Music is from everywhere!

Let’s take a spin around the world to find some of the wonderful music you’ll hear in Kindermusik this semester. Have a look!

Your babies 0-18 months will enjoy the sounds of:  May There Always Be Sunshine (Russia),  Zum Gali Gali (Israel), The Keel Row (Northumberland)  Suliram (Indonesia, Polovtsian Dance (Poland).

Join your toddlers 18-36 months in singing:  The Barn Sull (Scandanavia),  Duermete, mi Nino (Latin America)  Fais D0-Do (France).

Preschoolers will love hearing and learningJapanese Rain Song (Japan, Wggis Song (Switzerland) Funiculi Fuicula (Italy) Lirum Larum (Germany), Siyahamba (Zulu).

And that’s just a sampling of what you’ll find at Kindermusik right now.

Exposing your child to different music and cultures at a young age is a fantastic way to promote understanding, diversity, and spark developing minds and imaginations. After class, talk to your child about faraway places and cultures. Let your child know there is a great big world out there to embrace, explore, and enjoy.

To find a class near you, visit the Kindermusik Class Finder today. You can also hear some of our music from around the world at (register today to get three free download credits)!

Thanks to Kindermusik educator Helen Peterson for contributions to this entry. Helen’s Twin Cities program, Kindermusik of the Valley, is one of the top Kindermusik programs in the world.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Simone Melder

Each week we feature a randomly selected Kindermusik educator from around the world. This week, meet Simone!

Simone Melder

Blackburn South, Victoria, Australia

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:

Studio name and link:
Kindermusik with Simone

Describe yourself in five words or less:
positive, nurturing, fun-loving, compassionate

Favorite Kindermusik song:

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
Snowflakes are falling – from Hello Weather.  I just LOVE the look of sheer delight on the children’s faces, when they open their eyes and find that snowflakes have fallen on them and all around the room!

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
My proudest moment was when a child who had spent four lessons burying her face in her mother’s bosom, too shy to participate , suddenly came “alive” and started taking part in everything.  She was my Kindermusik star!

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
The children have taught me to expect the unexpected.  Never rely on a “plan” because your plan can go haywire in a split second. I have learned to stay centered and calm in the midst of chaos!!

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
When introducing Bach to my ABC Music and Me class, I said that Bach had died many years ago.  One little girl asked me “Did he go to heaven?”  to which I replied, I am sure he did as he wrote such beautiful music!

The reason you teach:
There is nothing that gives me greater joy than to bring the joy of  music into the lives of so many children.  I found Kindermusik late in life, after spending 40 boring, unproductive years in an Administrative position.  I am very grateful that I have been able to follow my dream and that I am still fit and healthy and, at my age, am able to crawl around the room like a caterpillar, or flutter like a butterfly!  The children make me come alive and I consider them part of my family.

Kids can get stressed too

Relaxation is something we all search for, yet we don’t always find time for it. Life can be stressful and fast-paced, and it’s often difficult to find time to let our bodies and minds relax. Sometimes even when we’re “relaxing” we’re thinking about what’s next on the to-do list!

Adults stress tend to stress about grown-up things like the responsibilities of maintaining a family, paying the bills, and so on. But children experience stress too. They may not be able to express it, but here are some behaviors that could be signs of stress:

  • > mood changes
  • > changes in sleep patterns or nightmares
  • > exhibiting behaviors of a younger age (thumb sucking, bedwetting, clinging, etc.)
  • > no appetite or wanting to eat all the time
  • > needing to go to the bathroom frequently
  • > nail biting
  • > engaging in disruptive behavior

If you notice some sudden changes in your child’s behavior,  stress could be a factor.

You may ask what on earth could they be stressed about? After all, they don’t have any bills to pay! Children tend to experience stress in new situations, when changes happen, or when they are confronted with challenges that require new skills. These might include learning to play with a new toy, learning to share with a sibling, making new friends, completing a project, and so on.

But don’t get stress yourself! Parents and caregivers can model and teach children ways to manage stress. Here are a few suggestions:

  • > keep a consistent routine
  • > make sure the child is getting enough sleep
  • > if the source of stress can be removed, simply remove it
  • > laugh, joke, sing, dance
  • > set aside some quiet time
  • > do something active to relieve stress, like jumping, running, or playing
  • > do a creative, calming activity like coloring

These activities will help your child learn to manage stress and deal with challenging situations. (Of course, if a behavior persists or becomes a serious issue, you may need to consult your physician.)

The goal is simple: make your kids feel good. When they feel good, you feel good!

What other activities can we do with our children to help them manage stress? Post an idea in the comments area below.

Special thanks to Kindermusik educator Vanessa Cabrera for sharing this post from her Language, Music & More blog. Information about Vanessa’s Maryland Kindermusik program can be found at her blog.

One group’s Kindermusik journey

Today was the final class for my first group of “graduating” kids, who are moving on from Kindermusik to other activities. When I first became licensed as a Kindermusik Educator, I had no idea what to expect.  My first year, I had less than a dozen students, and struggled to keep up with the demands of memorizing so many lesson plans in addition to my regular private lessons and my job as Korben and Sophie’s mom.

My first two classes were toddlers in Our Time (Sophie’s class) and kids in Young Child, which included Korben and my good friend Carrie’s twins.  The second year, I didn’t have enough interest to make a Young Child 3 group, so I called Lisa Arriaga at “Sing and Play Fine Arts” in Pearland to see if she was offering YC 3, and she said, “I’ll offer it if you’ll come teach it!”  I didn’t want Korben to miss out, so I jumped at the chance, and I really enjoyed teaching a fun group of girls… and Korben.  At the end of the fall, the girls all decided to switch to piano.  Korben’s been studying piano in addition to KM since he was 4, so I was disappointed that he wouldn’t get to learn the recorder in Kindermusik class.

Meanwhile, I began a new group of Young Child students on Semester 1 and 2, and that group stayed together through the first year, summer Adventures, and Semester 3.  When they re-enrolled in Semester 4, I was thrilled!  Korben is 7 now, so he was still young enough to join their class and finish the Young Child program.  Another of my private students who was struggling with private instruction also joined the class for this final semester, and we have all had SO much fun this spring.

In order from left to right, I’d like to take a moment to share my favorite experiences with each of these kids.  Sarah is the quietest in the class.  She often will come and whisper to me what her choice for movement in our hello song is.  She is also very sweet and has drawn me pictures and cards that I treasure, and is quite the artist.  She is the most musical of all the kids in the class, and practices with dedication that will serve her well as she begins to study piano.  Andy is the class clown.  He likes to be the center of attention, and I see a career in performance in his future.  He is highly intelligent and curious, and has kept me on my toes.  Bailey just joined us this spring, but she is very quick to learn all the new songs we sing.  She has a great ear and a big voice for someone so small, and she really enjoyed being in a group setting.  Korben is the oldest in the group, and he struggled at times with the job of being a good example for the other kids, as not only the oldest, but the teacher’s son.  He had the easiest time playing the recorder, since he had a whole year of development on most of the kids.  Jordan is my silly sweetheart.  She likes to joke around, but she also is the most physically affectionate of the class.  She would be happy just to sit in my lap, no matter what we were doing.

As a voice teacher, I am amazed at how much the children’s voices developed over the course of their Kindermusik experience.  Without exception, all of the children who graduated today are able to sing accurately on pitch. Jordan’s mom said, “I don’t know where she got it from!  It certainly wasn’t me.”  Well, I know where Jordan got it from… Kindermusik!  The best part about it is that the kids don’t even realize that they’re learning to sing accurately – they think we’re just playing games. They think it’s super fun, and sing all kinds of songs to our simple melodies from class, and that practices that skill of  singing on pitch.

I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to know and love these children.  I will miss having them as students, and I know that they will be more successful in all their future educational endeavors for having taken Kindermusik, regardless of whether they’re studying music or math.  I look forward to having many more graduating classes in the coming years, but this first class will always hold a special place in my heart.
-Tabby Worthington

Thanks to Tabby and her class for allowing us to share this great story and photo collage. We’re proud of her and these kids, and know they are all on to great things! More info on Tabby’s Houston Bay area Kindermusik program can be found at

Growing up Kindermusik

Recently, we refreshed our homepage (have you seen it?) with some new colors and photos. Those who visit the site often immediately started asking about the cute new homepage photo.

The photo is of Kindermusik educator Kathy Morrison and several of the kids in her class. Kathy’s program, Kathy’s Music, has been in the top 1% of Kindermusik programs for five years running.

The photo is about two years old, and in a recent email exchange with Kathy, she commented about the children pictured. She writes:

This was a Kindermusik Village class that I taught about two and a half years ago.  Each time I see this on, it gives me a little jolt because that’s me and those are my students. How cool is that, and how sweet are those children?!

Now these children are 3 years old and have moved up through our Kindermusik program as the years have gone by.  Teaching children as babies and having the opportunity to watch them grow and learn along the way – that’s why I teach Kindermusik. It’s why I work hard every day to provide an excellent classroom experience that is fun for the families, educational for the children, and helps make great parenting easier.

Once upon a time, it was one of my own children, as a baby, on the floor  in a Kindermusik class. My children’s lives were so enriched by Kindermusik over the years and I want to pass that along to other children and families in our community.

We thank Kathy for sharing her passion, both in words and picture. It’s such a nice little snapshot of Kindermusik in action. Kathy’s Music has four locations in and around Pittsburgh. You can visit her studio’s website or blog.

Orchestrating some fun on the web

from the SFS Kids site

The earlier you can expose your child to classical music and the magic of the symphony orchestras, the better. Music appreciation is something you want to instill early in a child’s life. (Shameless self-promotion: music appreciation is one of the skills children develop in Kindermusik classes. Find a Kindermusik class near you to learn more.)

Summer  is one of the best times to take in a symphony. Many cities have outdoor venues and band shells where orchestras perform regularly. If there is a lawn area, is there any better way to take in a picnic? Kids of almost any age will love this. Let them dance and sway to the music. If you can talk quietly during the performance, introduce them to the various instruments on stage or other musical concepts. Some orchestras even have performances specifically designed for kids.

if you can’t get to a performance any time soon (or even if you can!), a number of symphony orchestras have wonderful kid-focused websites. Here are a few to check out.

The San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Kids has an energetic home-page at You’ll find a quirky variety of musical games and activities.  Compose your own music, learn about the instruments of the orchestra, and more.

Or check out these other musical sites:

  • Dallas Symphony Orchestra Kids:
  • New York Philharmonic Kids Zone:
  • Austin Symphony Orchestra Kids:

Extravagant fondness and passion

photo from

I was awestruck by Luis Soriano, of Magdalena, Columbia (click here to see Luis’s story on whose passion for early childhood literacy takes him, astride his “biblioburro” for five hours at a time, to share books with children in rural villages. Self funded, using his weekends, his 4,200 books are now the largest library in his community.

I think of his passion as an extravagant fondness for education. Why extravagant? Because it extends beyond reason, beyond what is convenient and easy.

Kindermusik is a community of passionate educators. I received an update from an educator in the Chicago area today who has maintained her Kindermusik teaching schedule despite months of chemotherapy and radiation – all so the children can learn from her strength. In turn, she is buoyed by the children and the music.

May we all sing through our challenges, ride burros for literacy and generally act with extravagant fondness for what we know makes a difference in our world.
-Michael Dougherty, CEO of Kindermusik International

Dear Kindermusik — a letter that makes it all worthwhile

Dear Kindermusik,

I am writing to you to tell my family’s Kindermusik story and express our utmost gratitude for the Kindermusik scholarship that helped us to stay in the program last semester. It really begins with the birth of my first son, Evan. When I was 7 weeks pregnant with him in 2004, I began to miscarry and carried on this way for 3 weeks. I believed in a miracle. Evan was born nearly 4 weeks early on May 16, 2005. Due to the blood and oxygen loss serving Evan in the womb he was born with his left hand deformed. Seven weeks happens to be the point for critical hand development in utero. It is the point where the hands grow from a paddle shape to 5 single digits. At this point his hand was bound with amnion strands, which are protein strands my body developed to protect the growing baby, while I was in a state of miscarriage, two opposing forces, indeed. His underdeveloped thumb and pinkie were bound in an opposing position which did not allow the joints in those fingers to develop. His second digit developed a third of the way, but his 3rd and 4th digits are nubs.

I am convinced as the mother of a living miracle nothing can stop my child from doing all the things in life he is purposed to do. When he was 7 months old I discovered there was a Sign and Sing class available in the area. Cyndi Bohner was the teacher and she immediately made me feel comfortable with her heartwarming smile, love for the children and enthusiasm for the program. Sign and Sing gave myself and son our first experiences with communicating with each other on a deeper level. It was also a wonderful opportunity for networking with other new mothers.

I was very interested in attending Kindermusik’s Village after such a positive experience with the former and it’s been a Kindermusik love affair ever since. In 2007, I had my second son Aidan and actually started taking him to Evan’s classes when he was newborn, asleep in his basket. If it wasn’t for Cindy Bohner’s open heart and the flexibility of the Kindermusik experience, we never would have been able to continue. We enrolled Aidan soon thereafter.

My boys and I adore Kindermusik. It is so much more than a music class. It is a well rounded approach to learning with a musical foundation that brings joy to parent and child. This encourages excellent bonding as each learns a little more about the other. The classes have increased confidence socially for the children, as well as me. I would never sing out loud around others before the classes. Now after nearly 5 years of Kindermusik, I am not afraid to belt it out!

Cyndi Bohner encourages the curious whims of the little ones, which in turn stimulates that same flexibility in the moms. It is a liberating feeling to be a part of a program where you are not looked upon as a “bad” mother with an “uncontrollable” child if they just do not want to sit, but strikes a delicate balance of impacting the children to learn how to self regulate while developing good listening skills.

Particularly, my son Evan has triumphed and used his hand in ways he normally would not have. This has encouraged incredible development with his fine motor skills. There is no stopping his learning abilities, with hopes of learning the Glockenspiel and even the piano in the future. He also has a speech delay and I believe Kindermusik has been the single best speech therapy he could have ever had. That is why I can’t stop talking about it to everyone I meet with young children.

I just want to reinforce what a treasure you have in Cyndi Bohner. Kindermusik is great ideas on paper until a wonderful teacher like Cyndi comes along and makes it come alive! It is evident she has a vibrant passion for Kindermusik. She has encouraged me as a new mom in ways no one else has. She has never been without a kind word usually telling me what a great mom I am and what a great job I am doing, when I feel just the opposite. On those days where feelings of failure loom, Cyndi is always there each week with a hug and loving support.

All of these things keep us coming back, until the dreaded economy collapse. All extracurricular activities had to be cut to make way for basic necessities. My husband is a self employed furniture designer/developer and I recently went back to school part-time to finish my degree to be more of a help financially. The economy attacked my husband’s small business hard. If it weren’t for the scholarship so graciously presented to our family, we would not have been able to continue, which is a heartbreaking prospect. Thank you Thank you for enabling us to stay in the program and a huge heartfelt Thank you to Cyndi Bohner for seeing us as valuable enough to sacrifice for us to stay. The generosity is humbling.

It has been a wonderful opportunity to be a part of such a great thing during the formative years of my children’s growth. We are literally growing up with Kindermusik and it’s been an excellent journey! Though the economy has stayed the same and whether we will be able to continue in the curriculum is uncertain, one thing remains certain, we will not stop singing the praises of Kindermusik and one of their best instructors, Cyndi Bohner!

David, Ashley, Evan and Aidan

Kindermusik International: the company behind your educator

These days consumers give serious pause when considering the company behind their favorite brands. With recession, product recalls, harmful ingredients, investment scams, CEOs going to jail, and so on. Whew! It’s enough to make us think twice about with whom we exchange our hard earned dollars for products and services.

Making the choice to entrust our children to others is among the most important work we do as parents. As a Kindermusik parent, you rely on both the Kindermusik licensed educator and Kindermusik International, the publishing and training company behind your teacher.

Kindermusik teachers are experts in early childhood music, trained to follow a proven, research-based curriculum, and a delight for your children to be around. I have trusted these teachers with my own children and I delight in the fabulous work they do for our communities. If you go to Kindermusik, you know them well.

But Kindermusik International (KI), the company that stands behind them, is perhaps less visible to you. We are North Carolina based and 100% owned by our twenty-seven employees. We have no investors to satisfy. No dream of going public. Our dreams get fulfilled every day: doing our life’s best work in service of the extraordinary music educators who teach and delight you and your child.

Before KI, many of us worked in taller buildings, wore suits and ties or dresses (as 19 of us are women), and were taught to obsess about profits. KI is our second career – the one where we work together to “do good” rather than simply to “do well.” Many of us, myself included, have been on this musical mission for fifteen years or more, an uncommon allegiance in today’s transient workforce. We are bound together by doing the hardest and most meaningful work of our lives.

I refer to KI as a sustainable social enterprise, not a company. Above all, we seek to do no harm: that is, always putting the needs and safety of families. This is why we invest relentlessly in product safety testing. Next, we focus our efforts on supporting our educators, for making a livelihood as a music teacher is not for the faint of heart. Finally, we aim to honor our communities: our environment through sustainable products and packaging; our world of less fortunate children through our outreach and scholarship programs.

Our goal is simple: make this world a more musical place for children – today and for generations to come.
-Michael Dougherty, CEO of Kindermusik International