Kindermusik benefits parents too!

Village photo shoot 001 compressedWhat’s in a Kindermusik class… for parents??? Well, for starters, there’s music, singing, instruments, dancing, and together time with your child – the very kinds of music education activities your child will love too. The real secret is that you can enjoy letting out your inner child and everyone else will only be thinking what a wonderful and interactive parent you are!

But it really goes much deeper than that. Kindermusik educators are quite fond of explaining that Kindermusik classes are just as much for the parent as they are for the child during this critical window of early childhood development. While there are many benefits of Kindermusik enrollment for you and your child, one significant area is the social-emotional impact for the parents.

The social outlet

Kindermusik classes give you a vital social outlet, a place where you can make new friends and keep up with old friends too!

The support network

Kindermusik is a place where you can belong and be supported by other parents going through the same things with their children as you are with yours.

The emotional connections

Kindermusik classes are where emotional connections between you and your child are strengthened, and where what you learn and enjoy in class will spill over into even more bonding and memories together at home.

The window into your child

One of the unique features of Kindermusik is that you will glean tidbits and insights into that precious little

person that is your child. We use music as the vehicle to enhance every aspect of early childhood development, and to give you a peek into the wonders of the whys and hows of who your child is and what he is becoming.

The best choice

Knowing you have chosen one of the very best possible experiences for your child by enrolling her in Kindermusik makes you feel great – in class each week and at home all week long!

See for yourself why so many parents love Kindermusik – for their children and for themselves! Try a free class today.

– Written by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful Upstate South Carolina

We're multi-lingual! ABC English & Me's app and tablet learning @Home



We’re multi-lingual! ABC English & Me can now speak nine languages, including English! We’re delighted to announce the new language translations in Kindermusik@Home for ABC English & Me.
Kindermusik@Home materials feature the interactive songs, stories, and activities from class — in an easily downloadable format for a variety of mobile and at-home computer devices.
And now, parents and caregivers can translate the Kindermusik@Home Web site into a preferred language:

  • Traditional Chinese
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • French
  • Italian
  • German
  • Greek
  • Spanish

Step 1: Log on to

Parents and caregivers enrolled in ABC English & Me login to the @Home site at Here, you’ll find all the stories and songs from class, plus special activities you can do together at home.

Step 2: Select your language

Select your preferred language from the drop down menu.

Where do I find my materials?

When the Web site refreshes, you’ll see instructions on the Web site written in your preferred language. Explore the site!
Access the Kindermusik@Home materials in the lower right-hand corner. Click on each one of the four icons – music, lyrics, stories, and activities. Soon, your computer will download an archive zip file of all the activities featured in class.
Look for instructions in your preferred language and follow along.

What do the Kindermusik@Home materials include?

All the songs and stories from stories from class in the English language. Instructions on how to download the music to a computer will appear in the parent’s chosen language.

You can download the illustrated story from class – written in English – or simply read along together on your home computer, tablet or mobile device.
Extra activities you can play together at home – such as a memory game featuring animals or vocabulary words from that mont’s class.
Lyric sheets to all the songs from class.
Sing together the English-language nursery rhymes! Enjoy the music and movement activities from class and do them together at home. Listen to ABC English & Me’s wide variety of songs in a range of musical styles.

Would you like to know more about the research-based approach of ABC English & Me? Click here for more information. We’d love to show you how it works.

A few of the helpers …

Parents and Kindermusik Educators share ways they found to be “people who are helping” in the aftermath of the Newtown Elementary School tragedy.

The parent: “We can’t undo this. But we can dig in and help.”
Emily Lampish

The parent, photographer and blogger turned her frustration towards finding ways to help. And she wraps up a few ways in this blog post, “broken.” Suggestions include donation links to the Newton Memorial Fund and the Connecticut United Way, tips to help children grieve, and a link to send a message of love and support to grieving families.


The expert: “Using a caring and matter-of-fact face and voice, adults can help kids by making true statements that contain a positive message. ”
Irene van der Zande

In this article, Irene gives parents and educators phrases that both acknowledge the truth the work being done to keep children safe. For example, “I am sad that this happened, and we are all going to work on ways to be safe everywhere.” If a child asks a tough question, and you don’t know the answer, say “I don’t know.” The fine line is learning to help young people to express their feelings without making them take care of your feelings.

Helping Children Regain Emotional Safety

The advocate: School Shootings: The Conversation You Need to Have With Your Kids

A list of simple questions that starts with “What have you heard?” “What are your friends saying?” and finally, “How can we help these families?”

The parent who needs help, right now: “I am Adam Lanza’s Mother”
Liza Long

The writer, musician, Steinway lover, and single mother of four journals the chilling challenges of raising a lovable, intelligent, and sometimes violent child.

“I am sharing this story because I am Adam Lanza’s mother. I am Dylan Klebold’s and Eric Harris’s mother. I am Jason Holmes’s mother. I am Jared Loughner’s mother. I am Seung-Hui Cho’s mother. And these boys—and their mothers—need help. In the wake of another horrific national tragedy, it’s easy to talk about guns. But it’s time to talk about mental illness.”

Thinking the Unthinkable

The Kindermusik Educator: “Music is a balm”
Helen Peterson

Kindermusik Educator Helen Peterson sent an email to her families with a few tips to help parents and their children. “Remember to take care of yourselves by being in conversation with other adults, and help those you know who may be struggling.”

And finally, a note to our Kindermusik Educators around the world who are opening their classrooms to families seeking comfort: There are more resources and information you can share with your families – or use to help yourself – posted to the Teacher’s Lounge.

Sign in to the Teacher’s Lounge

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.

Sometimes ACTIONS are louder than WORDS

Have you ever sat in a movie theater, and several people in the row behind you are all talking? I bet you found it difficult to concentrate on the movie.

What does this have to do with your child in a Kindermusik class? Just imagine this scenario: your Kindermusik teacher brings out a basket of rhythm sticks and sings “two for you and two for your grownup”. Most of the grownups in the room start encouraging their child to go get the sticks. They encourage them with their voices and now we hear 10 adults telling their child to go get sticks. At this point, some of the children will start to “tune you out”. I like to call this “selective hearing loss”. (I have teens at home and I am very familiar with this temporary, albeit sometimes annoying ailment.)

Although we highly encourage you to talk to your child throughout the day and label movements, sounds, and objects to help with language acquisition, there are times when we have to allow them to figure out what to do without being told. Allow them to problem solve.

I want to share with you an experiment we did in a few of my classes. I asked the adults not to give directions to their child during this class – just sing when it was appropriate in the lesson. The toughest part was the “no talking”. But they all agreed and were curious to witness their child in this somewhat altered environment. I encouraged them to guide their little one by being a model and using non-verbal cues.

Here is what some of the adults said at the end of class:
* They showed more patience
* They were more “in the moment” with their children
* Their children were more attentive and focused
* Their children felt freer to create, explore, and express themselves

Try a version of this experiment at home. Take time to explore with your child without giving them opinions or directions. Be a model for them through your actions and not your words. It’s not easy, but it may allow you to be “in the moment” with your child in a way you have not been before.

Special thanks to Kindermusik educator Cathy Huser for sharing this insightful post from her blog.  Cathy’s program, Kindermusik of Cleveland, has been a top ten Kindermusik Maestro program for 10 years running.

Einstein and his violin

This article was written by Kindermusik educator Helen Peterson. Helen’s Kindermusik of the Valley program, located in and around the twin cities, MN, is one of the top programs in the world. Enjoy this little vignette!

A few years ago, Tucker and I took a quick trip to Washington D.C. and, like thousands of other tourists, I made him sit in Albert Einstein’s lap for a picture.

Albert Einstein’s schoolteachers told his parents that he was “stupid” and simply couldn’t learn. They urged his parents to take him out of school.

What did his parents do instead? They bought him a violin. It was a turning point.

In later years, Einstein would turn to his violin while trying to work out his scientific problems and formulae. Once, when asked about his theory of relativity, Einstein explained, “It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception.”

Music and movement: magical ingredients to learning

Music and movement are magical ingredients to learning for both the child and parent. A baby’s first communication is through movement. A toddler immediately responds to lively music with silly gyrations and flailing limbs – and while these movements usually make us giggle, to him they are serious attempts to coordinate movement with rhythmic patterns. The preschooler seems to be constantly moving – leaping off couches, rolling down hills, and spinning around and around until she falls down in a giggling flop on the floor.

Movement is fundamental for the development of the central nervous system, and science proves it. But what’s more, movement and rhythm are also essential for the development of the soul. These are things that can’t be measured with research and studies.

When a parent moves with her infant, a special bonding takes place that is key to social and emotional growth. When a parent sings to her child, not only are language skills being developed, but also a sense of love, comfort and harmony. The special touching, laughing, and rhythmic moving that takes place in a music and movement class lays a very strong and much needed foundation for a happy, healthy and joyful life!

Here are just a few of the ways that Kindermusik children learn through the interactive music and movement activities of the Kindermusik classroom:

  • Intentional touch is designed to provide stimulation of the nervous system, relaxation and bonding.
  • Activities involve unilateral, bi-lateral and cross-lateral movements that help develop the brain and muscles.
  • Movement and dance steps allow the caregiver and child to experience different rhythms and locomotor movements.
  • Synchronized dances develop sequencing, provide reassuring repetition and social interaction.
  • Expressive movement provides variety, creativity, and opposing feelings such as fast and slow, high and low.
  • Rocking and swinging stimulate the vestibular system, which is so important to balance and even eye movement.
  • Props, such as the “humongous” scarves and parachutes, provide tactile and visual stimulation.

So put on your Kindermusik CD at home and don’t worry about performing the dances “just right.” Don’t even worry about right and left! Simply move to the music and have fun! It all makes a difference.

-This post was adapted from a past issue of Kindermusik Notes and was originally written by Anne Green Gilbert, Director of the Creative Dance Center and Kaleidoscope Dance Company in Seattle, Washington, and a consultant for Kindermusik International.

Parenting a special needs child

Are you the parent of a special needs child, or know someone who is? It can be as challenging as it is rewarding, and sometimes a little extra help is welcome.

We recently came across a magazine called Parenting Children with Special Needs. It’s relatively new and currently only being distributed in print in the Kansas City area, but it’s available online to anyone. The content is not specific to any region or situation. You’ll find some really great stuff there that is sure to be valuable.

Magazines like this, and others like it, give parents and caregivers ideas, suggestion, and–sometimes most importantly–support, when it comes to raising a child with special needs.

At Kindermusik International, we often here stories from parents and educators who have seen success with Kindermusik when it comes to their special needs child. In many cases, music is one of the rare things that the child responds to. We’re proud to have our name associated with helping special needs children and their parents in any way we can.

So if you’re a parent looking for a little help, a supportive word, or something new to try, there are resources out there. We’ll routinely post them here at Minds at Music. Have a special needs resource you want to share? Post it in the comments area below!

Want to try Kindermusik with your special needs child to see if it’s a good fit? You can find classes and sign up for a free class preview at our Kindermusik Class Finder.

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.