, family jams, dancing, and singing all  encourage discovery and exploration as your children strengthen their ties with each other and with you. Kindermusik@Home downloads, ebooks, and home activities are provided for you to enjoy together. Read more

Early intervention matters in all areas of child development…from speech and language, motor skills, early literacy skills, positive behavior, and more. The sooner a child receives help the greater the impact. As educators, therapists, doctors, and researchers learn more and more how to identify early markers for intervention needs, children at risk for delays receive early intervention strategies, well, earlier. Some of the indicators may seem unrelated at first. For example, new research gives guidance in identifying young children who may need extra mathematical help…all by looking at their motor skills!

Motor Skills as Early Predictor of Math Skills
A Norwegian study shows that two-year-olds with poor motor skills also exhibit poor mathematical skills. Teachers can use this information to identify children who may need extra help.

“It is important that teachers of small children are aware of these findings. It will be easier for them to identify children who may be at risk of having difficulties in understanding mathematics. This knowledge can ensure that teachers and staff are quicker to help and support such children with mathematics,” said Associate Professor Elin Reikerås of the Norwegian Reading Centre in a University of Stavanger press release.

In the study, the research team evaluated the motor skills of two-year-old children by assessing their abilities to complete jigsaw puzzles, eat with utensils, use scissors, walk around a room without bumping into things, playing on the playground, and throwing and catching balls. Based on their motor skills abilities, the team divided the children into three groups: poor, average, and strong.

Then, the team examined various mathematical abilities of the children, such as if the children were able to use their fingers to show how old they were, if they could use the shape sorter box, play picture lotto, sort toys or objects by color or size, demonstrate the difference between big and small through the use of body language or words, and use numerals.

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer in the Atlanta area.

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