What Makes Kindermusik So Compelling to Children



It’s More Than Just Instruments!

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s the cutest thing to watch even a very young baby’s first responses to music and being in a Kindermusik class.  As Kindermusik educators, we have the incredible privilege of observing these young children very closely so that we can most effectively adapt and personalize the activities we teach in our Kindermusik classes.  What we have come to know about how and why Kindermusik resonates with children so strongly might surprise you.  It really is about more than just the instruments… though they do take great delight in the bells, drums, and egg shakers![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com


Children Love the Predictable Routines in Kindermusik

Kindermusik classes are purposely designed to have a predictably comfortable flow of activities in every lesson, although there are always happy surprises and new challenges along with the repeated activities.  The routines help children feel secure, because they know what to expect, and the new things not only help keep their brains firing and making new learning connections, but also add to the excitement and joy that fills every class.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Photographed by Thomas | © 2016 TK Photography | www.tkphotographychicago.com


Children Thrive on the Musical Bonding with Their Grown-ups

Ask any empty nester, and they’ll tell you wistfully that those early years go by oh-too-quickly.  So while the children absolutely adore the together time and common experience of Kindermusik with their favorite grown-up, Kindermusik gives the adults in class a chance to linger in the precious moments of early childhood just a little bit longer.  The shared memories of class time become an integral part of the happy memories of childhood.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Children Blossom as They Gain Confidence in a Group Class Setting

The beautiful thing about a Kindermusik class is the mix – the mix of personalities, learning styles, and ages in any given level.  Quieter children learn from the more outgoing children.  Visual learners become more willing to explore alongside their physically interactive peers.  Older children unconsciously take on the role as leader when the younger children move up to their same level.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Children Benefit from the Social Elements of Kindermusik class.

Even if children cannot put it into words, making friends and gaining life skills through the social interactions in every Kindermusik class are a big part of why they look forward to each weekly class.  It’s truly a beautiful thing to see many children start in Kindermusik as babies and then go on to graduate from Kindermusik together.

Every child who participates in Kindermusik classes on a consistent basis will unquestionably be a more musical, well-rounded, confident child.  But it’s really what happens in their hearts and minds as a result of being in Kindermusik that creates such a compelling, lasting, memorable, and delightful experience for them…and for their grown-ups.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Shared by Theresa Case who has loved bringing children and families together for over 20 years now in her award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Movement and Music: Hop, Wiggle, Squirm, and Sing!

Babies movement smiles

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Lisa Sempsey, Kodály Educator

Kids have boundless energy! That statement is no surprise if you’re a parent, caregiver, or teacher to a child. There are times that you may look at the children under your care and think, “they may not need a nap, but I do!” or, “how do they just keep going?” Well, movement: touching, rolling, skipping, jumping, wiggling…it’s just part of how a child explores her world. It’s also how their brain/body develops “must have” connections to grow up in a healthy way. Movement is key! But, traditional sports or dance classes are not the only way to keep children moving. Don’t get me wrong, organized athletics and dance programs have an important impact in the world, but there are also other ways to keep your little ones on the move and having fun![/vc_column_text][blockquote cite=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”]It is a happy talent to know how to play.[/blockquote][vc_column_text]Music and movement have a natural connection. Think about it, when you sing to an infant, you rock them. Squirmy toddler? You’ll probably bounce that little guy on your knee as you recite a traditional rhyme to him. Is your kindergartner having a birthday party? Then, you might organize a round of musical chairs. All of these examples have a music-movement connection. But, they just scratch the surface. There are hundreds of “old” movement games that children still love to play, plus, new ideas on how children can explore movement, and often, music at the same time.

Not sure where to start? There are many websites and online libraries that are treasure troves for kid-friendly and parent/teacher approved, movement rich activities. I used to use them with my own child. (He’s twelve now!) I use them for planning activities at summer camps, and school lessons with many age levels, pre-school through high school. Try out the two online resources below. Take a look. Explore and see how much fun you and your children can have![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Music and Movement Resources

  • GoNoodle.com: What a fun website! Sign up for free, create a monster, click on an activity, and let the fun begin. Whether it’s yoga with Maximo, Zumba for Kids, silly movement with Koo Koo Kachoo, or one of the many other choices. Kids are engaged, challenged, and most likely giggling!
  • Kodaly.hnu.edu: This is an online library for folk songs, inspired by the Kodaly philosophy of music education. While I have many, MANY song sources for my classroom, this is my go-to resource when I’m in a pinch. Click on “search the collection” to look for song material that meets your needs. Looking for a movement activity? Scroll all the way to the bottom to the “game type” drop-down box. Choose a genre and you’ll get many songs with the game or dance directions written out for you. Some songs even have field recordings that you can listen to.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][blockquote cite=”Zoltán Kodály”]Singing connected with movements and action is a much more ancient, and, at the same time, more complex phenomenon than is a simple song.[/blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Want even more ideas?  Looking to integrate movement into a group setting with children?  There are many books with music and movement ideas together.  Some of my favorites are:

Music and movement are a natural fit at home and in school.  Those wiggly kids will sing, play, move, and laugh their way through great games and dances both old and new!

Lisa Sempsey
Lisa Sempsey

Mrs. Sempsey is an active clinician and workshop presenter in south-central Pennsylvania covering topics including classroom management, choral reading sessions, technology in the music classroom, movement and music curricular connections, Kodaly philosophy, curriculum development, and lesson planning, and Orff-Schulwerk philosophy, curriculum development, and lesson planning.


Mrs. Sempsey has taught kindergarten through sixth grade general music, elementary choruses, as well as elementary and middle school strings in Lower Dauphin and Conestoga Valley School Districts, as well as been the Artistic Director and Prelude Choir Director for the Children’s Choir of Lancaster from 2005-2012.  Currently, Mrs. Sempsey teaches kindergarten through sixth grade general music, choruses, and Orff & Drum Ensembles in Columbia Borough School District.   She is also the K-12 Art & Music Curriculum Coordinator.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

3 Ways to Use Music to Take Children Around the World

Listen - Sing & Say - Collect - Music Around the World for Kids

Listen - Sing & Say - Collect - Music Around the World for KidsWant to take your children around the world? It’s easy with music! No passport required. No suitcases to pack. Just three simple things you can enjoy almost any time, any where, and you’re off of a grand, musical travel adventure!

Listen to music from around the world.

Every culture has its own beautiful repertoire of rich folk songs, soothing lullabies, and happy dances that can be very appealing to young children. With internet radio stations, streaming music apps, and downloadable song tracks, it’s easier than ever to listen your way around the world. Try searching on “world music for children” or “multicultural music for kids.”

Use your voice to enjoy music from around the world.

There are simple songs and chants that even young children can enjoy learning or hearing from you. In fact, our Kindermusik music library is full of these songs, rhymes, and chants from various countries and cultures. The more exposure a very young child has to other languages, both spoken and sung, the more receptive he or she will be to learning and speaking another language.

Collect instruments from around the world.

Whether someone else demonstrates the instrument or the child can explore and play it themselves, there’s nothing better than seeing, hearing, and touching the real thing. Nearly every culture has some kind of a drum, shaker, or flute-like instrument, and most are easily curated. Give your little world travelers a sense of having gone around the world simply by introducing them to some of the instruments from around the world.
Travel the world with Kindermusik
BONUS reading! How Music Helps Children Expand their Cultural Horizons
Learn more about how Kindermusik can take children around the world and give the music learning adventure of a lifetime at www.Kindermusik.com.

Contributed by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina.

ABC English & Me Unit 3: Good Morning, Good Night!

Introducing Unit 3, Good Morning, Good Night! Everyday rituals become a musical, English-learning game with our new unit, Good Morning, Good Night! Each class begins with a hello song, and with each lesson children learn the words for new greeting rituals such as “Good Day!” and “Good Night!”

Daily rituals become a musical, English-learning game.

Good Morning, Good Night! will be available in Digital Teacher’s Guides next week (October 15 – 19).

Favorite American Children’s Songs such as “Wheels on the Bus” take us to school, and the “Mulberry Bush” helps to introduce and reinforce new vocabulary words and concepts with additional verses about a child’s daily routine at home.

“This is the way we wash our hands,” … “brush our teeth,” …  “comb our hair,” … and “put on socks!”

In addition, children learn the English word and the animal sound to their favorite farm yard animals — sheep, cow, dog, rooster, and pig. And using movement games, concepts are explored with “Stand up!” “Sit down,” “Turn around,” and “Shake your hands!”

Children Learn English through Music and Rituals

Children can begin to speak English in a continuous flow using ABC English & Me’s simple songs and begin to apply English words to their everyday rituals at home, such as going to bed, washing faces, hands, and brushing teeth.

Make learning English a part of your daily routine with ABC English & Me!’s newest Unit, Good Morning, Good Night!

Kindermusik@Home - Online Learning Games for KidsUsing English @Home

When parents download the Home Audio Good Morning, Good Night! from the ABC English & Me @Home website, they can use the class songs about brushing teeth, getting dressed, and going to school to bring a rhythm and routine to busy mornings and evenings at home!

Speak in a continuous flow

Using the melody from the American song “Mulberry Bush,” children will sing “this is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands.” Additional verses adapt to describe more daily routines such as “brush our teeth,” “comb our hair,” and “put on jeans!”


Children play musical instruments, one for each hand, and as the teacher passes out the instruments, the children count with her, “1,” “2.” And during interactive puppet play, children help to “Wake Up!” puppet on the count of “1, 2, 3, … Wake Up!”

Movement concepts

Stand up, sit down, jump up, turn around, shake hands, tap your head, say good night, go to bed

Animals and animal sounds

cow, moo, sheep, baa, dog, woof, mouse, squeak, pig, oink, rooster, cock-a- doodle-doo

Talking about daily routines

go to school, wash our hands, wash our face, brush our teeth, comb our hair, put on our… clothes, shirt, jeans, socks, shoes

New vocabulary words

bus, wheels go round, people go up and down, driver says, “Move on back,” wipers go wash, horn goes beep, babies go “waa”, mommies go “shh”

Conversational terms

Where is he? Is he here? Yes, he is, No, he isn’t. He’s sleeping. Wake up. It’s time to get up. Good morning. How are you? I’m fine, thank you.

We are excited to bring this new curriculum to English Language Learners across the globe!

Visit the English Language Learning category or Subscribe to our blog for current news on ABC English & Me, ELL research, and Kindermusik programs around the world.

ABC English & Me - Teaching English to Children through Music

Through a Nana’s eyes

Special thanks to Studio 3 Music, the world’s largest Kindermusik program, for sharing this special post by from their blog with us.  The author, Colleen, is not just a grandmother; she’s also a licensed Kindermusik teacher at Studio 3!

It’s no wonder Grandmothers are afforded such a high level of respect in so many cultures: we are survivors!   We have borne children, raised them to adulthood and now stand ready to assist a whole new batch of babies.  Our hair a little grayer (not that anyone else will actually KNOW that fact), our gait a little slower, and perhaps our speech a bit more selective, having learned a thing or two along the way….hopefully!Each week I gather with a group of grandmothers much as I gathered with other moms when my children were young.   Oh, the special companionship we share!  We compare stories and pictures, laugh until we cry, cry until we laugh.  We celebrate remembered successes and occasionally can’t resist commiserating over the things we wished we’d done differently.  But in general, we relish the richness a new generation of babies brings to our lives.

Being one of the newer members of the Studio3 teaching team, I also have the special privilege of being the oldest and the one with the most (make that “only”!) grandchildren.   I could never have imagined even two years ago that my days would be spent so delightfully singing and skipping, hopping and bouncing, dancing and snuggling with little ones while learning a plethora of nursery rhymes, not to mention dozens of dances, silly songs and stories.   I feel I’ve been granted a rare and wonderful privilege.

But, of course, the best part is the children….and we Nanas and Papas see them very differently than Mommies and Daddies. Grandparent’s eyes are somehow different than parent’s eyes, probably because they are old and practiced.  We have seen how very quickly a little one pulls his way up to wobbly knees, quickly followed by toddling feet that all too soon make way for bicycle pedals.   Babies are not babies for long.   Toddlers are not toddlers for long.   Children are not children for long.

In the midst of the morphing the moments seem to stretch on forever!    Will they never sleep through the night?    Will he ever use a spoon?   Are diapers forever?   (Well, that Depends, I guess!)   It’s hard to take the long view when the short view involves such intensity.

I guess that’s one of the rewards of grandparenting.   We have seen the long view and discovered that it arrives all too soon!   I share with you a little poem someone took the time to embroider and frame as a gift for me when I was a young mom, in hopes you will pay it more heed than regrettably I, especially the last stanza.   Credited to Ruth Hamilton, it first appeared in the Ladies Home Journal in 1938 (before even MY time!).

Babies Don’t Keep

Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew

And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).

The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

All cooped up?

Winter time is always a challenge, no matter where you live.  If it’s not snowy, it’s rainy.  And often it’s cold – too cold to be outside.  Or you’re all trying to get well from the latest virus that the whole family passed around one by one.  So what’s a parent – and a kid! – to do when you’ve been cooped up inside the house for too long?  We suggest that you get moving… to some music, that is!

The easiest way to get started is just to turn on some lively music – you know, that kind that has your feet going and your hands clapping before you even know it.  Even just a minutes of carefree, not-thinking-about-the-laundry dancing with your child can turn around the day around for both of you!  Of course, movement is not just important for helping children let off a little steam or pent-up energy, but it is also a key factor in their overall development.  And it’s a great way for a child to be able to get close to and connect with someone she loves.

You might also enjoy moving in a slightly more “structured” way by making a small circle and doing a circle dance.  Remember “Ring Around the Rosie”?  Circle dances like “Ring Around the Rosie” actually help your child focus on directing and moving her busy little body.  She also becomes aware of her body in relation to the larger physical space.  She learns about coordinating her movements with the words of the song.  Plus, she increases her memory and attention span as she follows the simple sequence of steps.  Who knew a little dancing could accomplish so much?!

By the way, if you’re looking for some new music, or you just want some high-quality children’s music recordings that the whole family will love, now is the perfect time to peruse the hundreds of selections at play.kindermusik.com.

Contributed by Theresa Case, director of Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC, whose Kindermusik program at Piano Central is in the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide.

The music in your head: How did it get there?

Music education is a vital part of a child’s life. Research shows that our abilities to sing in tune, move to a steady beat and yes, hear music in our heads, are all formed by the time we are 8- or 9-years old. That doesn’t mean you can’t learn to sing or dance or play the piano after the third grade, but the learning windows for musical aptitudes do begin to close.

Do you ever hear a song in your head over and over again? Can you imagine not being able to hear music this way? Audiation, the ability to hear music when no musical sound is present, is an acquired skill. Similar to thinking thoughts without talking aloud, when you audiate, you internalize and “think” music. To practice audiation with your child, leave off the last word of a favorite song. Stop completely. Observe and listen to your child. What is the reaction? When you play this game with familiar songs, you are engaging your child’s ability to think and “speak” with you musically.

Were you lucky enough to have wonderful parents who sang to you all the time? Did you sing endless rounds of “She’ll Be Comin’ Round The Mountain” when you went on vacation? Repetition is a critical part of your child’s growth and development between the ages of birth and seven. Repetition aids in strengthening the neural pathways in the brain. So when your child wants you to “Read it again, Mommy!” or “Play that song again, Daddy!”, do it!!!

Babies are innately musical. They respond to music and sound in utero. Carla Hannaford, author of Awakening the Child Heart, tells us that hearing and language begin in utero and become the first window to the material world as the embryo physically reacts to sound 23 days after conception. Sound becomes the organizer of our physical structure and later, via the mother’s coherent heart rhythm, gives us the patterns on which to form a coherent understanding of patterns within our world.

People often ask, “What do you do with an infant in a music class?” Babies can be soothed with music. Brain development is stimulated by music. A Kindermusik Village class, for example, provides a rich environment of music, movement, language and touch for babies newborn to 18 months. This combination of music and movement stimulates the Vestibular System, the fluid in the brain. According to Dr. Alfred Tomatis, without a fully developed Vestibular System that allows us verticality and balance, language and learning become difficult. Language development begins with movement and is supported with interactive communication and music. Hannaford points out that early music education, including the interplay of music, movement and sound, is key to developing language, math, relational and learning skills, as well as creativity.

Toddlers love to clap and pat to the steady beat of favorite tunes. Steady beat is the unchanging, underlying beat that pulses through every top-10 tune on the radio. Different from rhythm – a combination of various short and long sounds – steady beat is what we tap our toes, pencils and imaginary drums to. For many toddlers, steady beat is an innate ability nurtured with lots of opportunity to practice. For others, it is a skill that can be learned through practice. The ability to keep a steady beat is a gift that we all want our children to have. A study showed 100% of first string professional football players can move their bodies to a steady beat. Moving to a steady beat develops a sense of timing and the ability to organize and coordinate movements like walking, dribbling a basketball, driving and using scissors. Not true for 2nd string. Kindermusik classes provide many opportunities for toddlers to play instruments and move to a steady beat and parents are educated about ways to keep music alive at home.

Preschoolers are exploding with ideas and questions. Creative music and movement provide an outlet for the imaginary characters that live inside a child. 3- and 4-year olds flourish in an environment where there is music, movement and an opportunity for them to contribute ideas. In a Kindermusik Imagine That! class, a child can explore voice and ideas, add instruments to songs and rhymes, act out enticing characters and grow socially while interacting with peers.

For a kindergarten or first grade child, reading readiness is an important issue. I often imagine how it would have been to have the language of music and the English language concurrently integrated into my life: learning to read and write music while learning to read and write language.

Kindermusik provides a whole child approach to music education. Children move and sing, play musical games, learn about music in other cultures, talk about and listen to the instruments of the orchestra, develop their discriminative listening skills, build self-esteem through group interaction and music making, begin to read and write basic musical notation and much more.

I often get calls from eager parents, ready to spend gobs of money on private music lessons for their 3-, 4- and 5-year olds. I first ask them, how are the children’s fine motor skills? Are they reading? How big are their hands? Are they ready to practice at least 20-30 minutes each day? By the time children complete a 2-year Kindermusik class, they have played a pre-keyboard instrument, a simple string instrument and a wind instrument. They are eager to pursue private lessons and have more staying power!

When you choose a music program, make sure it is compatible with you and your child. Be prepared to be an active participant and supporter of your child’s music experience. It could be the best investment you ever make.

Music turns kids on. So turn it up!

Thanks to Stephanie Bartis, M.M., for sharing this great article, orginally written for the Art of Well Being. Stephanie is a member of Kindermusik’s Maestro Conductor Circle, which distinguishes her and her studio, Bartis Creative Studio, as among the top 1% Kindermusik programs worldwide.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Aimee Carter

Aimee Carter

Brandon, Florida

Studio name and link:
Delightful Sounds

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:

Describe yourself in five words or less:
Creative, fun, energetic, and silly

Favorite Kindermusik song:
The Morning Song, because I like coming up with crazy animal sounds for the unexpected, animal choices like manatees or hippos.

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
Anything with bilibos. I love all the ways we can play with them!

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
I love getting to see all the first steps and first words along with the parents. I get pretty excited about seeing the children grow and learn.

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
The children have really helped me become even more creative. They can really get outside of the box sometimes, and I LOVE that!

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
The preschoolers crack me up. I never know what they will say or do next. Last week, one of the children stopped me in the middle of a song to ask “if I ever had fire come out of my butt?” LOL I never could figure out what it had to do with the train song???

The reason you teach:
I am passionate about music and the development of children. Kindermusik allows me to combine both of these as I work side by side with such wonderful families each week!

One way to show how thankful you are

Yesterday was the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. As an international company, we know that many of our parents and educators are outside the U.S. and don’t celebrate this day. But the holiday’s theme is universal—setting aside a time to stop and give thanks for everything that we have. It doesn’t matter what date the calendar shows, any day is a good day to do this.

One of the most common ways we show thankfulness is by helping others. This could be a friend in need, a special group of individuals, a stranger—anyone. And if there’s one thing we at Kindermusik International have learned after 30 years, it’s that our Kindermusik community of educators and parents is one of the most giving, caring, and generous communities you’ll ever find. Bar none.

This led us to develop the Kindermusik Good Beginnings Grant Program. If you haven’t heard us talking about it yet, the program allows anyone (individuals, small organizations, schools, foundations, Kindermusik educators, etc.) to apply for a $1000 grant for any project that will help children. We will be awarding five Good Beginnings grants, as chosen by the general public. Voting on project ideas will open in early January and run through February. We are currently accepting project applications through December 16, 2010.

So, in this time of thanks, consider demonstrating how thankful you are by applying for a Good Beginnings grant. If you live in the U.S. or Canada, all you need to do is come up with a project idea that will help children. It can be anything! Need help thinking of an idea? Visit the application site for some examples to get the juices flowing. When you’re ready, simply fill out the online application at www.kindermusik.com/grants. (Consider including photos and/or a short video to give your application some pop!) When voting opens in January, spread the word to family and friends to vote for your idea. Simple, right?

To our friends beyond the U.S. and Canadian borders, we wish we could have extended this program worldwide. Though we tried, strict international rules and regulations prevented it. However, you can still be part of the process! When voting opens on January 5, 2011, we invite you to visit the grants site and vote for the projects you like best. Anyone can vote (up to ten times a day, each and every day through February 9, 2011).

Now it’s our turn to give thanks: thank you for being part of our Kindermusik community, and thanks for everything you do to get children off to a great start!

5 Aesthetic Awareness Activities for Kids

A young girl picks up leaves on a nature walk to build aesthetic awareness.

Aesthetic awareness, or the ability to observe, process, react to, and value nature and artistic expression, plays an important role in early development.

Our reactions to unusual sounds and sights can occur naturally, but grownups nurturing the listening skills, self-control (think: standing still to watch a hummingbird), and conversation it takes to really appreciate the beauty around us is critical for children.

Here are a few easy tips you can try…

Continue reading “5 Aesthetic Awareness Activities for Kids”