Perfectly Preschool!

Over the next few months, I will be explaining each of our individual classes in more detail. This is the third installment.

Musikgarten Circle Dance
Musikgarten Circle Dance

A preschooler’s imagination has taken off, and they are innately attuned to the world around them. Our preschool curriculum, “Cycle of Seasons” nurtures that developing creativity and independence. As its name suggests, the program cycles through the seasons of the year with songs and activities that explore dandelions, clouds, trees, birds, bugs, fish and so much more!

In the preschool curriculum, we allow children the opportunity to express their creativity through story-telling, musical stories they tell with their bodies, and by allowing them to help guide the class activities. Children experience more freedom from mom and begin to play very simple ensemble pieces.

One of the foundational parts of the “Cycle of Seasons” curriculum is the focused listening time. Children learn to listen to the subtle differences of sounds from nature, preparing their ears for further musical study. They also begin giving names to the different melodic and rhythm patterns we have been practicing since they were babies!

 

But What If My Child…?

Toddlers are such an adventure, aren’t they? Many parents are afraid to sign up for a formal class with their little ones because they worry their munchkin will either act very shy and reserved and not participate, or run around the room and not pay attention to anything! Please don’t let your fears for your child keep them from giving you the gift of music! Our curriculum is aurally based – if your child is in the room, she is receiving musical benefits.

Musikgarten Circle Dance
Musikgarten Circle Dance

Children listen and participate differently than adults. Children running around the room or hiding in a parent’s lap are still acutely aware of what is going on around them. Many parents are surprised to see the child who appears to be in their own little world during class go home and repeat music class activities with a circle of stuffed animals! So don’t worry! And please don’t feel like your two-year-old has to “sit down and listen” in order to benefit from our classes.

In fact, our music classes will help your “wild child” learn about the structure of a class, routines, sharing, taking turns and many other skills. Future kindergarten teachers will thank you. You will be so surprised one day when your shy child steps out of her shell to play a pattern on the drum or offer up a movement suggestion for the first time. Children love our classes because we meet them where they are and help them grow in a no-pressure, fun atmosphere. It may take a few weeks, but your child will settle in and have a blast!

Terrific Toddlers!

Over the next few months, I will be explaining each of our individual classes in more detail. This is the second installment.

Fun With Hoops in Musikgarten
Fun With Hoops in Musikgarten

Musikgarten has a nine year plan for your child. When children start our toddler class, at around 18 months, most have a few words, very little impulse control, and LOVE to wander around and explore our room. By the time children finish the two years of toddler classes, music is just another part of their language. They sing, dance and chant very naturally. They are used to the routine of class and are well prepared for preschool. Most importantly, their ears and brains have been trained to think musically. This will affect the way they respond to music for the rest of their lives.

We have four unique semesters of toddler curriculum which help your child develop their musical voice at the exact same time their speaking voice is developing. Over these two years, children develop their sense of inner rhythm and beat at the same time their bodies are learning to move in coordinated ways. They learn to sing at the same time they learn to speak. In short, they are learning musical skills at the exact time in their development when they come the most naturally.

Once children have musical skills, they never lose them!

Don’t wait! Now is the perfect time to start your child in music!

 

A Good Value?

I get it. Families these days are financially strapped! Every parent wants the best opportunities for their children, but it’s hard to know where you can get the best value! Time and money are precious resources.

Because of its holistic nature, Musikgarten classes are a great value. Take a look at this checklist to see if your child’s activities are as all inclusive as the Musikgarten curriculum. Does this activity address your child’s:

  • Social Development?
  • Gross Motor Skills?
  • Fine Motor Skills?
  • Language acquisition?
  • Imagination?
  • Creativity?
  • Coordination?
  • Concentration?
  • Musical Intelligence?
  • Confidence?
  • Body Awareness?
  • Instrument Readiness?
  • Literacy?
  • Love of nature?

Many children’s programs address some of these important developmental areas, but music classes are the only activity I have found that addresses them all. Musikgarten has been working for over 20 years to develop a comprehensive, holistic curriculum to address the needs of the whole child. In fact, many dance and sports teachers love our program, because our alumni come to them better prepared with natural grace and coordination.

A Nine Year Plan Towards Musical Literacy

One of my favorite parts of the Musikgarten curriculum is its sequential nature. Musikgarten has a nine-year plan for your child, starting at birth, which can help them develop into musically minded people at a very young age. Because the curriculum is so stable, songs are repeated year to year, with new musical elements added as children mature.

In future posts, I will explore the highlights of each of our different classes for you. But for today, I wanted you to have a general overview! Many parents don’t realize that your child can attend our classes for a full nine years without repeating any particular class!

Music for Babies (0-12 months or walking well) 

Our babies classes focus on fingerplays, rocking, bouncing and bonding time. In this year you will gain the tools you need to interact musically at home with your little one, and they will begin to form important brain connections building the blocks for later music making.

Music for Toddlers (1-2 years)

Music is very connected to movement, and toddlers love to move! In this class we harness their abundant energy with bouncing, spinning, clapping, jumping and rolling games. We isolate sounds for them so they can practice using their ears, and we give them opportunities to explore their singing voices.

Music for Preschoolers (3-4 years)

Preschoolers love to use their imagination, so in this class we begin telling musical stories. Children take on the role of rabbits, the wind, a carpenter or a cat. We begin to develop very simple ensembles with the children, and they start to really use their singing voice.

Pre-Piano (Kindergarten or 1st Grade)

These students love to be independent music makers, so we give them the power to succeed! We develop age appropriate ensembles, dances and songs where they will have quick success and learn the joys of making beautiful music. At this level we begin to reading and writing of simple rhythmic and melodic tonal patterns.

Keyboard (1st-3rd Grade)

Our keyboard classes are the culmination of 6-7 years of training for many children. The songs they bounced to as babies, danced to as toddlers, sang as preschoolers, and read in kindergarten are simply and easily transferred to the piano. Piano classes are not overwhelming for these children, and they love coming.