Music is a parent’s secret super power

Music is a parents secret super powerParents of young children need special superpowers. Forget about leaping tall buildings in a single bound or even flying, parents really need the ability to turn invisible in order to check on a sleeping baby, the power to fully function on only 3 hours of interrupted sleep, and the capacity to do the laundry faster than a speeding bullet! Who knew someone so little could go through so many clothes!?
Music can’t help parents with those super powers (although we wish it could!), but the power of music can give parents other hero-worthy powers. After all, parents are heroes every day of the year—not just on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

4 ways music is a parent’s secret super power

  1. Music gives families the power of laughter and silliness. Children literally bring more laughter into our lives by laughing 10x more each day than the average grown-up. Children can easily find a reason to laugh. Bubbles in the bathtub, funny sounding words, dogs wearing clothes, and, even just jumping off the front step can all cause a child to erupt into fits of giggles. In Kindermusik, we laugh, giggle and even, yes, guffaw a lot when we sing silly songs like “Gang-Goo” or “Sally the Camel,” play or listen to funny sounding instruments, and even share a few knock-knock jokes during story time. Children develop a sense of humor over time as they learn what is and isn’t funny—and when it is appropriate (or not) to laugh. In our music education classes, we support your child’s growing sense of humor and give your whole family more reasons to chuckle. Plus, all this giggling strengthens your immune system, lowers stress, and supports your child’s divergent thinking skills.
  2. Music provides families the power to predict the future. OK, this one is for your little ones…but it certainly helps make a parent’s job easier! Young children’s brains seek predictable patterns to help regulate their internal clock and navigate daily transitions. Routines and rituals teach children that the world is a predictable (and safe) place. Listening to lullaby music at the end of the day, signals to children that bedtime is near. They can predict what comes next in the routine—warm bath, infant massage, special book, final bottle or nursing for the night, etc. Rituals and routines work closely together to provide continuity and connectedness—both vital to your child’s development. Adding musical cues helps make the transition to bedtime easier for everyone!
  3. boy asleep with musicMusic transmits the power of relaxation and sleep. Have you ever heard someone say, “You need to learn how to relax”? Well, they were right. Relaxing is a learned behavior that even the youngest child can begin developing. In Kindermusik, we include an unstructured quiet time with soothing music specifically designed to learn and practice relaxation. Your child’s world can be full of stimulating experiences. Teaching young children how to relax after a period of activity gives them time to recoup and prepare them for what’s next. An added bonus: Children who know how to relax and self-soothe can be better sleepers.
  4. Music celebrates the power of love and affirmation for parents. In school, we learned that following the rules, completing assignments on time, and studying for tests usually equals passing grades. That lesson continues into the workplace where a yearly performance evaluation determines bonuses, raises, or even promotions. Unfortunately, the same evaluation system does not exist in the world of parenting. Eighteen years is a long time to wait for a passing grade!  At Music is a secret super power badgeKindermusik, we don’t think you need to wait that long to receive affirmation. Breathe. Enjoy the moment with your child. You ARE your child’s best and favorite teacher. Every smile, every hug, every kiss is an A+. Each week in our music classes for babies, toddlers, big kids, and preschoolers, we intentionally include bonding activities, such as rocking and infant massage, to support the amazing connection you share together. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers. (No parent ever does!) You do have all the love and that is better than any letter on a report card.

Looking to tap into music’s super powers for your family? Find a local Kindermusik educator and visit a class! 

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, who loves tapping into the secret (and not so secret) powers of music.

Investing in children through parental involvement in early childhood education

Kindermusik quote editedWe talk a lot about early childhood education around here. We know—as Ed Markey said: “Education is not only a ladder of opportunity, but it is also an investment in our future.” Children, especially those most at-risk students, receive even more benefits from participating in an early childhood curriculum that prepares them for a lifetime of learning!
In a perfect world, early childhood education involves three key ingredients: the child, the teacher, and family involvement in education. Without all three, our investment in early childhood education—and the child—does not yield the biggest returns—measurable and immeasurable.
Of course, a parent is a child’s first and most important teacher. We say that time and time again. When a child attends a preschool, daycare, or other learning environment outside the home, family involvement in education remains a pivotal part of the process. While teachers, administrators, and parents share the common bond of the child, some programs more successfully manage to engage this learning community by promoting respectful and reciprocal caring relationships. What can we learn from those who do it really well?

Getting high marks in family involvement in education

Anne Douglass, PhD., at the University of Massachusetts in Boston wanted to find the


answer. She recently researched ways to increase parental involvement in early childhood education in a daycare or preschool setting. She wanted to answer:

  1. What accounts for the gap between the desire of the early childhood education programs to partner with families and actual practices with families?
  2. What do teachers of early childhood curriculum need to effectively partner with families?
  3. What factors promote or impede the implementation of family support and engagement strategies?

In this small study, Douglass compared the teachers and parents, structures, and processes within four early childhood education programs: two with “high quality” family involvement and two with “low quality.”  She found two distinctive characteristics of successful preschools, Head Start programs, and daycares with parent involvement in early childhood education:

  1. Administrators modeled caring professional relationships and shared power within the school, which included leadership opportunities for classroom teachers, training, and staff appreciation.
  2. The preschool utilized specific structures to promote caring and shared power, including teacher supervision that intentionally involved discussing multiple perspectives in solving a problem.

An early childhood curriculum that increases parental involvement in early childhood education

ABCMMEINTL_LOGO_LiteracyLanguage_OneLineABC Music & Me uses music and movement to teach young children early literacy and language, social and emotional skills, and other vital skills proven to help set a child up for success. We intentionally created ABC Music & Me to include resources for teachers and parents that increase family involvement in education. As Douglass’s study indicates, teacher training impacts not only a teacher’s ability in the classroom but also the engagement of children’s parents. Our early childhood curriculum includes teacher training choices from half-day trainings to demonstration DVDs. We also include access to materials for families to use together at home that supports both the classroom learning and a parent’s role as a child’s first and best teacher.

For more information about bringing this early childhood curriculum to your preschool, Head Start program, or daycare, email us at

December Giveaway!

Kindermusik - Where Music and Learning Play

Share your favorite Kindermusik memory from outside of class for your chance to win a Kindermusik Prize Package – and a new iPad!

Kindermusik - Where Music and Learning PlayAt Kindermusik, we believe parents are their child’s best teacher – so we provide fun ways to extend the learning outside of class through music, stories, activities, crafts, video field trips, and so much more.
This December, we invite you to share your favorite Kindermusik memory from outside of class for your chance to win a Kindermusik prize package – and entry into our December Grand Prize drawing to win an iPad!

To Enter:  Simply fill out the form on our December Giveaway page.

We encourage family involvement in education and would love for you to share your favorite memory of your child singing along to a Kindermusik song, reading a favorite Kindermusik story, or playing along with one of their favorite Kindermusik@Home activities.
For ideas, check out this Kindermusik kid singing one of his favorite Kindermusik songs,
Elephants Have Wrinkles. How cute!!!

How Kindermusik Passes the Parent Test

mom and baby enjoying KindermusikIn a recent post, we highlighted some of the components of “The Parent Test,” that mostly unwritten list of criteria against which parents evaluate the worth and value of many of the activities, toys, and experiences we choose for our children.  We made a pretty bold claim that Kindermusik is one of the best and most reliable answers to ALL of the questions that we identified on The Parent Test.  Here’s why we so enthusiastically and confidently make that claim…
Kindermusik has a proven track record.
We are the original music and movement program.  Over the last 30+ years, Kindermusik International has been relentless in its pursuit to be on the cutting edge of early childhood education through the vehicle of music and movement, continually incorporating the latest and best research, training licensed educators, and publishing exceptional Home Materials, now available digitally.
Kindermusik parents say so.
“I’ve learned how to be a better parent and teacher to my children.  With Kindermusik, there’s a reason for everything we do in class – everything is a building block.  The best part is we are told how it all fits together.” – Jill C., Kindermusik mom.
In fact, when surveyed, 99% of parents who responded said that they would recommend the Kindermusik program to other parents.
Kindermusik activities benefit your child in every way.
Your child’s development is completely integrated.  However, the areas of growth or development of your child can be divided into these major categories:  Language, Cognitive, Emotional, Physical, Social, and Musical.  Here are just some of the ways that the Kindermusik experience enhances each of these areas:
Language: Through songs, chants, and stories, Kindermusik encourages early communication, speech, labeling, rhyming, and emergent literacy – all of which contribute to your child’s language development.
Cognitive: Kindermusik inspires your child’s learning, problem-solving, memory, ability to follow directions, think creatively, and sequence.
Emotional: Kindermusik gives your child a safe place to express feelings, build relationships with you and with others, learn appropriate behaviors, be secure, and form healthy emotional attachments.
Physical: From birth on, your growing child needs to be enabled to move and to develop skills like body awareness, balance, coordination, and spatial awareness.  The combination of music and movement in our Kindermusik classes are perfect for your child’s physical development.
Social: Because Kindermusik is a group class experience, your child will learn the value of play and friendship as he or she practices the life skills of turn-taking, sharing, and interacting with others.  You’ll make some great friends along the way yourself too!
Musical: Music and movement are the core of the Kindermusik experience.  Your child’s love and understanding of music is developed right from the very start through singing, playing instruments, and listening as we introduce the fundamental musical concepts of patterns, rhythm, and melody.

FamilyMusicClassesForKids_KindermusikInternational_BannerCome experience Kindermusik for yourself and see first-hand how Kindermusik passes the Parent Test at a FREE preview class.


5 reasons why family involvement in education matters to ELL students

Parental Involvement Supports Early Literacy Developement

Parental Involvement Supports Early Literacy DevelopementParent is another word for teacher—regardless of what any thesaurus says! (It’s also another word for nurse, doctor, chef, driver…) So, of course, parent involvement in early childhood matters. Studies continue to highlight the importance of family involvement in education, especially in regards to early language and literacy development. After all, we’ve said it before: a parent is a child’s first and best teacher.
However, unlike professional teachers, most parents do not have formal training in early childhood education or teaching English to children. Thankfully, parents do not need formal education in order to support their children learning English as a second language (or as a first!). They do need 20 minutes a day, English language books, and a comfortable place to read together. Here’s why:

5 reasons why parent involvement in education through reading makes a difference to English Language Learners

  1. Reading together promotes language and literacy development in both languages.
  2. Reading to children increases their vocabulary acquisition.
  3. Parents who read to their children improve their child’s chances of success in school-based literacy programs, including an ESL curriculum.
  4. Children’s reading achievement, vocabulary, and comprehension skills improve when their parents read to them. Plus, parents who are also learning English as a second language gain practice, too!
  5. Children develop a positive awareness of the structure of stories, the language of stories, the nature of reading behavior, and the sounds of the language.

ESL activities for children to do at home

ABC English & Me - Teaching English to Children through MusicDuring our ESL curriculum development, we intentionally created content for families to use together at home to support the classroom learning and parental involvement in early childhood education. ABC English & Me includes thematic 30-minute lessons for classroom teachers to use with English language learners between the ages of 2 and 6 years old. Children learn English vocabulary and expression in a musical environment that also connects the classroom learning with the learning at home through Kindermusik@Home. These monthly online home materials include ESL activities for children, a new English language eBook each month, English songs for kids, and more.

Get more information on teaching English to childrenaround the world with Kindermusik and ABC English & Me.

5 ideas to involve the whole family in being green

(Source: Washington Trails Association)
(Source: Washington Trails Association)

Sustainability for kids can start with a seed—literally and figuratively. We put together five ways to involve the whole family in protecting the environment for kids. From planting a garden to planting the knowledge about the importance of sustainability, we think you and your family will enjoy “going green!”

5 ideas for family involvement in education that will have you seeing green

  1. Take a hike. Parental involvement in early childhood education looks different in various settings from preschool to home to the grocery store. To a child, every setting—and every moment—can be a teachable one. Going on a hike together can be the ideal place to investigate a local ecosystem, look for signs of the changing season, and gain an overall appreciation of the world outdoors. Plus, by bringing an extra garbage bag and gloves to pick up trash along the way, it’s also an easy way to work in recycling activities for kids.
  2. Go green for the holidays. Make the holidays fun while also supporting a green environment for kids.  Use LED lights for decorative lighting. Compost pumpkin remains and recycle Christmas trees instead of throwing them away. Buy from local farmers for your holiday feasts. Decrease your carbon footprint and purchase holiday gifts from local merchants and artisans.
  3. Plant a garden. You don’t need an acre of land to teach your children that food doesn’t grow at the grocery store. All you need is sunlight, water, and dirt. A windowsill is the perfect spot to grow herbs. A back deck or patio can grow beautiful tomatoes. Save the apple seeds from your child’s snack and plant them in a small container. Your child can watch a little apple tree grow!
  4. Read all about it! Combine your child’s love of reading with these 20 children’s books that show the importance of sustainability for kids.
  5. Recycle together. Recycling activities for kids can be fun and support family involvement in education at the same time. Recycling that cereal box? Give your children the “job” of checking all items for “Labels for Education” or “Box Tops.” Many preschools and elementary schools collect them as part of their fundraising efforts.

At Kindermusik, we believe in the power of music to unlock a child’s fullest potential while also supporting family involvement in education. In addition, we believe that protecting the environment for kids and being mindful about the way we conduct business is part of the process.

You can read more about how our passion for supporting sustainability for kids impacts our business decisions.

FOL Fridays: Pairing Language with Movement

Pairing language with movement sets the stage for cognitive and kinesthetic learning.  The right hemisphere of the brain is our emotional side where much of our creativity is channeled.  The left hemisphere organizes logical skills, such as language.  When children are engaged in movements determined by the lyrics, the brain automatically cross-references both hemispheres, mapping creativity and logic (Fishbourne, G. 1998)
Tips for parents:  Family involvement in education can be as simple as turning on a favorite recording with lyrics or singing a favorite tune. Listen for a bit and then discuss the different ways you could move based on the words of the song.  As you dance together with your child, you can also label some of those movements, further strengthening the impact of the “moving to learn” experience. Plus, parent involvement in early childhood education through singing and dancing strengthens your role as your child’s first and best teacher.

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

11 summer-friendly literacy activities for parent involvement in education

Ask a child to define “summer slide” and responses may include descriptions of the tunnel slides at the local park, the indoor slide at the restaurant down the street, or maybe the water slide at the pool. Ask an early childhood educator, however, and the response would probably include an explanation of what can happen to the early literacy skills of a child who doesn’t read or engage in early literacy activities over the summer.
As a child’s first and best teacher, parent involvement in early childhood education can stop the “summer slide.” We put together 11 tried-and-true early literacy activities for families to do together over the summer (or anytime!) that supports early literacy development.

11 summer-friendly early literacy activities

1. Read with your child 20 minutes each day. Include a mixture of books that you both choose.
2. Practice letter writing in the sandbox, chalk on the sidewalk, or even a cookie sheet with flour (for those rainy days).
3. Act out your child’s favorite story together.
4. Go on a “Letter Sound” scavenger hunt. Help your child find objects around the house or in your neighborhood that start with every letter of the alphabet.
5. Listen to books on CD or download stories from
11 Summer-friendly early literacy activities6. Add eBooks to your reading list. eBooks can be especially engaging for reluctant readers.
7. Go fishing. Put magnetic letters in a bowl. Tie a string to a paper clip and let your child “fish” for a letter. After catching a letter, your child identifies the letter and the sound it makes.
8. Connect stories to your child’s life. Reading a book with characters that live in the woods? Go on a hike. Is the setting at a lake? Visit a lake, pond, or even a stream.
9. Look at the clouds and make up stories about what you see.
10. Play “I Spy” with letter sounds. “I spy something that starts with the letter B.” (Then make the sound of the letter.)
11. Download the Reading Rainbow app, the number 1 app in Education. Plus, with hundreds of books and videos, new content added every week, and music-themed content by Kindermusik, we know you can find something for every young reader!

Early childhood curriculum increases family involvement in early childhood education

ABC Music & Me is an early childhood curriculum that uses music and movement to teach young children. We also increase parent involvement in early childhood education by providing families each month with the music from class as well as a Family Activity Guide (available in English and Spanish). The guide includes the story from class and related literacy activities that families can do together at home.
For more information on how ABC Music & Me uses music to teach early language and literacy and increase parent involvement, email us at

Decrease in Father Involvement in Children’s Reading

Source: Sean McCabe for The Wall Street Journal

It is no secret that parent involvement in early childhood education can be a pivotal factor in a child’s academic success, especially early literacy. In fact, research shows that children’s reading achievement, vocabulary, and comprehension skills improve when their parents read to them.

While the benefits of reading together and modeling the joys of reading may be common knowledge in early literacy circles, a new study published by the UK’s National Literacy Trust shows a widening gap between the reading habits of mothers versus fathers. The National Literacy Trust surveyed 21,000 8- to 16-year-olds from nearly 130 schools in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. One of the revealing trends indicates that fathers’ involvement in reading and literacy is significantly less than mothers and continues to decline.

Highlights of the National Literacy Trust survey Continue reading “Decrease in Father Involvement in Children’s Reading”