Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Laptops for Tots

All children need a laptop. Not a computer, but a human laptop.
Moms, dads, grannies and grandpas, aunts, uncles - someone to hold them, read to them, teach them.
Loved ones who will embrace them and pass on the experience, rituals, and knowledge of a hundred previous generations.
Loved ones who will pass to the next generation their expectations of them, their hopes, and their dreams.

--General Colin L. Powell - founder of America's Promise - The Alliance for Youth

Want to give your child your laptop this spring? Join me for Kindermusik classes!

Thanks Maria in TN

Monday, January 21, 2008

HARMONICAS RULE

OK now all you harmonica toting parents of toddlers....this could really go somewhere! We can make lots of train sounds with our harmonicas, and well songs too but here's a great video on tonguing and blowing in the instument. I'm practicing!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Safe Place

Lots of moms in my class are expecting another baby...just thought I would let you all know that if you ever have questions or need support in nursing your new little one...just ask. I'm a La Leche League Leader (13 years this April!) If you are pregnant come to a meeting for lots of information and support. We are all about encouraging moms in making decisions that are RIGHT for you and your family. Holland/Zeeland meetings are on the 2nd Monday evening of the month at 7pm at 2nd Ref. Church in Zeeland and 4th Friday morning of the month at 10am at Hope Church in Holland.
For online articles and support see: La Leche League

Be What You Want Them to Be

Light travels faster than sound. Your example is more powerful than your words will ever be.
Listed below are some traits we hope our children will exemplify when they are grown. I suggest you write your own list and post it on the fridge as a gentle reminder to parent with intent, to parent by example.....

When my children grow up I want them to be:
Happy
Healthy
Intelligent
Compassionate
Hard working
Creative and imaginative

Kind
Trustworthy
Confident
Kind
Courageous
Forgiving
Joyful
Worldly
Striving
Connected
Appreciative
Story Tellers

loving
honest
respectful
well-mannered
spiritual (lovers of God)
inclusive
understanding
patient
good sense of humor

Reading this list I imagine the perfect parent. Well, that's an impossible job description...BUT I strive! (and forgive myself!)

Peace and courage,
Yvette

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dance of the Reed Flutes

When I first saw this video I thought of my all boy Kindermusik Young Child I class. As they were learning to properly hold the glockenspiel mallets and respond on cue, ready to play, they looked so professional. Notice how the musicians in this video snap to ready position! I think they are having fun!
Yvette
St. Mark's Bottle Band
Thanks to Julie S.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Memory, Emotions and the Brain

Understanding how children learn has been a continuing education passion for me. I'm reading, attending workshops, watching children (my own and those who come to my Kindermusik classes) and I am nearly always thinking about this. So, from my experience, I have some ideas to share. Here's one about memory and emotions.
video
Have you experienced an emotion that was recalled along with remembering something? Sometimes I think that is what happens when certain child behaviors can make me angry...they are the same ones that brought up anger in my parents! I had to work much harder to be patient and creative when my babies were stubborn!

I look forward to your comments!
Yvette

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Local TALENT!!!!


Saturday was a day of high notes, passionate notes, fast notes, ......The Holland Symphony Orchestra sponsored the Norbert Mueller Concerto Competition for area high school musicians. Wow!

Vocalist earns top concerto spot


The Norbert Mueller Concerto competition turned into a series of surprises.

First came the news that the prize money had doubled -- first prize to $500, second to $250 and third to $150.

Then came the announcement of the winners Saturday at Wichers Auditorium at the Nykerk Music building at Hope College.

The top three high school musicians in the competition may receive prize money, but only first place has the opportunity to solo during the Holland Symphony Orchestra's family concert March 16.

It was the first time -- at least in recent memory -- a vocalist competed, much less won first prize. Soprano Audrey Rink, a junior at Holland Christian High School, won the judge's over with Coccini and Mercurio's Ave Maria.

"I was really honored that I won, after hearing all the people who participated in this, they were all so amazing," Rink said.

Luke Panning, a junior at Black River Public School, took second place playing Khachaturian's violin concerto.

"It's always exciting to do well," Panning said.

Panning plans to practice medicine while playing music on the side -- it's much harder to do it the other way around, he joked.

"Hope's a nice college, I might go here," he said.

Panning received third place last year and won the Skip Gates concerto competition sponsored by the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony.

Jeremy Young took third place with playing Haydn's concerto for trumpet in E flat.

"I'm always surprised by the high level of musicianship that comes in," said Gabe Southard, a judge, Hope professor and director of bands. "Every year the level (of performance) goes up a little bit. It was a very hard decision for us."

Winners

The top three high school musicians at the Norbert Mueller Concerto competition Saturday:

First: Soprano Audrey Rink, a junior at Holland Christian High School, vocalist

Second: Luke Panning, a junior at Black River Public School, playing violin

Third: Jeremy Young playing trumpet
_________________________________________
And here's a winner too. My daughter, Claire, has earned a prize of a glorious performance of Bruch's violin concerto, the self satisfaction of really clean runs, great trills, passionate execution, beautiful stage presence, triumph over nerves, and standing tall in a field of very talented peers/friends.
I'm so proud. And as I type she's practicing her Bach for those college recitals! You Go Girl!

Love,
Mom


When my children grow up I want them to be:
Happy

Healthy
Intelligent

Compassionate
Hard working

Creative
and imaginative
Kind

Trustworthy
Confident



Courageous

Forgiving

Joyful

Worldly

Striving
Connected

Appreciative

Story Tellers

Our list grows. Please add your hopes for your children to the "comments".

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Welcome, New Year!

Touch the future. You parents do.
Are you conscious of it or is it just by default?

I've recently read a book by Alfie Kohn called Unconditional Parenting. In the beginning pages he asks parents to list the qualities they would like to see in their children as adults. I put the book down and got out a piece of paper to make my list.

Will you help me on this one?
I want my children to grow up and be:
Happy
Healthy
Intelligent
Compassionate
Hard working
Creative

This is a teaser list. I want to know what you are thinking.
Put your thoughts on as "comments". I'd like to make a big beautiful list and post it here.
Peace,
Yvette

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Infinite Potential

Several years ago I spoke at a child care providers that was sponsored by Children's Resource Network/4C. The key note speaker was Charles Ill who was head of early childhood development for Ottawa County. He put a slide on the screen that struck me so profoundly. I wish I could find him and ask for a reproduction of the slide... I've drawn it up to the best of my ability to use the computer. It shows how we invest in the amazing potential of the brain.


The blue line roughly represents the the brain's potential for growth and change. There are biological events around 7 years and 13 years of the chemical (hormones) pruning of unused neurons in order to streamline and focus on the well connected neural pathways the child's experiences have deemed necessary.

The red line roughly represents the financial investment made towards the child's potential.

I believe there is always potential but I also acknowledge the vastness of an infant's possibility.
I also believe that the parents are the child's best teacher. I am not an advocate of early childhood education without the close involvement of the parents' participation. What would our society be like if we really invested in nurturing the infant family with financial and emotional support?

I commend all the grandparents, uncles and aunts who've given Kindermusik gift certificates or who've even brought their grandchildren to classes. I believe that's a very meaningful investment in their potential.

Find out more about gift certificates or to enroll

Come and dance in the well tended garden of our children.
Happy New Year.