Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is My Child Ready for Young Child?

Kindermusik for the Young Child is for ages 5 (Kindergarten) - 7. It is the developmental leap to the school age child. Musically, it is the culmination of all that has come before.

In addition to movement, instrumental play, singing, and creating, the Young Child student begins to learn musical notation (notes & rhythms). Melodies are learned on the glockenspiel, which is a wonderful pre-keyboard instrument. Children who continue through all 4 semesters of the Young Child program are also given the opportunity to learn the dulcimer and the recorder.

As a piano teacher of over 20 years, I love getting students who have completed the Young Child classes. WHY?  Because the foundation given in Young Child makes the transition to the piano so easy. Children without that foundation don't have the same 'musical sense' or rhythm as those in Kindermusik.

A parent of three Kindermusik grads told me that her children are musical because they came to Kindermusik.  Another mom of a local high school pianist and vocalist told me she knows his foundation and love of music came from Kindermusik.

Here are some guidepost as you consider choosing Young Child.
  • exhibits self-confidence and reliability in a classroom or group situation
  • is interested in fine motor control activities - reproduces shapes, letters, enjoys puzzles, games and drawing.
  • follows directions and can participate in an activity with groups doing different things simultaneously
  • has good abstract thinking skills - can answer questions such as "how do you think a composer can make music sound like birds?
  • can sing whole songs, and is developing a good sense of pitch
  • is eager to learn, and is developing self-motivation
  • can work independently for short periods toward a set goal
  • is ready to begin understanding concepts of practice, proper handling of an instrument, and playing a tune as opposed to exploring ways of creating sound on an instrument.
Early elementary age children have many choices for extra curricular activities, and parents have to decide how to spend their money and their time. Kindermusik for the Young Child promotes learning and a lifetime skill, and at Kindermusik...a good beginning never ends!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Give Music a Hand

Research shows that listening and playing along with music is one of the few activities that fully engages both hemispheres of your child’s brain.  Add the fine motor coordination it takes to hold an instrument and tap in time with the music, and your child is working on the hand-eye coordination and finger strength that’s necessary to hold a pencil, tie a shoe, use scissors, and dribble a basketball later on.

Kindermusik TIPS…
> For your baby – Gently tap the steady beat on your baby’s hand, foot, or knee with an instrument.
> For your toddler – Invite your child to use the instrument to tap on his own toes, knees, or even a tummy!
> For your preschooler or big kid – Preschoolers and older kids can march around the house in a musical parade.

Thanks to Theresa Case, Friend, Kindermusik Educator and owner of Piano Central Studios in Greenville SC.