18 Signs You Are A Musical Family

Are you raising a musical family? If you find yourself relating to this list, then chances are the answer is Yes!

  1. Your toddler thinks you’ve been hiding white egg shakers in the refrigerator and can’t understand why he can’t play with them, too.
  2. Your kids yell at YOU to turn the music down.
  3. Your child insists on sleeping with his favorite instrument.Brady asleep with glock
  4. Your child sang her first words.
  5. Your child insists you sing “Wishy-washy-wishy-washy-wishy-washy-WEEEE” during every bath.
  6. Pinecone + stick = guiro. Your child can turn anything into an instrument.
  7. Your child knows what an album is.
  8. You find yourself saying things like: “Put down the ukulele and brush your teeth.” And “How many times do I have to tell you to pick up your glockenspiel?”
  9. You’ve recorded at least one video of your family lip-synching a song from Frozen.
  10. You overhear your child talking with a friend about the musical merits of the original Annie movie. (Okay. That’s really just wishful thinking on your part. Today’s kids seem to prefer the revamped Annie and that’s okay, right? Right?!)
  11. You re-enact the dance moves from Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance. Yes, even the lifts.
  12. dad 16You thought about how many kids you wanted based on the size of your dream band.
  13. Your family’s musical tastes range from Taylor Swift to the Beatles to Tchaikovsky to Miles Davis to KidzBop.
  14. Your child insists on answering your questions through song.
  15. You have at one point either tried out for American Idol (or your country’s equivalentor the Voice OR secretly imagined your child auditioning one day.
  16. As soon as you found out you were pregnant, you created a list of “Albums Our Child Should Listen to Before They Turn 18.”
  17. You dressed (or dress) your child in any of the following: vintage concert T-Shirts, “I’m With the Band” onesies, “Treble Maker” bibs, or Future (insert instrument of choice) Player pullovers.
  18. You love making music together as a family, like this one:

Do you like to hang out with other musical families? Find a local Kindermusik class and meet other parents who place a high value on raising musical kids!

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer in the Atlanta area. She wakes up every morning to the sounds of her husband singing, dresses her kids in vintage concert shirts, and tripped over more than one glockenspiel.

Music Paves the Way to Literacy

Improve Listening Skills with KindermusikListening 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.

Kindermusik@Home Listening Game

 

Learn more about how music supports early literacy development. 

Music Can Navigate Kids’ Emotion Headquarters

On Friday afternoon, our family watched the new Pixar movie, Inside Out. I must ask: Did any other parent cry over Bing Bong or shed a tear when witnessing Riley’s first memory? I did.

DISNEY

Well, I don’t know about you, but I would love to gain access to my kids’ Emotions’ Headquarters. It would make this parenting thing a whole lot easier if we could more readily identify the emotion our children are trying to express and then in turn help them label that feeling and respond appropriately. Plus, it is always helpful to pick up on the visual clues our children give off right before a meltdown. Unfortunately, their heads don’t actually start steaming, like the character Anger. We do know that Joy often sounds like laughter!

Young Children and Emotional Intelligence

While Inside Out is obviously fictional, emotional intelligence DOES begin developing in infancy, just like the character Riley, and includes recognizing and managing feelings, self-awareness, and responding appropriately towards others. In the movie, we saw this whenever a specific emotion (Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger, and Disgust) took over the controls in Riley’s Emotions’ Headquarters.

As parents or early childhood teachers (or both!), young children often mirror our actions and reactions and the words we say in our best moments—and sometimes our not-so-best moments. They can even mimic our likes and dislikes. Eventually, as they become more self aware, children begin to express their own preferences for things, like wearing pajamas everywhere (Not a bad idea!) or eating ice cream for breakfast (Not a good idea!).

Mom and son

 

Music classes can support children’s growing self-awareness, which includes identifying feelings, and a parent’s unique role in it. For example, each week in a Kindermusik class, we include activities that not only encourage children’s personal choices but we actually incorporate them into the lesson. By including each child’s favorite way to say “Hello” at the beginning of class or movement idea during the “Monkey Dance,” we place value on each child’s ideas and preferences. In doing so, children learn to not only recognize and share ideas in a meaningful way but also to celebrate the differences of others. Activities like Kindermusik that incorporate children’s ideas help them learn that their thoughts, feelings, and ideas are valued.

Girl with orange shirt

 

 

Quick Tip for Using Music to Help Kids Navigate Their Emotional Headquarters

Listen to music that expresses different emotions, like joy, sadness, anger, or fear. Dance with children based on the emotion and help children label the emotion. Not only does this activity develop children’s vocabulary; it also helps them to identify—and even to manage—their own emotions.

Find a local Kindermusik class.

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer in the Atlanta area. She freely admits that she cried while watching Inside Out. Her 9-year-old Kindermusik graduate responded with equal emotion: embarrassment. 

 

New Research: Multilingual Environments Linked to Better Communication Skills

It turns out that young children who are exposed to more than one language from an early age not only gain significant advantages cognitively, but also in their ability to communicate.

The most novel finding is that the children do not even have to be bilingual themselves; it is the exposure to more than one language that is the key for building effective social communication skills.

friends around the world - cartoon illustrationAccording to a recent study by researchers at the University of Chicago, it’s the “early socio-linguistic experiences” that have the greatest potential to “… hone children’s skills at taking other people’s perspectives and provide them tools for effective communication.”

The key here is the word “exposure.” Not immersion. Not acquisition. Simply exposure. 

This is particularly exciting to us here at Kindermusik because we’re all about exposure to other languages through music sung in other languages and from other cultures all around the globe. A child who begins Kindermusik classes as an infant will not only have a rich musical foundation by the time he or she finishes the Kindermusik program at around age 7, he or she will also have been repeatedly exposed to a vast variety of music from around the world.

Language is social…  Being exposed to multiple languages gives you a very different social experience, which could help children develop more effective communication skills.

Music, in any language, is truly a beautiful thing to experience. 

Bilingual Early Childhood Music Education Program
Did you know that music supports other areas of a child’s development?  Visit a Kindermusik class to learn more.

Dads of Kindermusik

We love Kindermusik Dads for so many reasons. Sure, we could say we love Kindermusik dads because we know what the research says about the importance of fathers in the development of young children, such as:

  • Preschoolers with actively involved fathers have stronger verbal skills.
  • Even very young children who have experienced high father involvement show an increase in curiosity and problem-solving capacity.

But, instead, we’d rather SHOW you why we love our Kindermusik Dads. Happy Father’s Day to all our Kindermusik Dads and Granddads. Thank you for all that you do to put a smile on your children’s faces and a song in their hearts.

Dad with son 2 FATHER 2 Grandfather IMG_9239 IMG_9303 Kindermusik_87 Kindermusik_137

 

dad 1 dad 2 dad 3 dad 4 dad 5 dad 6 dad 7 dad 8 dad 9 dad 10 dad 11 dad 12 dad 13 dad 14 dad 15 dad 16

Tell us why you love the Kindermusik Dad in your family! Post on our Facebook page with the tag #WeLoveOurKindermusikDad