As a mom, I’m in the business of guiding my children to become productive, loving and driven adults. Every opportunity I give my children helps them build the person they’ll eventually become. Not only do I purposefully provide them with opportunities to learn at home and school, but also in the community. When I think of important qualities to instill in my children, cooperation is key. Children and adults need to know how to work together, whether it’s at home, work, on a sports team or in community gatherings. Cooperation fosters a child’s social development, and research says that a healthy social-emotional development is as important as learning “ABC’S” and “1,2,3;s.” Kindermusik gives my daughter key opportunities in this area.
Recently, I’ve observed some really great lessons in the five-year olds “Young Child” class. As the students joined Mrs. Henderson and their teacher, Mr. Blake, in dance, cooperation was needed to make it work. The kids had to work in pairs to dance. They clapped their hands, backs and hips together.. The dance wouldn’t work without everyone doing their part. I watched, thinking how adorable they were, but also knowing what a great activity it was to learn to cooperate! Also, these partner activities lay the foundation for a new musical skill: Kindermusiik’s philosophy is to “feel it in the body,” before taking it to an instrument or paper.
The next week they did an activity where every student had to lay next to each other and roll at the same time. They did this to the song “Ten in the Bed.” They had to work together to roll over and one of the kids had to “fall” off the bed. It was great to see them work out which way they were going and how far they had to roll each time. (The pitches on the words “Roll Over” were “C, A, F” – notes they are learning to read, write and play as their music notation skills develop.) In the same class they also had to stand on a staff to create notes in music. They did this to reproduce parts of a song they were learning on their glockenspiel. For example, four children would stand to create a bar of the song. This was another great exercise in cooperation!
As they grow up, they’ll be expected to work together every day, and I’m grateful for these opportunities in Kindermusik that help them to build important skills for the future and work together.