Sunday, December 11, 2011

The 12 Benefits of Music Education part 2

Continuing on our "Benefits" article:

4. Recent studies show that students who study the arts are more successful on stadardized tests such as the SAT.

5. A study of the arts provides children with an internal glimpse of other cultures and teaches them to be empathetic towards the people of these cultures. This development of compassion and empathy, as opposed to development of greed and a "me first" attitude, provides a bridge across cultural chasms that leads to respect of other races at an early age.

6. Students of music learn craftsmanship as they study how details are put together painstakingly and what constitutes good, as opposed to mediocre, work. These standards, when applied to a student's own work, demand a new level of excellence and require students to stretch their inner resources.

More to come...

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The 12 Benefits of Music Education

The 12 Benefits of music Education, written by Carolyn Phillips, former executive director of the Norwalk Youth Symphony, continues to inspire us to develop and maintain the highest quality program for our students.

Here are the first 3 of her series:

1. Early musical training helps develop brain areas involved in language and reasoning. It is thought that brain development continues for many years after birth. Recent studies have clearly indicated that musical training physically develops the part of the left side of the brain known to be involved with processing language, and can actually wire the brain's circuits in specific ways. Linking familiar songs to new information can also help imprint information on young minds.

2. There is also a casual link between music and spatial intelligence (the ability to perceive the world accurately and to form mental pictures of things). This kind of intelligence, by which one can visualize various elements that should go together, is critical to the sort of thinking necessary for everything from solving advanced mathematics problems to being able to pack a bookbag with everything that will be needed for the day.

3. Students of the arts learn to think creatively and to solve problems by imagining various solutions, rejecting outdated rules and assumptions. Questions about the arts do not have only one right answer.

The power of the arts is very evident in our Kindermusik classes. If you are not currently a part of a class, please check out our web site and call for a FREE preview!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NOVEMBER - A TIME OF THANKSGIVING


This is one of my favorite times of year. The weather is great and I am ready to come inside and huddle up for a while. Family time is in my mind mostly. At this time of year I am thankful most for my family. I have a wonderful husband who sticks by me even on my worst days. I have 3 wonderful children who I am so very proud of. And then there are my 5 grandchildren. I had no idea what people were talking about when they said being a grandparent is so great. Wow! Were they ever right. It is absolutely the best thing! All 5 of my grandkids bring such joy to my heart.

Of course, this wouldn't be complete if I didn't mention how thankful I am for my parents. What an amazing couple. We just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. I am so thankful for them. I also have 3 great sisters and their families are also wonderful. My nieces and nephews have grown up to become the most wonderful young men and women.

So just stop and take a minute in these beautiful fall days to contemplate your family and how much they mean to you. Even the little things are so wonderful. So I declare... thanks be to God for my family!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

play.kindermusik.com

Kindermusik International is always trying to stay on the cutting edge of technology and offer products that help both children and their parents. I think they have hit the ball out of the park on this one. Parents are always looking for ways to interact with their children that help in their development. Kindermusik has for a while offered a site call play.kindermusik.com. At this site parents can create an account and go in and digitally download the music for their child's Kindermusik class. There are also a ton of other songs that may be purchased.

Now Kindermusik International has added Lyric & Activity Booklets to their play.kindermusik site. These booklets have all of the lyrics to the songs that their child is singing this semester. There are also suggested activities to go with each song. What a wonderful parent resource! You can go to this site for ideas that will get your creative juices flowing. And what great benefits your child will receive!

Here's how to do this:
  1. Go to www.play.kindermusik.com
  2. Either log in or create your own account.
  3. Put in your class code. (You received a postcard type paper in your home materials this session. It contains your # to use for this.)
  4. You will see your class CD. Under this are two icons. The orange one is for downloading your class songs. The green one is for the Lyric & Activities Booklet.
So go to this site and enjoy all the fun activities that Kindermusik has for you. Just another great value for being in this Kindermusik session.

Friday, September 23, 2011

MAKING MUSIC IN YOUR HOME

At Kindermusik one of our goals is to help you as a parent to bring music into your home. Your child will benefit the most when you do a little bit of music every day. Your Family Home Activity Book is a gold mine for just this purpose. This book will help you bring the music home! But in the meantime, here are some general ideas to help your home be filled with music.
  • CAMP OUT - Build a tent in your family room. Start a "camp fire" and, of course, sing around the camp fire. Teach your child those songs that you sang when you were a child. Besides the music, you will be building a family bond with your child.
  • JOIN THE PARADE - Get out the plastic wear, maybe even some old pots and pans. Then you will need a few wooden spoons, plastic spatulas or the like. Put on some marching music (if you are a Kindermusik family, you have some) and get those knees up! Not only will you have music in your home, but you will be getting some exercise also.
  • START AN ORCHESTRA - If you are a family that has some instruments around your house, then get them out. A few drums, maybe a kazoo or two, and some shakers. You have yourself an orchestra. Now all you need is a conductor. Let the conductor lead you in playing together and then just the sections. Follow the conductor and then let another family member be your conductor. Experiment, listen and see what different sounds your little orchestra can make.
I've given you a few ideas, now see what your family can come up with on your own. And don't forget to check out your Family Home Activity Book. It's a treasure!

By Mrs. Kim who is waiting for the next parade to march through her living room!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

THE ECOMONY


Yes! No one likes to talk about it very much right now. We try to ignore it. It is about all you hear on the news stations. The economy is not good. But we still have to live our lives. Time still marches on. Yes, it does not matter how we try to stop it.

So with that, children are getting older. Our kids are growing up. We can't ignore that! We see them going from one developmental stage to another. As that time passes we miss many opportunities to help our child develop if we try to just ignore it.

So as parents, we have to make a choice. Do we put our children "on the back burner" and wait until the economy gets better, or do we step out and go ahead to do the things that we know in our heart are beneficial for our child. Those things that will bring value to his or her life for a life time. It will take hard choices sometimes and an investment that we are a little hesitant to commit to.

So it all comes down to choices. Do we choose for our child? Do we decide that maybe we don't need ALL the bells and whistles on that car? Do we decide to eat at home more often? Do we decide that maybe we don't need that new pair of shoes as much as we think we do? Maybe forgo that cup of Starbucks coffee? (Hard for me to say as my son works for them!) Tough choices!

This is why at Musical Beginnings we try to work with our families to make sure they don't have to miss out on the development opportunity that only happens one time. We have a convenient monthly payment plan that brings Kindermusik and the developmental benefits right to your family. There is no need to put anything on the back burner!

The 1st payment for all of our classes is just $65. This helps in covering the at home materials. Look at what your price per class will be:

Village (newborn to 18 mo) $10 ($9 if you pay in full)
Our Time (1 1/2 to 3 1/2 yrs) $11 ($10 if you pay in full)
Imagine That! (3 to 5 yrs) $11.50 ($10.50 if you pay in full)
Young Child (Kindergarten & 1st gr) $13 ($12 if you pay in full)
Family Time (all ages) $12 1st child (drops dramatically for subsequent children)

So don't hesitate any longer! Call our office or go on line to register. Materials are still being ordered, so it's not too late!

Web site

Enroll in a Kindermusik class today!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Value of Bonding and Development

This article is adapted from a blog post by Christa Sigman, Kindermusik educator extraordinaire from Athens, Ohio.

It’s enrollment time for many activities for families – dance, soccer, gymnaastics, Scouting, music lessons, art lessons and - yes – especially Kindermusik. All of these activities place demands on parents – time, money, energy and stress about making the right decisions because, though many of us try, our children (and we) cannot possibly do it all.

I remember when I first enrolled Hannah in Kindermusik. I did it because I knew her teacher, I didn’t know a lot of other moms with toddlers, and, as an educator, I valued the social interaction she was going to get. I was confident that I was more than qualified to give her a good beginning in music education and language, but we needed to get out of the house. BUT, when we saw the cost we started to wonder if we should really spend the money. We went to the first session as a free trial class. She had a ball and came home already mimicking what we did in class. We paid for it and both of us fell in love. We still felt it was stretching the budget, so we began to ask my mom and Greg’s parents to help us pay for it.

In the meantime, our older daughter was getting involved in Girl Scouting and basketball. WOW, those activities LOOKED less expensive than Kindermusik until we got involved. You see, with Kindermusik it was one price for the entire semester. All her materials and the class were rolled into the total cost. She didn’t need any special shoes or clothing, there weren’t extra field trips, meals out, or travel. Kindermusik began to be the best value we had.

Now our children are a senior in high school and a sixth grader in middle school. Through the years, I have come to realize that Kindermusik was the BEST value we were ever going to get. Soccer, dance, Girl Scouts, 4H and band all appeared to be less expensive initially, but the hidden costs added up quickly and we invest large sums of money each year = even though we limit the girls to one or two activities each.

Not only that, but Kindermusik is the only activity that we have ever invested in that included us completely and targeted so many different areas of development, not just one or two. Talk about value – Hannah learned to play well with others, clean up her toys, sing on pitch, keep a steady beat, move her body and have self-control in stopping, rhyming, reading, counting etc in her Kindermusik class. No other activity has enhanced her development as much (though many of them -especially 4H – have taught her great skills).

In addition to financial investment, activities require the investment of time. We thought one class a week seemed like a lot when Hannah was a toddler and it became more difficult to schedule when she became a preschooler and went to Kindergarten. But, we continued to do it because she loved it. When she began to play soccer that was 2-3 times a week (We were only playing recreationally. I know families who go much more than that), 4H is once every couple weeks but there are extra events that have to be worked in and the projects have to be finished involving hours at home, band is at least 3 days a week – often more, private music lessons require practice every day, etc etc etc. Kindermusik was easy – once a week, 45 minutes and I got to spend that time with her.

I encourage parents everywhere. When looking for activities and choosing for your children, please consider what they will get out of the experience, what they will enjoy and what are the hidden costs. If you have rejected Kindermusik in the past because it was so expensive. Please call your local educator to find out what the value of being enrolled includes. And, what ever you choose, have fun and enjoy the experience. The children grow up too fast.

Here are some cost comparisons for the northern Indianapolis area:

Soccer – Fall session (basically late August through early October, 7 weeks) @$100. Does not include shoes, shinguards, travel. 2 – 3 times a week. Information about refunds unavailable.

Dance – Comparing 4 months like a KM session @ $250 (can be broken into $50 per month). Extra fees of $75 in the fall. Does not include practice dancewear, tights, shoes. (based on a Noblesville dance studio Website). Class once a week for 45 minutes. No information about refunds available.

Gymnastics – Comparing 4 months or 15 weeks of classes which is the same as Kindermusik sessions. $225 tuition. Does not include any special clothing or fees for meets, etc. (Based on a Fishes Gymnastic Studio website). Class once a week for 45 minutes. No information about refunds available.

Kindermusik – 4 month commitment @$52 to $70 per month (depending on the level). Total is an average of $215 per semester. Cost inclusive – 15 classes, 2 CDs, 2 books, Family Activity Guide, 1 or 2 instruments and/or manipulatives, weekly newsletter. 45 minutes per week. 100% satisfaction guarantee!

WHY ?

While other popular activities like dance, gymnastics and soccer do provide certain benefits, only participation in Kindermusik promises more life-impacting growth in all areas of your child’s development – including cognitive, physical, emotional, language and social development – for now and for life!

Activity Benefits

Kindermusik

Dance / Gymnastics

Organized Sports

Helps develop social skills through group interaction

Provides for physical development

Gives parents a chance to socialize

Builds self-esteem

Prepares Child for possible future as an athlete

Prepares Child for a future dance career

Leads a child toward a lifetime of joyful music-making



Provides a flexible, but structured routine


Enhances brain development for other skills like spatial and complex reasoning, listening, and reading



Allows a child to creatively express and explore individual strengths with art, vocal, dance, and instrumental activities



Improves memory and the ability to learn new information



Develops a child’s language and auditory skills


Is process, not performance, based



Supports the home as the most important environment for learning



At Home Materials make the weekly experience live at home again and again



Like this:

Monday, August 22, 2011

ADDING MORE PREVIEWS


We are adding preview classes and Play Dates at the following days and locations. If you are interested in taking part in one of these, please call our office.

Monday, August 29th @ Orchard Park Presbyterian Church
Tuesday, August 30th @ Northview Chuch

For the rest of the days and times and other details, please see the blog below!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

FREE KINDERMUSIK PREVIEW CLASSES FOR NEW STUDENTS - PLAYDATES FOR ALL!

Have you been wondering what a Kindermusik class is like? Wondering if your child would like a class? We have the answer for you. We are offering FREE preview classes for families who have not done a class before. The classes we are offering are geared toward the babies and toddlers (up to 3 1/2 years). Check out the days, times & locations that we have available:


FREE PREVIEWS

Monday, August 22nd @ Orchard Park Presbyterian Church (106th & Westfield Blvd)

Village (newborn to 18 months) @ 5:30 p.m.

Our Time (1 1/2 to 3 1/2 yrs) @ 6:30 p.m.


Tuesday, August 23rd @ Northview Church

Village (newborn to 18 months) @ 11:30 a.m.


Monday, August 29th @ East 91st Street Christian Church

Village (newborn to 18 months) @ 10:45 a.m.


Our Playdates are for ANYONE! New students, current students, former students. Ages 1 1/2 to 5 years. Everyone is welcome! Our Playdate will be Picnic Day. And our picnic will happen rain or shine! It doesn’t matter when it is a Kindermusik Picnic Day! Your child will receive a CD or a gift card to download songs from play.kindermusic.com. Also, each child will receive an instrument to take home to make more music.


This will be a 45 minute class with extended play time for those who would like to stay. It is $18 for the 1st child and all others are only $8 in the same family. If a family would like to use this class as a FREE preview, you are welcome to do this. However, you will not receive the music or the instrument.


We have our Picnic Day Playdate scheduled for the following days, times & locations:


Tuesday, August 23rd @ Northview Church @ 10:00 a.m.


Thursday, August 25th @ Northview Church @ 10:00 a.m.


Monday, August 29th @ East 91st Street Christian Church @ 9:30 a.m.


So come ready to sit on the “ground”, “eat” some food and enjoy the “park”. We will have a great time.


All of these events require you to reserve your spot. This can be done either by calling our office at 317-867-3077 or emailing us at kimusik@musicalbeginnings.com We look forward to hearing from you!


Posted by Mrs. Kim who is very excited to begin singing and dancing with her little friends again.

Simply Music Piano Classes - FREE Introductory Sessions


We are so proud and excited about offering Simply Music piano classes. These classes have students playing from the very first lessons. The pieces are both hands together and they are great sounding songs!


To let people know more about our classes we require that you attend a FREE Introductory Session before enrolling in a class. These sessions are scheduled throughout the year as long as we are opening new beginning classes. Here are the current ones that are available:


Thursday, August 18th @ 4:20 p.m.

Friday, August 19th @ 3:40 p.m.

Wednesday, August 24th @ 6:00 p.m.


Please call to save your spot. This Introductory Session is for both student and parent. There is no obligation when you come to one of these sessions.


Piano lessons are for children 7 years old and in the 2nd grade and up. Yes, we do teach adults! Call us today!!!


Posted by Kim Bemis who is very excited today after teaching her 1st new lesson of this school year cycle.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

LET'S READ

Reading is a vital activity for children. And what better time to read to them than when it is steamy hot outside! You probably have books at your house that you haven’t read in a long time. So start digging! Enjoy those books again. What about visiting the library? If you haven’t been for a while, this would be a great place to spend some time with your child. Besides the books, your local library is full of activities and things to explore.

Many times parents aren’t sure what books would be good for their child. As they grow it is sometimes hard to keep up. Your librarian is a great resource for ideas if you see she has a few extra minutes. Also, here are a few web sites that offer parents ideas for their children.

http://www.parents-choice.org/article.cfm?art_id=209&the_page=reading_list
http://www.readingfoundation.org/index.jsp

So pour yourself and your child a cold glass of lemonade and sit back and read together. It will be some of your best summer memories.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

ONE OF THE BEST KEPT SECRETS IN LOCAL CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMING

Clowes Hall on the Butler University campus offers an educational series for preschool and school-age children. Plays and musicals, typically about one-hour in length, are performed by local and touring production companies and can be seen weekdays throughout the school year. Tickets are usually between $7 and $10 and may be ordered in advance or purchased at the door (Some performances do sell out.). Upcoming preschool performances include Three Classics by Mercer Mayer, The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Eric Carle Favorites and Click, Clack, Moo. See a complete schedule on the Clowes Hall web site.

I’ve never seen this series promoted anywhere but the Clowes Hall website. The shows are attended mostly by school groups so perhaps Clowes focuses its marketing efforts to educators. Regardless, individuals are also welcome. I took my three-year-old daughter to see The Berenstain Bears musical last fall. The show was based on three different books and explored good nutrition, stranger danger and honesty. My daughter loved it, and I admit, I was entertained too!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

WHAT TO DO ON A SNOW DAY


So now we are on Day #3 of our snow days adventure. Are you going crazy yet? As moms, it is always a challenge to figure out what to do with your child to keep him or her occupied when you feel the 4 walls closing in on you. Normally, I wouldn't have this issue as my children are grown, but it was decided with the circumstances surrounding where my daughter lives and because her husband is employed in the moving snow and melting ice business, that she and her 2 children should come to my house to ride out the storm. So they are still here and we are trying to "entertain" an almost 4 and almost 6 year old. Here are some ideas we have come up with:
  • Play games - children need to know how to take turns and how to loose gracefully. This would be a great time to work on this.
  • Make a band - Gather all your instruments from around the house (both real and pretend) and have a band. Remember to use pots, pans and plastic ware from your kitchen too!
  • While you have your band instruments, why not have a parade? March all through the house. Make different parade routes.
  • Have an inside snow storm - Gather some boxes of tissue and start pulling them out FAST! Before you know it "snow" will be covering the ground.
  • If it snowed, you have to have a SNOWBALL FIGHT! - Scoop up a mound of ice cold snow, and roll it into a ball just so, now pull your arm back nice and slow, let go of that snow, look at it go! Too fun!!!
  • Indoor ice skating - Get some paper plates (the cheap kind are best) and stand on them. Move your feet to get to skating. Be careful, it's slick!
  • Make an instrument - Get an old carton that you have saved (sour cream, cottage cheese, coffee can, ziplock bowl with lid) and use it to make a shaker instrument. Experiment with by putting different things into the container to see the different sounds you can get from the same shaker.
  • Have a beach party! Get out your beach towel, sunglasses and if you are brave, put on your swim suit. Sing summer songs, eat lunch on your towels and just pretend you are at the beach! If you have a fireplace, you could do this in front of it pretending the fireplace is your campfire on the beach.
  • Bake something to have on your beach picnic. The Our Time students from last semester sang a lot about measuring and pouring. Let them do this. (I know... it will be messy, but think of the fun you will be having!
Above all, I just want to encourage all you moms to enjoy these precious days. You will talk about the "ice storm of 2011" when your children are adults. I hope you all have fond memories of this time together!

Posted by Kim Bemis ("Gamma"), who is really enjoying having two of her grandkids here for the storm even though there is a thick layer of crumbs (almost as thick as the ice outside) under her island in the kitchen.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

AMAZED


Charlie is a big boy.

He will not let you call him "baby", even if meant as a term of endearment. He has good reason to feel this way. In the month of December he did two amazing things: he dropped the binky in 2 days & potty-trained in a week. That last part bears repeating...
he potty-trained in A WEEK!

I feel like I've been shouting it from every mountain top I can find. Yes I think my child is a genius. This isn't meant to put down my friends who have older kids still happy as clams in diapers. It's more a celebration fueled by relief. He has mastered such a basic thing, all on his own. He got it. He's not my difficult child. Halle-freakin-lujah!

The relief surrounding this milestone is based on our experience with Jack. We started potty-training him just after his third birthday. I was home, he was old enough, preschool was just around the corner; it was time. Or so I thought. (perhaps even more so it's what everyone told me.) Age & readiness aren't always the same thing however, made very clear to us by how tough Jack was to potty-train. He had very few accidents at night, but on a good day he would have at least two while awake & playing. And that was just #1. Poop was so much more complicated, and honestly still is as he approaches 5 years old. I think we're finally learning that Jack doesn't notice the physical cues that he needs to poop. So with encouragement, a conscious effort not to yell & good reading material in the bathroom I think we've finally made some progress.

But you can see how this two year process with Jack had me dreading doing it with Charlie. If Jack, our resident people-pleaser, had such a hard time, what would our feisty child be like? Little did I know the level of determination Charlie possessed. He made up his mind that he wasn't going to wear diapers and made it happen. Simple as that.

So far, this is one of the most amazing parts of parenthood. When you think you have your child figured out & then they WOW you. The best part is, I know it won't be the last time this happens. They are such incredible, evolving little beings. How lucky we are to witness their lives as they unfold.

And while I bask in the ease of this milestone with him, I'm fully aware they may not all be so easy. That said, I think I'll have Andy teach him how to drive.

Posted by Mrs. Aly who is so glad to have 2 big boys in her home. You can still join her in a class on Thursday mornings in NE Indy!

Monday, January 17, 2011

CHARLIE & A CUP OF TEA


My son Charlie is my spirited child. Unlike his older brother, Jackson, the people-pleaser of the family, Charlie tends to be more physical and a little more feisty. He can be a very sweet and loving little guy, but it’s not always a given. (I guess I should add that he’s also 2 ½, an age of natural feistiness.) As we tend to do with our children, I envision Charlie becoming an athlete of some sort when he grows up. He’s fearless and excited to try just about anything that involves moving his body at full speed.

This year Jackson started M-F preschool, giving me 3 days a week with just Charlie. (Charlie goes on Tuesdays & Thursdays) This was the first time I had ever had that kind of time with him & I was really looking forward to it. I signed us up for Mrs. Ellen’s Our Time class on Mondays for some guaranteed “mommy & me” time each week.

Both of my guys are observational learners, at least at first. So it was no surprise to me when for most of our first weeks of class Charlie held tightly to me, unwilling to participate. As a Kindermusik educator, I tell parents all the time that this is quite normal & they’ll be amazed to hear how much their child repeats outside of class. I truly believe this, but of course was skeptical when it came to my own child. That changed however when I overheard Charlie playing in his bedroom one Monday afternoon. I could hear him reciting a finger play exercise from our class. “Here a cup, here a cup, here a pot of tea” he said, in a very soft, loving little voice. He even repeated the poem (Cup of Tea), with the hand movements, to his dad later that night. We were amazed at how gently he acted out the poem & poured the cups of tea.

That’s what I love about Kindermusik. It speaks to kids in a way that we as parents might not always understand. I never would have guessed that a little poem about having a cup of tea would register with Charlie, but it did. In fact, I feel the class has taught him to explore his gentle side a bit more in general. He now jumps up to help put away instruments or toys, whether or not he was even involved in the activity. (Apparently sometimes cleaning up is the best part!) He plays the instruments & explores their sounds rather than instantly throwing them down. It seems I am now the observer in our class; watching and soaking in this new, wonderful facet to my child’s personality. I can’t wait for our Spring semester to start, as Charlie & I continue this fascinating journey together.

by Aly Schroeder, proving that even Kindermusik educators are continually amazed by the power of music!

Friday, January 7, 2011

CHILDREN DO REMEMBER


Today as I did some office work, my three-year-old daughter played in the floor and asked if she could listen to the “washing ‘chine” song. I immediately knew what she meant – the song “Washing Machine” from the Milk and Cookies Volume 1 CD – but I was shocked she asked for this particular song since it was from Kindermusik class so many weeks ago. It was another example of how the things she learns in music class really do sink in and stick with her.

A similar thing happened last week as I was driving my three kids in our mini-van. We were listening to the Zoom Buggy CD so I could refresh my memory before teaching my next class. My six-year-old daughter sang along to “Little Red Caboose” and announced to us all how much she likes that song. What she didn’t remember was that as a toddler in Kindermusik, she liked that song then too. Years later, it sill resonates with her. Wow!

Monday, during the Our Time class I teach at East 91st St. Christian Church, I watched my young students with awe as they played a steady beat on the drums while I sang “Polly Put the Kettle On.” Maintaining a steady beat is a skill we’ve worked on all semester because research has shown children who can keep a steady beat have enhanced language development. So as we sat on the floor singing and tapping the drum, I saw the amazing results of our 15 weeks of fun! Even when we think kids aren’t listening or understanding, we find out later, sometimes much later, the impact of our words, actions and examples.

Posted by Ellen Gullett, mom of 3 children, Kindermusik mom for more than 8 years and now a Kindermusik educator. Join her in a Monday morning class!