The Kindermusik experience, including instruments, is very much process-based, allowing children (and parents!) to linger in the precious moments of childhood just a little longer and to celebrate everything that can make childhood both magical and musical. Continue reading “Kindermusik Classroom Instruments and their Big Brothers”
Looking for a holiday or Christmas gift? Well, look no further! Kindermusik has you covered for the holiday season. Continue reading “Looking for a Christmas Gift? Kindermusik Classes to the Rescue!”
Humans are built for repetition. So much of what we do as living beings is rooted in repetitive structure. We have a cycle each day that we repeat: get up…do daily activities…eat…more activities…eat again…more activities…eat a third time…rest a bit…and sleep. The next day its starts again. We brush our teeth the same way each day. We shampoo, rinse, condition, rinse, and style. We put clothes in the hamper, wash them, dry them. and put them away. Over and over.
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]All you have to do is look around the classroom during a Kindermusik class, and you’ll see why children love Kindermusik so much — from beloved class routines to pint-sized friends to favorite instruments to that teacher they absolutely adore. Look a little closer, and you’ll notice that the adults are really loving “their” Kindermusik too. Here are some of the surprising reasons why.
You’ll Receive Great Parenting Support
This support comes in many different packages. Sometimes it’s that hug of empathy when your child is having a bit of a rough day. Sometimes it’s that spontaneous celebratory cheer of delight when your child takes his first steps in class. Sometimes it’s sharing the joy as another child sings for the first time. Sometimes it’s that interesting fact about child development or that musical tip you can take home with you. And then at home, you can find all kinds of musical parenting insight and support through the Home Materials.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
You’ll have a Social Outlet, Too
Let’s face it. Parenting a young child can be lonely sometimes. It’s tough work too. And that’s why so many adults tell us that they look forward to coming to Kindermusik as much as their child does! In class, Kindermusik parents meet other adults with children – and challenges – that are similar. And there’s nothing that inspires community and connection more than the circle dances and social activities that are built into every class.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
You’ll Gain Tremendous Insight into your Child’s Heart and Mind
There’s something about being in a music class with a proven curriculum that’s been so carefully rooted in child development. Being in a Kindermusik class opens various windows of understanding as you observe your child in the weekly class setting, interacting with other children and adults, participating and engaging in his/her own way, and even listening to the teacher.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
You’ll Know – or be Able to Adapt – a Song for Nearly Every Situation
From the “toys away” song to that one lullaby that works every time, you’ll have a whole playlist of songs and rhymes to make day-to-day routines and transitions a little easier. Best of all, these will be the kinds of songs you’ll enjoy singing – songs that bring a smile, soothe, distract, or inspire play.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
You’ll Feel Really Good about Being Able to Enjoy an Activity with your Child that has Such a Lifelong Impact
It isn’t every day that the things you do with your child can strengthen your heart ties with each other or create the feelings of connection and stability that being in Kindermusik does. And knowing that you are fostering a lifelong love of both music and learning makes being in Kindermusik all the more special.
You might think that you enrolled your child in Kindermusik because the Kindermusik experience is so good for him or her. But after over 30 years of bringing children and families together in the Kindermusik classroom to enjoy and make music together, we can say with confidence that Kindermusik is just as good for the grownups who participate as it is for the children they bring to class each week.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Shared by Theresa Case who has had the joy of making a difference with Kindermusik in the lives and hearts of children and families at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina for nearly 25 years now.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
It’s More Than Just Instruments!
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It’s the cutest thing to watch even a very young baby’s first responses to music and being in a Kindermusik class. As Kindermusik educators, we have the incredible privilege of observing these young children very closely so that we can most effectively adapt and personalize the activities we teach in our Kindermusik classes. What we have come to know about how and why Kindermusik resonates with children so strongly might surprise you. It really is about more than just the instruments… though they do take great delight in the bells, drums, and egg shakers![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Children Love the Predictable Routines in Kindermusik
Kindermusik classes are purposely designed to have a predictably comfortable flow of activities in every lesson, although there are always happy surprises and new challenges along with the repeated activities. The routines help children feel secure, because they know what to expect, and the new things not only help keep their brains firing and making new learning connections, but also add to the excitement and joy that fills every class.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Children Thrive on the Musical Bonding with Their Grown-ups
Ask any empty nester, and they’ll tell you wistfully that those early years go by oh-too-quickly. So while the children absolutely adore the together time and common experience of Kindermusik with their favorite grown-up, Kindermusik gives the adults in class a chance to linger in the precious moments of early childhood just a little bit longer. The shared memories of class time become an integral part of the happy memories of childhood.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Children Blossom as They Gain Confidence in a Group Class Setting
The beautiful thing about a Kindermusik class is the mix – the mix of personalities, learning styles, and ages in any given level. Quieter children learn from the more outgoing children. Visual learners become more willing to explore alongside their physically interactive peers. Older children unconsciously take on the role as leader when the younger children move up to their same level.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Children Benefit from the Social Elements of Kindermusik class.
Even if children cannot put it into words, making friends and gaining life skills through the social interactions in every Kindermusik class are a big part of why they look forward to each weekly class. It’s truly a beautiful thing to see many children start in Kindermusik as babies and then go on to graduate from Kindermusik together.
Every child who participates in Kindermusik classes on a consistent basis will unquestionably be a more musical, well-rounded, confident child. But it’s really what happens in their hearts and minds as a result of being in Kindermusik that creates such a compelling, lasting, memorable, and delightful experience for them…and for their grown-ups.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Shared by Theresa Case who has loved bringing children and families together for over 20 years now in her award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in beautiful upstate South Carolina.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]I travel quite a lot as a conductor. I guest conduct choral festivals in various locations as a part of my musical life. Last month, I found myself working with the New Jersey Treble All-State Choir, an ensemble made up of high school sopranos and altos. These types of festivals are always exciting for me. There’s something special about conducting a group that will only exist for a very short period of time. After the performance is over, that ensemble will never exist again. For this choir, people come from high schools all over New Jersey to make music with strangers. One of the things I always focus on is building a community in the ensemble, even for the brief time they are together – because an ensemble that has a sense of community about it will always make more meaningful music. This is directly related to the emotional and social benefits found in a Kindermusik class[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
To be bold, building that sense of community is actually more important to me than the music; particularly at first. The ensemble won’t trust me just because I was selected by a committee and have fancy letters after my name. I work hard to prove to them that I am there for them as people first, musicians second. I do my best to connect to each person – all 150 or them – in some meaningful way, even if it’s only for a second. This often takes the form of standing at the door and greeting each person with a handshake and asking their name. I might walk through the rows of singers and do the same.
As we move from piece to piece, I often ask the musicians to turn to their neighbor behind or in front of them (this will prevent students from the same school as the default interaction as they often sit next to each other) and share something about themselves that makes them proud or that makes them smile. This breaks down walls and starts to build simple, but powerful connections between the singers. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
I admit, I talk a lot in rehearsal. I certainly talk less now than I did when I was younger, but I do still talk quite a bit. We talk about the text of the music and what it means for us and our audience. We talk about composer’s intent. We talk about what our job as musicians is…what our purpose is. Put plainly, I tell the students that it’s our job to change lives for the better. It’s our job to make people feel something. To give the audience a shared experience. That is difficult to do without a unified sense of the music we make. I ask questions. I encourage mistakes…bold mistakes…mistakes to be celebrated. I tell them that the person who makes no mistakes makes nothing. I do my level-headed best to create an environment of possibility in which we can learn from a mistake and not be embarrassed by it.
When the rehearsal starts, the very first thing we do is sing. That’s our practical task at hand. Our purpose is to enrich each other’s lives with the shared experience of music, thereby enriching the lives of our audience. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][blockquote cite=”Unknown”]”The person who makes no mistakes makes nothing.”[/blockquote][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
I talk about this a great deal on this blog. There certainly is a ton of science that tells us, as best it can, why music affects us the way it does. We talk about that, too; it’s important to know that information. But, as silly as it might be, I fully embrace Albus Dumbledore’s take on music, so beautifully stated in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone:
“Ah, music,” he said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!”
It is magic. A roomful of singers who have never made music together smile at the wonder of it all. They feel the connection, almost instantly. Kindred spirits from different communities, ethnic backgrounds, faith experiences, and socio-economic groups coming together to sing, one of the purest forms of musical expression. Each singer finds their place rather quickly as we understand our common goal…to change lives.
We work hard for three and a half hours. I sweat like crazy (I’m quite active in rehearsal). We practice extravagant gratitude. I ask them to thank each other and thank our collaborative pianist. I ask them to thank their choral directors at their high school. I ask them to thank their parents and guardians. I ask them to feel proud of their work. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
When we are done after this initial meeting, this first rehearsal, a new family has been created. A new community full of connections and shared purpose and magic has been born. Hopefully, they are looking forward to the next rehearsal, this opportunity to be together as that community to change lives, even each other’s lives.
One of the most important aspects of the Kindermusik experience is making music with other kiddos. The social/emotional benefits of this activity can’t be overstated. As kids see others engaged in an activity that brings themselves joy, the spark of connection lights a fire within. Emotional sensitivity for others is increased. The very idea of cooperative society blossoms in a Kindermusik class.
Our educators approach what they do in the same way I approach all my rehearsals…with love. It’s an honor to change a life with music. And every day we wake up knowing that’s what we get to do, we friends, that is a good day. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Close to 200 Kindermusik Educators from across the globe gathered together at the mind-blowing Mall of America in Minneapolis, Minnesota July 27-29 for three, fun-filled days of learning, connection, friendship, and, of course, shopping!
Wednesday evening Maestros were treated to a memorable reception at The Hard Rock Café joined by President and CEO, Scott Kinsey.
Thursday morning special guest, former Kindermusik kid, and the youngest candidate to ever be elected to Minnesota’s House of Representatives, Drew Christensen, opened the conference sharing how his Kindermusik experience attributed to his successful political career.
We were then introduced to Occupational Therapist, Paige Hays, who skillfully led us through The Brain Architecture Game, developed through a partnership of the Center on the Developing Child and the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. Look for an interview with Paige later this month!
A conference highlight was meeting Stephanie Johnson, educator, therapist, and author of Baby Bare: A Bottom Up Approach to Growing Strong Brains and Bodies. Her informative presentation explored the body’s role in early learning. Educators took away valuable insights to share with families.
Other conference highlights include: hearing from special guest and marketing guru, Kari Switala on the importance of storytelling in marketing, class demonstrations led by Robyn Pearce and Helen Peterson, and watching Kindermusik legend, Carol Penney, and Maestro Louise MacDonald’s powerful presentation on Intergenerational Learning.
Outside the conference, Minneapolis offered a relaxing retreat to Minnehaha Falls with breathtaking waterfalls.
We can’t wait until next year’s conference in the Big Easy – New Orleans! Hope to see many of you once again – and perhaps some new faces as well!
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This is a big celebration year for Tricia – her 10th year of being a Kindermusik educator. Music has always been a big part of her life, but she found her heart’s calling when she took over an existing studio in 2007. Now known as Kindermusik with Tricia, Tricia’s program serves families in Kearney, Nebraska, where her studio is housed at Yandas Music. To know Tricia is to love her, with her gentle spirit, generous heart, and love for children and music.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/232055011″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: Your studio has such a fascinating history. Tell us a little about how Kindermusik with Tricia came to be.
TM: Kindermusik in Kearney began in 1998 with Educator Rick Mitchell who is currently our Kearney High School Band Director. In 2002, it passed to then Yandas Music Employee and now local Pastor, Brian Jenkins. I took over the Kindermusik Studio in 2007 as Educator and Business Owner.
TC: What made you decide to become a Kindermusik studio business owner?
TM: Music has always been important in my life. At 5 years old, I remember begging my parents for piano lessons as I sat at my Grandmother’s old upright piano, swinging my feet and “pretending” to play a song. I was able to start private lessons in 2nd grade and began playing regularly in church when I was 16. Band, jazz band and marching band were important throughout Jr. High and High School (I even met my husband at marching band camp!). I graduated from college with a degree in Elementary Education and have served alongside my husband for the last 30 years in full-time youth and children’s ministry first Pastoring, and now serving with Royal Family KIDS, a non-profit camp, club, and mentoring program for children in the foster care system. During that time, music played a vital role in every position I served in – with preschoolers up through adults. When I was presented with the opportunity of taking over the existing Kindermusik studio in Kearney – with my passion for parenting, love of teaching, and involvement in music – it was a perfect fit![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: You not only give to your own local community, but you’ve also served in other organizations. Share with us a little about some of the ways you have given back.
TM: I just finished my three-year term as a member of the Kindermusik SOUND board. It has been an honor to serve the Kindermusik community that way, and I know I grew professionally and personally with the friendships and relationships formed during that time. I also lead the National Music Board for Royal Family KIDS.
TC: What’s your favorite Kindermusik song to sing?
TM: My husband says I have a song for everything. My 4 children (Jarrad, Natalie, Noah, and Ethan – now 25, 22, 20, and 14) would often roll their eyes over the years when I started spontaneously singing a related song during an activity of our day. My husband has even been known to play a game to call out a word and then wait for a corresponding song! We have a lot of fun and laughter in our home together. So, back to my favorite Kindermusik song…. it’s Sing Your Way Home from the Sing & Play Zoom! Album. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: And this is a fun question to ask too. What’s your favorite Kindermusik dance to lead?
TM: I love Turn, Cinnamon, Turn and Mama Paquita.
TC: So I have to ask. What do you love most about being a Kindermusik educator?
TM: There are so many things I love about being a Kindermusik Educator – I love the music, and of course, the children, but I think what I really love most is the natural encouragement and affirmation of parenting that happens in a Kindermusik setting. Parents often share with me how much their child loves me and looks forward to seeing me at Kindermusik. I always try to take that moment to turn it back to the parent, encouraging them with the truth that what their child deeply looks forward to are the moments of love and laughter that happen with THEM at Kindermusik. I am simply the one who gets the credit for those moments of joy because I create the atmosphere and facilitate the magical moments they spend together as parent and child. I am able to give parents “tools” for their parenting “tool belts” that they can use throughout their relationship journey. That’s what I love about my job.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: If you had to name just one secret to success in the Kindermusik classroom, what would it be?
TM: Early in my Kindermusik years I was challenged to change the way I saw “problems” in my classes. If something doesn’t go the way I think it should with a child’s behavior or response, the first place I need to look at what to change is me. That has shifted so much in my preparation, attitude, and outcome of my classes.
TC: What makes your studio such a special place?
TM: Kindness and respect for every person “where they are” is practiced. There is a treasured gift that hangs in my studio – a sign that says, “Do the kindest thing, in the kindest way.” A mom shared that her son picked it out to give me when he graduated from Young Child to describe his feelings about his Kindermusik experience.
TC: If you could share one tip with a new Kindermusik educator, what would it be?
TM: I believe a large part of my studio success is that I am a “by the book” person. My tip for a new educator? Follow the recipe. On the business side, KI provides us with great training and tools to help us succeed. On the educator side, our curriculum and teacher guides are based on the most current research and best practices. We can add our own distinct flavor and garnish – but it is a successful recipe … so follow it![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: What’s something new and exciting that’s happening with your studio business?
TM: I am excited about expanding my studio reach in two new ways this year. I will be adding Simply Music piano classes for Kindermusik graduates this fall. Also, I will be partnering with Country House for Memory Care here in Kearney. My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011 and now resides at Country House. I have been longing for a way to combine my deep respect and love for my mother and others with Alzheimer’s with my passion for music and families. I am so excited to begin Kindermusik with Grandfriends! I will be offering a Kindermusik class 4 to 5 times this school year at Country House. My current families will have the opportunity to share the Kindermusik joy with elders with Alzheimer’s and dementia as we sing, explore, learn and grow together on a whole new level.
TC: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
TM: I have always been captured by the picture of a strong life-giving tree. My life verse from the Bible is Jeremiah 17:7-8, “Blessed are those who trust in the Lord… they are like trees planted along a riverbank with roots that reach deep into the water. …They never stop producing fruit.”[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]Shared by Theresa Case whose award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC, has been a happy advocate for the benefits of music for over 20 years now.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Lovingly known as Miss Louise by all and adorably called “Miss Moo-eeze” by some, Louise MacDonald has been bringing Kindermusik into the hearts and lives of children and families in Novia Scotia since 2003 when she became a licensed educator. She started her own Kindermusik business in the basement of her home 2005, but quickly outgrew the space. The name Joyful Sounds Music Studio was born in 2011, and her permanent studio location was developed in 2013. We join with Louise in celebrating a large expansion that she is opening in September of 2017![/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_video link=”https://vimeo.com/226475036″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: Why did you first open your studio business?
LM: I have always been passionate about sharing my love of music with others. I know the positive impact music teachers had on my life as a child and youth, and I knew there was a need in the community and the timing felt right. I left my permanent teaching position as a public school music teacher and took a leap of faith, and I have never looked back.
TC: What’s something new and exciting that’s happening with your business, or a goal you have set for your business?
LM: Our studio is going through a massive growth year. We have just taken on 2000 extra square feet in our current commercial location. We will be offering more classes and lessons than ever before, and growing our incredible team. Everything is slated to be up and running in September, so we’ve got a very busy summer ahead of us!
TC: You are active not only in your own local community, but also in the Kindermusik educator community as well. Tell us a little about your involvement in both.
LM: I am currently sitting on the PKE Board (new name to be announced at conference!), I Lead the Children’s Liturgy program at my church, I volunteer at school when I can.
TC: If you could share one tip with a new Kindermusik educator, what would it be?
LM: Be Yourself! Know from the beginning WHY you are teaching Kindermusik, and then share that passion. Make every class a memorable one. Prep, prep, prep – it makes you the BEST educator!
TC: Without a doubt, you have taken your own advice to heart![/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: This is always such a fun question to ask since we Kindermusik educators have 1000 (or more!) songs in our heads. What’s your favorite Kindermusik song to sing?
LM: My all-time favorite is Butterfly Wings. Right now at home, it’s the Hello-Lah song since my two-year old is obsessed with it.
TC: So now I have to know this, too. What is your favorite Kindermusik dance to lead?!
LM: Definitely Sail Away and Mama Paquita!
TC: What do you love most about being a Kindermusik educator?
LM: That my cheeks get sore from smiling when I am teaching. There is so much joy in every single class. I am so blessed to do what I do.
TC: If you had to name just one secret to your success in the Kindermusik classroom, what would it be?
LM: I find that when I am the best prepared for teaching the class, when my lesson plan is ready and my props are organized, then the magic can happen because I can be truly present with the children and the families. We can enjoy the time together playing, dancing and singing.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: I learn so much when I ask this question, so I hope you don’t mind. How do your Kindermusik or families describe you?
LM: Joyful, Special, Engaging, Personal, Caring, Amazing, Friendly, Loving.
TC: I couldn’t agree more!
TC: Describe some of the ways your experiences with your Kindermusik families have impacted you as an individual and a teacher.
LM: There have been many amazing families over the years that have impacted me as a teacher. I have received the most amazing cards and letters reminding me that what we are doing is making a difference in these families. I have seen families go through hard times, beautiful times, and I am blessed to be able to provide a place for them to have a musical outlet and community feeling.
TC: What do you feel has made your studio business such a success?
LM: I think my amazing team of educators and staff, and our dedication to putting the families first has made us a success. We are committed to valuing each student, to nurturing them as musicians and people, and igniting the passion of music in their bodies. We hear time and again that we are personal, caring and providing high quality music education to our community.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]TC: When you’re not at the studio, what are some of your hobbies?
LM: I love to go camping with my family and spend time at the beach. Our summer is short and we try to make the most of it. In the winter, I love playing ice hockey on a local women’s team (yes, typical Canadian!). Right now with three small children, that’s about all the time I get for hobbies, and that’s perfectly okay. My husband V.J. and I are enjoying watching our children Cormac 8, Breton 5 and Flora 2 grow into sweet people. It is a beautiful life.
TC: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
LM: I’m not sure it’s very inspirational, but it certainly has kept me grounded for many years now. “Worries are like bedcrumbs – the more you wiggle, the more they scratch.”
TC: What’s something about being in the Kindermusik classroom that’s especially touching for you as a Kindermusik teacher?
LM: The most touching for me is every time a baby takes their first steps at Kindermusik class. I absolutely LOVE watching the parent experience that moment for the first time, and the celebration from the class that then happens. It never gets old. Being a part of the milestones that occur each week – from a child rolling over to a child learning how to play a tune on the glockenspiel. The learning that goes on fills my soul.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]Shared by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Stay tuned for a conference recap by our own Niki Dominguez, Director of Global Marketing![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]