Thursday, December 21, 2006

Brass Christmas carols

Next Semester in the Kindermusik Young Child 2 class we will learn about the brass, string and wood wind families of the orchestra. Here's an audio of the brass and percussion families. You can tell they have fun when they make music! Makes you want to dance.

Everybody SING!

Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose!
Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose!
Wee fish ewe a mare egrets moose,
Panda hippo gnu deer!

This is to get back at some of the kids who've sung strange versions of Jingle Bells and We Three Kings....
Who teaches them those songs anyway!
OK, don't tell me the answer to that one.

Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Merry Musical Christmas!

Dear Families, You mean so much to us. We really do love your children and respect that you have chosen to share them with us. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.

Have a wonderful, merry, musical, safe and healthy holiday time. Safe trips to those traveling....

Don't forget to stop the rushing to enjoy the moments with your children.

See you next year!!!


From your Kindermusik of Holland teachers!
Yvette, Darcy, and Heather

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

How do we listen?

Stir it up, stir it up, just like so! Stir it up, stir it up....Around we go!!!!!

You've surely heard your Kindermusik teacher mention the importance stimulating the Vestubular System. They've even tried to explain it but it's a little foggy because at that moment the children begin running around (hmmm, stimulating their own vestibular systems!!!!)

When I first started teaching the newer Kindermusik curriculum I came across the information about the vestibular system and thought "What in the world is THAT?" And "How do I explain what I don't really understand?" So with a little bit of research leading to a passion of collecting information...I discovered that this is a fascinating part of our ear that really governs everything about us from balance to emotional well being to reading skills to.....

Hearing, which is a very very complex sense is the first to develop in the fetus (functioning at 23 days gestation!!!!Before most women even know they are pregnant ) and is the very last sense to leave us when we die. Really, you can't begin to imagine the importance of your vestibular system. Please read the great informative article at this link:
Now go sing and listen!
Bells are ringing, listen to them ringing!
Bells are ringing, listen to them ringing!
Bells are ringing, listen to them ringing, all through the day.
ps the diagram of the ear is from:

Saturday, December 16, 2006

To Honor Beethoven's birthday!

How amazing that Beethoven composed his last and most monumental symphony at a time when he was completely deaf. He never heard a single note of his 9th Symphony (in which the chorus sings the famous "Ode to Joy"). Friends had to turn him around from conducting so that he could see the applause. When I tell this story to my Kindermusik Young Child students they are amazed. Then we do a little experiment. We sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star out loud first then silently. The children's eyes widen as they tell me they COULD hear it inside their head! Here's lot's more about Beethoven for the curious:
Happy Birthday to one of my favorite composers.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Horn player

It's amazing that music is the common tie in humor, games, and dances that are understood and shared around the world....There may be varying complexities of rhythms and tonalities and timbres but there are elements that are common world wide. That's why when we laugh and then laugh again when we recognize the next tune. This sharing brings us together...all the 4 corners of the globe. Reminds me too of the old M*A*S*H* TV series (details are foggy) where the musician taught the Vietnamese to play Mozart's Clarinet Concerto. I think that was the first time I cried for a TV think that music was a language, a healing language, that can be understood by everyone. Everyone.


God has done great things for us. Filled us with laughter and music. (Psalm 126)


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Brain Dance!

I worry, worry, worry about the babies who spend so much of their day in the carseat. In and out of the car, into the grocery cart, back in the house, back in the car, in church, out to lunch, back in the car, back in the house and never leaving the car seat except for a quick change. Does that sound even a little bit familiar?

"Movement is the key to learning! Movement and dance activities such as crawling, creeping, rolling, turning, walking, skipping, reaching, and swinging are essential for baby's brain development. These specific and intensive motor activities make full use of babys complicated nervous system and follow a plan. The nervous system of each new human being must go through a series of developmental stages before the brain can operate at its full potential. Using her whole body, her movements, and all her senses, the baby "programs" her motor/perceptual equipment, her nerves, and brain cells."

Please click on this link and read the rest of this fascinating article! Author Anne Green Gilbert is a creative movement specialist consulted by Kindermusik for the creation of several units of curriculum. She explains the developmental stages and gives ideas for fundamental movement activities for baby. We are so mobile baby doesn't have a chance to do the floor work they need to develop. Their drive to move is constant, that is their need!

Sometimes we need a prescription for the simplest action for our health and well being and that of our children. Your perscription for babies newborn to 18 months:

Monday, December 4, 2006

Don't hold back!

Laughter boosts you immunities for a day and a half. Go ahead and join in!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Helping Children Master Self Control

Have you re-enrolled for Spring classes yet? Children thrive in the routine. The following study regarding the benefits of a long-term Kindermusik education affirms your choice to continue the experience for more than just fun!! Your children are worth it: read on!

Excerpts from the following article are courtesy of Lori Burkhardt. The entire article can be read here.
Repeated, not sporadic enrollment makes all the difference.
Beth Frook ~ Little Hands Kindermusik, Clifton, VA
Earlier this year (2005), Beth Frook shared a granddaddy of a Foundations of Learning (FOLs) in her Kindermusik class. A local university had recently conducted a study on 3-and-5-year old children in her program titled “The Effects of Kindermusik on Behavioral Self-Regulation in Early Childhood.” *See editor’s note at the bottom of this column.
It proved what Beth—and many other Kindermusik Educators—already knew:
The longer you stay in Kindermusik, the better.
Specifically, the study showed:
“Children currently enrolled in Kindermusik showed higher levels of self-control than those never enrolled and those previously enrolled. This suggests that in order for children to reap the benefit of increased self-control as a result of Kindermusik participation, it is important to have repeated and recent Kindermusik experiences and remain enrolled in the program.”
“Four-year-old children who had been exposed to Kindermusik for longer periods of time are better off in terms of self-control—namely a child’s ability to plan, guide, and control their own behavior—than similar children with less Kindermusik history.”
“These experiences, stop-go, high-low, fast-slow, short-long, and loud-soft, whereby children’s motor behavior is guided by the music, appear to be good exercise for young children’s emerging self-regulatory skills.”
Below, Beth shares her reaction to the study and the role that research plays in her Kindermusik classes.
Editor’s note:
Study results were made available to Kindermusik in May, 2005. The study was conducted by Adam Winsler Ph.D and graduate student Lesley Ducenne in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University.
The 15-month study included 91 children between the ages of 3 and 5 who were split into three groups: 23 students currently enrolled in Kindermusik, 19 students previously enrolled in Kindermusik, and 49 students of similar family backgrounds from local preschools who had never had Kindermusik.
The children were observed doing a variety of tasks that required self-control such as slowing down their motor behavior, delaying their gratification, refraining from touching attractive but forbidden toys, quietly whispering, and compliance with instructions to initiate or stop certain behaviors. Parents also completed surveys.
The study, supervised by Adam Winsler, Ph.D, Applied Developmental Psychology in the Department of Psychology at George Mason University, will likely be presented at national conferences and published later this year.

Yvette's comment: I immediately think of our Imagine That! classes where we have been asking children to jump to musical cues that they must wait for. We did this with "Hop To It" and also "Weggis Dance" where we change from staccato jumping to legato swaying. Yes we really do work them hard....their whole entire bodies from their ears to their toes! Imagine That!

Musician uses her ear to translate baby's cries

Yesterday I was telling the parents in my classes about early music education being a strong connection in the processing of language in adults. "Listen" to THIS:

Priscilla Dunstan was recently featured on the Oprah Winfrey show and talked about the language babies use to let you know they're hungry, uncomfortable, have lower gas, need to burp, or simply, are sleepy.You can watch the video here.

The musical connection: (via"Already an exceptional violinist by the age five, [Priscilla] could hear a piece by Mozart once, then play it back in its entirety, note for note. Her father, Director of the Educational Testing Centre at the University of New South Wales, found that his young daughter had an eidetic memory - a rare photographic memory for sound."During her teenage years Priscilla toured throughout Europe and Australia as an accomplished concert violinist. Priscilla then spent more than 10 years exploring the world of opera, where her talent as a mezzo-soprano deepened her understanding of sound produced by the human voice."When Priscilla gave birth to her son Tomas, her instincts as a mother and musician led her to believe that a baby’s cries had to be something more than just random sounds. Noting combinations of sounds in a journal, Priscilla explored various settling techniques and observed Tom’s reactions. Eventually she was able to recognize patterns, and identify how specific cries had a distinct need attached to them."

Once you watch the video you will see that you too can tell the differences easily! Priscilla has taught us to listen on purpose! Don't we do that in every Kindermusik class from newborns to the Young Child classes!?

Thanks Molly McGinn! You are the very spirit of Kindermusik.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Follow me to Kindermusik

Music is uniquely human.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Music and language connection

Science is always trying to justify music! Why do we humans need music? This Stanford research shows that people who played musical instruments as children process spoken language faster and more accurately than their non-musical counterparts as adults. suggest that many children who become poor readers have trouble making auditory distinctions. Auditory discrimination is our work and our play in Kindermusik!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Welcome to our Blog.

Hello Friends! We're high-stepping out into the cyberworld! I'm posting a video clip of a tiny taste of what our Kindermusik Partnership Conference was like. Hope you enjoy it. It was surely a wild few days and so much fun. In this video you'll see Benjamin Zander of the Boston Philharmonic give a cello lesson (I recommend his book: The Art of Possibility). and Arthur Josheph gives us a voice lesson! He is the loving voice recalling memories on your Dream Pillow Village CD. And the founder of Kindermusik, Dan Pratt is at the very end of the video. His voice sings Funiculi Funicula in the Hurry Home Little Kittens book of the Imagine That! CD. He also recorded the Tailor and the Mouse on the Fiddle Dee Dee CD which is the theme for next semester Our Time.
And that reminds me: The new semester is online at! You can take care of registering online and have all that out of the way before the holidays send us all into a flurry!
Love from Yvette at Kindermusik of Holland