Usually, family summer themes include vacation, festivals, summer camps, and more. This year is very different, with overtones of catch-up and preventing severe boredom in the midst of lingering closures. However, one thing hasn’t changed…the looming threat of “summer slide” which extends from babies to early elementary students. So, how do families combat learning loss while recovering from a pandemic?Continue reading “6 Ways to Prevent Summer Slide”
The first seven years of childhood development are the most critical, and set so many things in motion for the future. However, development extends far beyond literacy and motor skills. Early cognitive strides include some pretty deep revelations like diversity recognition and cultural acceptance.
This year, Kindermusik partnered with Bilingual Birdies, a foreign language music and movement program, to offer classes in studios (and now virtually!) across the globe. It’s amazing to see how quickly children latch onto a second language and begin to process—even as toddlers— that the world is so much bigger than their immediate environments.
We encourage you to check out these fun-filled classes (kiddos are crazy about the puppets)! In the meantime, let’s talk about how we can jumpstart those social-emotional skills and help our little ones celebrate diversity at home.Continue reading “Four Easy Ways to Explore Diversity with Children”
Do you create your own playlists? Maybe one to calm you when you feel stressed, one to pep you up when you feel down, one for a special holiday, or one for busting a move when no one else is around (those are the best!).
Music has incredible benefits, not just for our grownup moods, but for childhood development—from the womb on! That’s what we explore every day in Kindermusik studios around the globe.Continue reading “3 Things You Can Expect from Kindermusik Class”
Parents who seek information about what is best to do for their child—parents like you!—are relieved when an idea can be described as definitively true. It’s even better when that idea involves something that is easy and fun for children and caregivers to do together.
It’s not a coincidence that some of the most brilliant minds in history were (and are!) also musicians. That list includes famous names like Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Isaac Newton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Albert Einstein, Galileo, and Steven Spielberg. Research study after research study continues to show that music education or to be more precise – actively engaging in musical activities on a consistent basis – significantly affects the cognitive development and abilities of participants.
Consider these four big ways music affects the brain.
Improved Math Abilities
Long before research studies showed how music-making positively impacts a child’s math abilities and understanding, the great mathematician Pythagorus said, “Music is math made audible.” Now we know that children engaged in math show increased abilities in spatial awareness, pattern recognition, and numbers and measurement. As children grow and continue to participate through high school, music students even score 23 points above average on SAT tests.
Can you identify the pattern in this classic Kindermusik circle dance?
Improved Reading Abilities
We could write a whole book on the connections between music and reading. In fact, we have! (You can download our free ebooks from this page). Children who participate in music classes experience boosts in phonological awareness, auditory discrimination, auditory sequencing, and vocabulary. Plus, reading music even models for children how to read left to right and top to bottom.
When compared to their peers, musicians have better memories. In addition, musicians show improvements in auditory verbal memory and auditory memory. Dr. Nina Kraus, a prominent brain researcher at Northwestern University, has likened the effects of music on the brain to the effects of exercise on the body. Increasing the working memory capacity of the brain improves thinking ability.
For fun, see how well you do in this Kindermusik Memory Game from our Kindermusik @Home Materials.
Children who participate in music classes over time experience a boost in their IQ. In fact, the longer a child participates in a consistent weekly music class, the greater the effect. But you don’t have to just take our word on it, here’s an interesting article recently put out by the American Psychology Association about this very correlation between music classes and IQ.
Want to give your child access to the brain-changing power of music? Find a local Kindermusik Educator and visit a class today.
Young children tend to view the world with an abundance of imagination. They can easily envision living life as an astronaut, walking on lava, riding on a unicorn, or sailing on a pirate ship to the land of dinosaurs (Pirates of the Caribbean meets Jurassic Park). Of course, they have never actually done those things in real life, but it doesn’t stop them from imagining or pretending that they have. Take these kids. They imagined what it would be like to be in a band:
Yes, they were a little bit right and a little bit not right, but they certainly had fun imagining what it would be like!
What about you? Have you ever imagined what happens in a music class? Well, if you think that there would be some singing, listening to music, playing instruments, and dancing, you would be partly right. (Okay, mostly right!) However, in music class, we do things that may surprise you—or to be more accurate, you may be surprised to find yourself doing them. Take a look at just a few things people have said that they are surprised to find themselves doing in a Kindermusik class.
6 Things I Can’t Believe I Did in Music Class
- I sang out loud where other people could hear me and I didn’t care. Yes, we sing in the shower, in our cars, or maybe at a place of worship or at a concert with thousands of other people; however, I never expected to sing out loud in a small group setting with a smile! My children loved hearing my voice and seeing me participate in class. In fact, it helped them love it even more!
- I pretended to be a peep squirrel (whatever that is!), a slithering snake, a hopping rabbit, and all sorts of other animals. Again, all of this happened in front of other people and I did not care. For one, they were pretending to be those animals, too. More importantly, my children reminded me just how fun it can be to give in to my imagination.
- I purposefully wore my super fuzzy cozy socks with multicolored toes to show the other parents. Then told the other parents where to buy them. In music class, we take off our shoes so it’s all about the socks…or the pedicure during those warmer months. So not only, did the other parents and I exchange parenting tips specific to the age of our children we also shared where to find the cutest socks—or where to get the best pedicure in town.
- I broke out in a sweat hoisting my child up in the air, swinging her in a blanket hammock, and bouncing my little one up and down in an imaginary little red wagon. It was a workout for me. The best part: Those “sweaty moments” tended to be full of giggles from my child.
- I learned new languages…sort of. Technically, I learned to sing different songs in other languages: Spanish, French, English, and more!
- I finally found a place to put to good use all those dance moves I collected in my younger years including the Sprinkler, the Cabbage Patch, the Electric Slide, and even the Macarena. And, while I never had moves like Jagger, my children loved dancing with me and trying out those moves, too.
Share your own “unbelievable” story on our Kindermusik Facebook Page by completing this phrase: I can’t believe I Did [BLANK] in Kindermusik class.
Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer in the Atlanta area. Her children, now 9 and 7, still request a ride on the little red wagon—and it is STILL a workout.
We’ve all sung the wrong lyrics to a song. Pre-Internet days, we probably even engaged in some spirited dialogue with friends about the words to certain songs when the artist did not include the lyrics! (Hold me closer, Tony Danza, anyone?)
Somehow, though, when children mis-sing a song, our love for them grows and we run to get the camera to capture the cuteness! Take this sweet little nugget. He is singing a beautiful rendition of “Fifty Nifty United States,” including Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, and the newest state of the union: Massachusettsippigan.
Mis-sung lyrics is one of the reasons we include lyrics in Kindermusik classes so we can read the words to an unfamiliar song. However, while Kindermusik certainly supports early literacy development, most Kindermusik students are not fluent readers so they can create some of their own interesting lyrics.
Here are 5 “mis-sung” lyrics heard in a Kindermusik classroom.
Floating Down the River:
- Misheard lyric: “Two in the middle and ketchup juicy.”
- Actual lyric: “Two in the middle and you can’t jump, Josie.”
- Misheard lyric: “My mom buys pizza”
- Actual lyric: “Mama Paquita”
Home on the Range
- Misheard lyric: “Hold, hold on the reins.”
- Actual lyric: “Home, home on the range.”
- Misheard lyric: “Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my body to me, to meEEee….”
- Misheard lyric: “Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my bunny to me!”
- Actual lyric: Bring back, bring back, oh bring back my Bonnie to me!
Does your child sing the cutest thing, too? Upload a video of your little one’s funny moments singing the incorrect lyrics on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram. Tag with #KidsSing
“We are LOVING it.The kids are doing great. We have done it three days a week and they are not tired of it at all. I may just be imagining things, but some of my quiet kids are talking more. They are engaged and busy and doing exactly what I am asking them to do. We started lessons 3 and 4 today and I was shocked at what they remembered from last week! They were saying the poem and remembered all of the hand gestures. It has been so exciting to watch.” Jan B. – Preschool Intervention Program Teacher, SC
“Students who are physically impaired are jamming to the music and using vocabulary that they haven’t used before. Some children who have Autism Spectrum Disorders and have been totally nonverbal are not only using phrases, but complete sentences as well.” ~ Sheryl Koscso, Director of ECE Curriculum Instruction, FL
“I’m excited to report the language learning gains [from using Kindermusik curricula] were above the 70% significance level.” ~Penny Collins, Director of Special Education, Osceola County, Florida
“I have a wide range of needs in my classroom from significant visual impairment to developmental delay. The ABC Music & Me program accommodates all my students and has engaging activities that are easy to adapt for students with special needs. I would recommend the ABC Music & Me program to any Pre-K teacher.” ~Rebekah K., Pre-K Teacher, NC
“Good morning! I just wanted to tell you about something wonderful that happened in my last ABC Music & Me lesson. I have a student who has lower cognitive functioning and limited speech. He does not follow directions or imitate movements during music, etc. He LOVES listening to music and instruments but will either stick the instrument in his mouth or throw it to the floor. He refuses to play it, even with hand-over-hand assistance. We have been working with him since August and have seen little progress in his participation skills. Last week when we were doing our ABC lesson, he played two different instruments appropriately AND independently during the whole song segment! And he was imitating some of the movements that were going on during other segments as well! My aide and I almost cried! What a breakthrough for him!” ~ Kimberly L., Early Childhood Teacher
“Kindermusik started as a way for my daughter and I to spend an hour a week focused just on each other. Not only is it still that, it’s a chance for her to shine each week, have my undivided attention, and for me to experience the joy of childhood through her eyes. We love our weekly Kindermusik classes!” ~Allie B.
“When I went to a trial of Kindermusik, I thought I was going to a singing class. It is so much more. Children learn to share, listen, express themselves and they don’t even know they are learning. They have so much fun and for my daughter, it increased her confidence 10 fold. Thank you Kindermusik.” ~Louise T.
“We love Kindermusik because it meets children where they are and embraces their individuality while also teaching them to create beautiful music.” ~Missy S.
“We love Kindermusik because it gives us a chance to sing dance and be silly all while bonding with our children and shaping their early childhood development and learning!” ~Deanna H.
“My 3 year old is very shy but since we have started going to Kindermusik he is starting to open up and interact with others. I believe this will help him mentally, physically, and emotionally.” ~Jodi M.
“We started Kindermusik when my son was 2. He has a speech problem and loved music. I wanted to help him grow in his love of music since language was going to be hard. Little did I know that music was the key to my son learning to speak. By summer, he was singing more words that he was speaking. At age 4, we were working on growing sentence length. He was making only 2-3 word sentences and at the park one day he walked up to me and said “climb up ladder, slide down.” A song that we learned in Kindermusik made him learn to say that! I was so excited. Now age 5, he still loves to go every week. He has so must fun singing, dancing, and using his imagination.” ~Renee B.
“Kindermusik is amazing! I have been doing it for the past 7 years with my three kids. It’s wonderful for their language development, patience in taking turns, socialization, exposure and appreciation for different styles and types of music and instruments. I could go on an on… I recommend it to any mom/caregiver I meet. I believe in the power of Kindermusik 1000%!” ~ Christy B.
“I LOVE watching my child interact socially with other kids while singing and dancing her heart out.” ~Melissa B.
“We love Kindermusik because we have seen the difference it made with our kindergartener. In addition to music, she learned about math, nature, and other cultures. We take our three-year-old now and just love the bonding time with her and seeing her face light up when she is a part of the group!” ~Ricki S.
“We love Kindermusik because it is fun for every one of us, kids and parents alike. We also love it because it’s based on research and then translated into information parents can easily understand and use every day. The whole curriculum is very take-home-able! Thank you, Kindermusik!” ~Julie Lee
“I love our Kindermusik class because as a working mom, it’s nice to have time carved out of our busy week to spend purely bonding with my baby, while he learns something new, spends some time with friends, and has a whole lot of fun dancing, singing, and playing!” ~ Tara M.
“It’s fun and very educational for the kids! The kids love the music and all the action involved. WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK!” ~Marisa H.
“We love Kindermusik because not only does it give us great musical experience, it also offers a real sense of community. That’s why, when we found out we are moving from Canada to the United States the first thing we did was look for a new Kindermusik family. I love that my son will have this sense of continuity even though we are moving countries!” ~Jasmine A.
“I have a rowdy little boy but since day one with Kindermusik he has completely connected with it. I come from a very musical family and I love that he can stop everything and really participate in the singing, dancing and instruments during class. He can’t WAIT to show daddy when we get home. I love this program and have another baby on the way that will definitely be enrolled as well.” ~Hannah W.
“I love Kindermusik because it puts a huge smile on my son’s face every week! Nothing is better than seeing your child laugh, learn and grow at the same time! ” ~ Cheryl M.
“We love Kindermusik because it gives us HOPE that one day our daughter will see, hear and dance with us. Epilepsy, profound hearing loss, near blindness and Cerebral Palsy fade away whenever we are at Kindermusik. We witnessed with great joy her many ‘firsts’ in class – crawling, standing, assisted walking and we look forward to more. With Kindermusik we dare to dream again that we will one day hear her sing and see her dance all on her own, just like all her friends.” ~ Krissy O.
“My son is on the autism spectrum and I have found Kindermusik to be one of the best interventions we do. It incorporates language, brain development, social skills (to name a few!) in such a fun and relaxed manner. And what’s more the take home kits mean we continue the intervention at home.” ~ Beth M.
Share your own personal story and how music (or Kindermusik as your life’s work) has inspired you.
Challenge #1: How Has Kindermusik Moved Me:
Show the world how Kindermusik has helped and inspired you and your family in your everyday lives. From your morning wake-up call to music or dance class to nap time to clean-up time. Capture these beautiful moments on video with your phone and upload to Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube with the hashtag #KindermusikMovesMe. The most memorable videos will be edited into a “Best of” video that will be shared on social media the week of March 2.
Challenge #1: Sing Your Heart Out Virtual Performance
From the impromptu home performance to singing in Kindermusik class to the more formal concert, capture and upload a video of those oh so adorable moments to Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube with the hashtag #KindermusikMovesMe.
Challenge #2: Finish the Kindermusik Lyric Challenge
- Take a video using your phone and sing or play the FIRST line or stanza of your favorite song. Bonus points if it’s a Kindermusik song. Here’s an example challenge.
- Post the video on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube with the hashtag #KindermusikMovesMe
- Tag your family or friends and challenge them to record a video of themselves singing the next line or stanza in the song. They then can upload and tag their friends to do the same until you have completed the entire song.
The Deadline is February 28, 2015. Prize winners for above three challenges will now be announced the first week in March.
- Three (3) instrument packages worth $100 for each challenge winner
- Kindermusik selects ONE grand prize winner to receive an iPad with a years’ worth of Kindermusik@Home materials
- Educator/studio of grand prize winner will receive an iPad and speaker system for the classroom
Yes. It’s true. My daughter, Ellery, slept through Kindermusik class—for four months! Now, before you begin conjuring up images of a snuggled and swaddled baby girl being gently rocked to quiet lullabies, let me stop you.
She was two and not really asleep. She just didn’t want anyone to see her. And, in fact, if I am perfectly honest, she didn’t always want to go to class. She wanted to play on the stairs outside of class or smell the tulips in front of the building or peek in the window during her older sister’s Kindermusik class. But, as soon as we stepped inside her class, the eyes would shut and she would slump in my lap—asleep.
Seriously, this is the face of my child when it was time to go into class:
Just when I thought I had this parenting thing figured out
At this point, I should confess that I thought I had this parenting—and Kindermusik—thing down. After all, I lived and breathed Kindermusik as the Senior Director of Marketing for seven years at Kindermusik International. I knew all the latest parenting—and music education research—and participated in Kindermusik classrooms around the world long before becoming a parent, which meant I learned from THE BEST in the business. Plus, we had Emerson, our oldest daughter (AKA “The Rule Follower” and “Safety Patrol”). But, along came Ellery, our spirited child.
Now, if you’ve never had to participate in an active Kindermusik class with, um, a sleeping child, it’s not easy. It’s kind of like taking the class by yourself, while swinging a 25 pound bag of sugar in the air and bouncing it on your knees! But, thankfully, I knew one thing. Ellery was absorbing it all in and participating in the way that best fit her at that developmental stage. How do I know? Well, on the car ride home, she would sing all of the songs, repeat the fingerplays, and even mention certain things her teacher, Jane Hendrix, said in class. Then later, Ellery and Emerson would play Kindermusik class in the living room and (surprise, surprise!) Ellery would be fully awake for that class!
I knew that this sleepy behavior could last the first few classes as Ellery adjusted to this new group of friends. In fact, it can often take five weeks for a young child to feel confident enough to participate more actively in class. And, I was right…sorta.
Kindermusik celebrated my child—even when she was asleep
I should mention that our Kindermusik Educator, Jane Hendrix, took my Ellery in stride. Every week Jane would try a new tactic to encourage participation while also fully accepting Ellery’s form of engagement. In fact, we would often “sleep hello to Ellery” at the start of each class or sing “Resting in the Green Grass.” Eventually, Jane uncovered the one thing that finally coaxed Ellery’s eyes open for longer and longer moments—a dog puppet. Little by little Ellery began to participate with her eyes open, as long as the dog puppet watched. She danced with the dog. Played instruments with the dog and even got to take the dog home one week to play Kindermusik at home. She took that dog everywhere, which meant we played Kindermusik everywhere! We even sang hello–well, barked hello–to the peonies at the grocery store.
I would love to say that from that day forward Ellery eagerly bounded into class each week, but no. She still wanted to play on the steps, smell the flowers, and basically do her own thing, but we kept going and learning and playing and singing. And, you know what? It paid off, because I have the gift of time to see how it did!
5 Years Later
As parents, it takes years to see the fruits of our labor. Are we making the right choices for our kids? Is this worth the time, the money, the struggle? Well, today Ellery is halfway through first grade. And guess what? She participates with her eyes wide open! Kindermusik helped set the foundation for her love of learning—and her confidence to be herself. She loves to read, excels at math, and easily creates a network of close friends who accept her for her. Is she musical? Yes…but we plan to hold off on the drum lessons for now.
Last month, Miss Jane posted a picture on my Facebook page and said, “This girl reminds me of Ellery”:
You see. That’s the other thing. Kindermusik creates bonds that transcend the classroom experience long after a child “ages out.” I know that Jane will always celebrate Ellery for who she is. It’s why Jane—and Kindermusik—will remain firmly planted in my heart.
Kindermusik: A Place to Celebrate Your Child
Every child is welcomed in Kindermusik and celebrated for who they are and how they participate. There is no right or wrong way. Even when children don’t seem to be participating in class (i.e. sleeping or running or sitting in your lap), they are absorbing and participating in their own unique way. It’s one of the reasons why Kindermusik provides materials for families to use together outside the class. Children are most comfortable at home in their own environments. It is worth it…even when they sleep through class!
Find a local Kindermusik educator at www.kindermusik.com and experience firsthand how we celebrate every child!
Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer living the Atlanta area.