The Sounds of Summer – by Beverly Smith

by Katie Henderson on May 8, 2019

Every year as the end of school year approaches, the trees blossom and the days grow longer. I start to anticipate summer. I start listening for signs. The birds start returning with their daily music, creating a morning symphony to begin the day right. I hear the laughter of children playing outside and the sound of basketballs as they hit the pavement. I hear the mowers, leaf blowers, and water sprinklers. There’s always something to hear when the quiet of winter disappears and spring is on its way.
My daughter, although having experienced a few summers by now at the age of two and a half, is newly discovering these seasonal changes and the sounds of summer approaching. She’s figured out that when mom says it’s warm, it’s okay to go outside and play. As I watch her playing, the excitement of the discovering all the sounds is heartwarming. She says, “Mom, I hear the birdies!” or “What’s that sound, Mama?” or “Mom, I hear a motorcycle!”
I feel like her time in Kindermusik has made a great impact on how she interacts with the world around her. She’s been taught over the last two years how to listen, explore, discover, and observe. Every week in class she’s learned to hone her listening skills and decipher new sounds. She knows to rub her ears, listen, and to ask “What is that?” The teacher then follows up with a picture, name, and sometimes even an object to connect with the sound (puppet, stuffed animal, toy, etc.). This is how connections are made and how a child learns to process sounds in the world. Just like in class, she hears the sounds outside and looks for an object to which she can connect the sound and asks for its name. Further, I have been enlightened and shown ways, as a parent, how best to fuel this discovery process: not just always to “tell her” things but to observe her interests, comment on them, and to ask questions to expand her own discovery; (this is a process called scaffolding they help us with in class).
Kindermusik is so much more than music! Each class helps children, and parents, make connections to each other, and to the world around them. It gives us the tools to make us better students and to better understand how sounds connect us to the world outside.

A Blooming Personality – By Beverly Smith

by Katie Henderson on April 9, 2019

It’s funny how entertaining the toddler years can be. Some days as mom you are worn thin from the blooming personality of the toddler that once filled your time with cuddles and cooing. Now the cuddles have turned into other forms of love, such as the sweet gesture of giving you their favorite stuffed animal to sleep with or when they give you one of those wet toddler kisses. I spend my days chasing, playing, cleaning messes, entertaining, and sometimes calming her frustrations. Those days can be long and tiring, but they are so, so worth it. Why? Because I know that, to her, these moments matter and will eventually be what she defines as her childhood. She’ll remember how we played, how her mom could make funny faces and characters, how I taught her to be organized and clean, and I had the patience and tenderness to help her calm down from frustration.
Sometimes when I think of how busy our days get I want to slow them down or take something away. Usually, I cut out some of the unnecessary errands or decide to leave some cleaning for later. When I think of our play dates, library outings, museum visits, and especially our time spent at Kindermusik, those activities never get axed. To me they are our most important activities. My daughter won’t remember going to the store to buy carrots or how I had to mop the floors so they’ll shine. She will remember the moments and activities that made her feel and experience quality “together” time with me. She will remember how she felt when I swang her for the fourth time in class while we did the hello song because all the kids chose that as their way to say hello. She will remember “driving” around the room to a song as we used paper plate steering wheels in class. She will remember how the cold, gooey paint felt on her hands as she smeared it on the glass wall at the museum and how mom could paint the best stick figure families.
Life with toddlers is hard. Some days you just want to sleep or get away from the craziness, until that little hand reaches for yours and says, “Mom will you play with me?” Then you realize, these days are how we make timeless memories. These days are what your little one will one day call her childhood, and those rituals will be passed on to her children. So, take some of the everyday tasks off your list, lighten your load, and go sing and play!

Coffee “aok” as Mom’s Medicine

November 9, 2018

by Beverly Smith, Kindermusik Mom Every day is a challenge when you’re a mom. Some days are worse than others and sometimes those harder days seem to multiply. This week my challenge has been a stomach bug that caused us to miss Kindermusik. Last week it was Isabelle’s tantrums that made it hard to do […]

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Be Patient Moms, the Light Will Come On

September 29, 2018

by Beverly Howard, Kindermusik Mom As a mother and as a teacher I have discovered that, although I have a great amount of patience for children, I struggle with waiting for the big moments– the “ah ha” moments. Every child will reach every milestone at their own pace. We are made to possess different talents […]

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Teaching Math Through a Childhood of Play

August 20, 2018

by Beverly Smith, Kindermusik Mom When you think of teaching math to your child, you likely think of numbers, addition/subtraction and memorizing facts. As a mother and former elementary teacher with a math endorsement, I’m here to say math is so much more than numbers and memorization. Before technology took over our homes, we played […]

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Reflections on Ethiopia – Learning Truly to Embrace “what is.”

August 6, 2018

“It is what it is” – a phrase often heard in America. Most times, what we hear behind those words is a spirit of exasperation, frustration, or even resentment toward whatever circumstances have brought us to where we are. The words seem to be a routine attempt to accept “what is” but the emotion that […]

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All That Really Matters, by Beverly Smith

June 9, 2018

The journey of motherhood has changed me in so many wonderful ways. One of those ways is how I see the world and what really matters. It’s easy to be happy when you realize that all you really need is faith, family, and friendship. All the material things started to fade off of my radar […]

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Making Memories with Mama

May 21, 2018

By: Beverly Smith, Kindermusik parent When I think of the journey through the first year of Kindermusik for my daughter, Isabelle, I can’t help but feel grateful for all the joy it has brought her and my family. I moved to Normal, Illinois, when Isabelle was four months old. In the few short months since […]

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Process over Product – Considering a New Way of Life

January 1, 2018

This Christmas I was definitely NOT going to spend the multiple days and trips up and down my attic ladder needed to lug the 12 + large crates of decorations out when we were going away for the holiday. My life was too frantic, my back giving me fits, and I needed a break. I […]

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Kids – No Hidden Agenda There!

October 20, 2017

by Katie Henderson, Founder/Director of Music Connections Foundation As an early childhood educator, one of my “go to” kid sayings comes from the author of a favorite parenting book – Conscious Discipline, by Dr. Becky Baily. “Children are either extending love or calling for it.” Period. End of story. There is no hidden agenda or […]

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