Thursday, December 20, 2007

Giving and Taking: Every conflict is an opportunity for growth

Here's parenting tip #249814334:

How to model sharing and trading.

Scene: child #1 has the drum and child #2 has the shaker. Child #2 drops the shakers and grabs the drum away from child #1 (GASP!) Parents are reacting fast. Parent of child #2 grabs the drum and announces the rule : NO GRABBING!!!

Hey! That was me with my first two children. Claire was always looking to Ben (who was older by 2 years and 1 week) to see what big kids do and to find out what's interesting. Whatever Ben had was always interesting. She grabbed the drum, I grabbed the drum and screeched "No Grabbing!!!!".

It was Ben who said "Mom, How come you're grabbing?"
.......oh........ Hmmmm.....right.....I don't know. I'm trying to teach the no grabbing rule. I was actually reinforcing that, well, grabbing is OK...especially if you are bigger. And you probably should shout when you do it.

Here's what my new approach was when baby #3 comes six years later. Anne looked to the big kids and Claire got some of her own medicine. I got a chance to revise my message.

I noticed how connected the new baby grabber was to me. Even though the umbilical chord was cut it was as if we were really still so many ways. If I reacted to any situation it was as though she did.

When she grabbed, and before the shock to register on the other child, I had something with which to "trade" and using the best negotiating skills I could muster, I modeled a polite transaction. The younger the "victim" the smoother the action goes. And the younger the perpetrator, the more they believe that they actually did the right thing. And now the baby has the script for polite negotiations.

If the offer was refused I had to muster up some creativity to continue the negotiations. I'd say "Oh, Anne. Look at Claire's face. She's pretty angry. What do you think she might like as a trade?" or "Do you think you could give her back the drum and ask her to give it to you when she is all done?"

No set formula is perfect for every situation and this new way is very time consuming. But much more effective. Give it a try. And pray for patience.....Remember light travels faster than sound. Our actions are more powerful than anything we could possibly shout.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker suite (Part 1)

Here's some music to dance to!
To my Young Child 1 students (Jack, Joshua, Zachary, Ravi, Cameron, Nicholas, and Johanna) can you find the brass family?

And the piano-like instrument...what's that?? It's a percussion instrument called the Celeste. Isn't it heavenly?

Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker suite (Part 2)

Keep listening! Are you pretending to be the conductor?
What's your favorite instrument?

Can you find the glockenspiel?

Nutcracker Suite

The Nutcracker story is a folk story that inspired composer Peter Tchaikovsky to write music that would be danced to in a ballet. In Young Child 3 we've been dancing like mice and soldiers, like Russian dancers, like the Sugar Plum Fairy. And yes the ballet needs male and female dancers.

Anyone know what you call a male ballet dancer?

Here's a nutcracker word game for fun (click on the nutcracker....but better to put the Nutcracker Suite music on and go dance. The music is on of my favorites and maybe the first one I danced to with my now 19 year old. When he was a fussy baby that one cured him with all the short contrasting pieces that make up the suite. There are some great cuts for spinning!

Or go make angels outside in the snow.
Have fun.

Glockenspiel Days!

Yeah!!!! My Young Child I students have taken home their glockenspiel for the first time! The can play Dr. Foster, Toot-Toot Train is a Comin', and Ding dong Ding dong.

Hey! If you click on the Kindermusik Young Child Logo you can play a virtual Glockenpiel!

For the Young Child 3 students we've tried out a seasonal song. Joy to the World is built on a scale. So try this: begin on the white dot C and play down to the bottom of the glockenspiel singing "Joy to the world...." you can play the rest by ear! It is easy and it's great brain work for anyone! Have fun.

Next, can you figure out "Jingle Bells"?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Family Dancing and Live Music: DO IT


A Family Holiday Ball

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Adults $25
Students (5 to 18) $5.
(Have you ever danced with your baby in a sling? It's lovely.)

7:00 to 11:00 pm (map)Evergreen Commons, Holland

Join the Holland Symphony Orchestra for a Holiday Ball for the whole family. Dance to music composed by the Strauss family performed by the Holland Symphony. Then dance into the night with a live swing band!
Conductor Thom Working is leading the orchestra in an evening of Strauss waltzes, polkas and marches from 7:00 to 8:30. Included are the familiar strains of the Blue Danube Waltz, the Emperor Waltz, the Tritsch-Tratsch Polka and the Radetszky March. Waltz and Polka dance instruction will be provided. A fun Children's Parade will conclude the first half of the evening that includes mask making provided by the Holland Area Arts Council. The second half of the evening begins at 8:30 with a spectacular dance exhibition and lessons given by dance professionals from Arthur Murray. The swing band "Hall Street Six" and the Gramer's will finish off the night with swing, tango and your favorite ballroom dances.

Tickets available on the secure HSO site online, at the Arts Council reception desk (150 E. 8th St. Holland), Borr's Bootery (51 E. 8th St. Holland) and by phoning the Symphony office at 616-494-0256.

Information on coming projects/events:

(See the very cool violin?!)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Gift Giving

"The judgments, criticisms, complaints, encouragement, joy and love that we think we are giving to others, are really gifts we give to ourselves."

from Conscious Discipline by Becky Bailey

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

More Important Brain Developments....

Today Emma, in my Kindermusik Our Time class watched me carefully as I sang our good-bye song. I reached out and touched each child on the arm and looked into their eyes. When I was finished and about to turn away I saw her go around the circle, touch each child on the arm, look into their eyes and sing good-bye.

"According to neuroscience and child development research, brain development proceeds at a faster pace between conception and the first day of kindergarten than during any subsequent stage of life. In the early years, basic capacities such as trust, self-confidence, empathy, and curiosity are established. How people think, learn, reason, and relate to others throughout their lives is rooted in their early relationships, experiences, and environments."

Common Vision, Different Paths: Five States' Journeys toward Comprehensive Prenatal-to-Five Systems"

Where will children find early relationships, experiences and environments that will lead them to be the kind of people we dearly wish our children to be?

With people they love and who love them...unconditionally.

Kindermusik is a great place to
BE together.

Thank you for sharing your children with me. I take it seriously. I know this is important work and that we are shaping the future.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Big Broccoli Ocarina:Angels We Have Heard On High

Now children....PLAY with your vegetables.

In Imagine That! just this evening I was asking the children what sound does it make when you chew on your broccoli? Here is the new answer.

the vegetable orchestra

If you know me and you know what my moonlighting job is you will get a vitamin blast out of this video! I can't wait for Farmers' Market to start up again!!!!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Twelve Days of Christmas

Too many words!!! But this will bring a smile to you!

Jingle Bells ~ Perry Como

Pull the children up into your lap and watch this while you sing along.
Hugs to you all.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Singing with young children

There's two songs that I can think of that it seems ALL children know. Twinkle, Twinkle and Jingle Bells. And Jingle Bells wins the joyful rendition award. Children really LOVE this song. It seems one thing they most love about it is that right now the whole world seems to be singing this song! They hear variations of it on the radio, TV, at school concerts, even the shopping music at Meijer's...really everyone is singing it. Furthermore when their favorite adults sing it they are smiling and all the cares in the world drift away for those moments.

Don't we love it when the 2 year olds begin singing with us? Here are some ways to encourage their attempts to sing with us.

Find moments when you are singing together without a recording or accompaniment so that you can slow...... down...... the...... tempo...... Follow their lead.

Be very attentive to sing on the pitches they are using. You might have to sing way up high or use falsetto to be up where they are!

If you are initiating the sing-a-long try this: Begin singing "Jin-gle Bells, Jin-gle...." leaving off the second "Bells" to see if they will chime in! If they just look at you and listen you have to sing further. Go up to "Jingle all the---" by then they should give you the "Way!".

Giving them the experience of really singing along, in pitch and time with another person will be an important moment musically for them. With this experience they will know what music and resonance really mean.

Most songs have way too many words. The verses: Dashingthroughthesnow,Inaonehorseopensleigh.O'erthefieldswegolaughingallthewayHaHaHa.....
way too many words for a 2 year old. (Well there are some out there that do know all the words but they had to start somewhere!) So for the beginners take out all the words and sing on a favorite syllable like doo doo doo doo doooooo dododoo doo doo doo dooooooo
That way they can join you on the melody. Children even younger than 2 years old can sing along, accurately matching pitches on songs that have very complicated rhythms! Then switch back to the Jingle Bell words because they are latching on to those simple, repetitive words.

These moments are usually fleeting. You take them when they come! While going to the potty. While going down stairs. Between bites of corn or oatmeal. Slow yourselves down so you can hear them and be with them for these irreplaceable moments.

'Tis the short season of their life and means all the world to them.

Sing your way through the week.
Sing and sway cheek to cheek.
Sing and sway every day, Sing, sing, sing.
Love, Yvette

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Kindermusik Corn Bread

In a 400’ oven place a buttered 10” iron skillet

In one bowl mix together these dry ingredients:

1 C. whole wheat flour

1 C. corn meal

2 tsp. Baking Powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

In 2nd bowl combine

4 Tbs. melted butter

4 Tbs. maple syrup

1 Cup apple cider or apple juice

2 eggs

Add the dry ingredients to the 2nd bowl

Stir only until the ingredients are combined

Add 1 Cup chopped cranberries

Pour into the HOT skillet

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes

Enjoy hot with or without butter and jam

Even though you probably used corn meal that was pre-ground you will still want to sing our Grinding Corn song (from Kindermusik Young Child 3). In class we “grind” a rhythm of TI TI TAH TI TI TAH ,while singing a rhythm that is sometimes matching and sometimes different. This activity is challenging and helps children (and their parents!) learn how to do an activity that is similar to strumming a guitar and singing along at the same time….trickier than you might think!

Grinding Corn, grinding corn.

Here we are grinding corn.

Grains of red and yellow,

Blue and white corn

We are grinding……