3 Ways Music-Based Rituals Help Alleviate Back-to-School Change

3 Ways Music-Based Rituals Alleviate Back-to-School Change

The past few months have brought lots of uncertainty and requirements for change in how we educate children. Change—especially for children in any capacity—is hard, but one thing always helps…music! So, we created a new webinar to give educators quick tips on how music-based rituals can help alleviate transitions (like drop-off times and mask-wearing) and enhance child and family engagement. 

Time (Live): Thursday, August 20th at 2PM EDT (recording provided!)
Discount Code: TAKE5OFF for $5 OFF

Here’s a sneak peek at what we’ll discuss…

Continue reading “3 Ways Music-Based Rituals Help Alleviate Back-to-School Change”

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Betsy Flanagan

Name:
Betsy Flanagan

Location:
Madison WI & Surrounding Communities

Studio name and link:
Musical Pathways Foundation
www.musicalpathways.net

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
7

Describe yourself in five words or less:
Passionate & Loving People Coach

Favorite Kindermusik song:
Skinnamarink

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
Tants, Tants Yidelekh:   Accesses all 6 regions as we dance and laugh as a community, while children enjoy and learn the timbres and tonality while feeling the structure, beat and sequence of the dance for cognitive, emotional, physical and language fun!  It’s a BLAST!

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
A class had begun the semester disconnected, parents unengaged with their children, and at the end of the semester were completely engaged in scaffolded, joyful play with their children.  Tears of joy came right then and there as I stepped back and watched this beauty in action.

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
Love has many different faces and we need to engage in relationships verses assumptions.   I will never again assume that someone is not enjoying my class because of how they look, because when we originally participated in the Loyalty Surveys, I discovered that people could Love you and not appear or communicate as we might expect.    Now I form relationships with all my families.   My life is richer and there will be no surprises!

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
Walked into the middle of the Hello circle in Our Time and proudly pulled down his pants to show us his new Batman Bigboy pants – got so excited he peed right there.  Precious!

The reason you teach:
To change the world, one child, one family at a time.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Jessica Solares

(Jessica is pictured in the gray shirt with blue emblem near the back of the room.)

Name:
Jessica Rice Solares

Location:
Chicago, IL, USA

Studio name and link:
Bucktown Music
www.bucktownmusic.com

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
1.5

Describe yourself in five words or less:
From me:  creative, passionate
From my customer loyalty surveys: talented, fun, clever

Favorite Kindermusik song:
So many great ones, but “Big Black Bear” really stands out.  I love seeing the kids pretend to go on a walk and then the sleeping bear wake up and ROAR!

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
Once again, really difficult to choose, but recently, “Snail & Grasshopper” from Village Dewdrops.  I love that it teaches AB music form, fast/slow, major/minor, ASL, and incorporates so many senses:  auditory, kinesthetic, visual.  Plus the babies all crack up during the bouncing and anticipate the stopping.

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
When I looked around a Village class and saw most adults dancing with someone else’s child.  What a wonderful community where everyone trusts each other with their children!

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
My families have taught me to be respectful and not to judge, and that there are unlimited ways to do something, or think about something.  Everybody has their own way, and that’s good.

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
One 3 year old boy wasn’t seeming to pay attention during a Family Time class, and then at the end, he grabbed his little sister’s hands, swung her around, and sang “Skinnamarinky Dinky Dink, Skinnamarinky Do, I LOVE YOU!!!” at the top of his lungs!

The reason you teach:
I love seeing the children and parents grow and learn, and am honored to be part of that experience.  It is important to me to show the parents that THEY are their child’s most important teacher.  I’ve also found that students who have completed the Kindermusik program have shown an increased ability for abstract musical concepts, have better rhythm and intonation, and better listening and attention skills.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Holly Lesnick

Name:
Holly Lesnick

Location:
Orlando, FL

Studio name and link:
Grow and Sing Studios
http://www.growandsing.com

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
8 years

Describe yourself in five words or less:
Wife, mother, friend and teacher

Favorite Kindermusik song:
Butterfly Wings

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
There are so many favorites, but nothing brings me more joy than a roomful of babies and their caregivers dancing to Hop Up my Baby! The smiles and laughter are infectious!!

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
One day, I greeted my Our Time class as they entered the classroom. One by one everyone entered the classroom, and I realized I had an overfilled day with my full class of enrolled families, plus preview families and families making up classes. I welcomed the challenge and during quiet time, I looked around, and every single child was cuddled up with their parent or caregiver, and all were singing together. It was magical.

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
That each week is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. I love it, and it keeps me on my toes at ALL times!

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
“Miss Holly, can you come live with us?”

The reason you teach:
The question should be why I teach KINDERMUSIK. It is the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I love connecting with the children, but also with the parents, and sharing my passion for music. My motto is “Connecting Families through the Magic of Music”, and that’s what I get to do. It’s such a wonderful combination that makes it right for me.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Amy James

Name:
Amy James

Location:
Bend OR

Studio name and link:
DevelopMusic
www.developmusic.com

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
5 years

Describe yourself in five words or less:
Loves music, loves to dance

Favorite Kindermusik song:
Our Time Hello since it’s the one my daughter sings when she “plays” Kindermusik with her dolls

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
I love any of the circle songs because I love the sense of community we create as we all come together in a circle and dance.

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
When there is a connection made between a parent and child, parent and parent, or teacher and child

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
Be uninhibited, just go for it when singing, dancing or moving.  Throw off the outside pressures of parenthood and just have fun with your little one because they do not stay little for very long!

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
There was a little boy who never crawled, he would just scoot on his bottom around the room and he was fast!

The reason you teach:
I teach because what we teach can make a difference.  It makes a difference for the families in the present by allowing them a special time together.  It also makes a difference in the future because of the foundation being laid for future learning.  I’ve seen the tremendous difference it has made, especially for those kids with other special needs.  Kindermusik is a place where they can have fun and be successful.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Simone Melder

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

Name:
Simone Melder

Location:
Blackburn South, Victoria, Australia

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
Eight

Studio name and link:
Kindermusik with Simone
http://www.kindermusikwithsimone.com.au

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

Favorite Kindermusik song:
Skinnamarink

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.

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 www.kmtabby.com.

Growing up Kindermusik

Recently, we refreshed our kindermusik.com 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 Kindermusik.com, 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.