Even Kids can Benefit from Goal-Setting, by Beverly Smith

by Katie Henderson on January 16, 2020

As we enter 2020, many adults are making goals, such as better health, family commitments and professional growth. We all have ways in which we can improve … even the most accomplished people have something that falls short in their life. Goal setting helps you to be accountable to yourself and make changes on your own terms.
Every year, my husband and I set practical goals and make posters to display so we’re reminded of them every day. This year, we decided to include our daughter, Isabelle, who just turned 3. At first we thought she might not understand this activity, but decided to show her by modeling our way of thinking about our goals. Surprisingly, she was able to come alongside us and come up with several personal goals on her own! (Never underestimate your little one’s abilities. They will likely surprise you!) For a few other of her goals, we provided some help and gentle leading.
What do goals look like for a 3 year old? Well, very broad of course, but still attainable. For Isabelle, working on social skills, such as sharing and being patient were on the top of her list. Isn’t it amazing that she was even aware of such needs? These were followed by some physical goals that were important to her, such as riding a bike and learning to roller skate. These goals helped us to learn more about what she wants to accomplish and areas she felt were important to her. The activity also helped us have mutual understanding and enables us to lay some expectations for how we can work together to raise awareness and make progress in these areas. Says Music Connections Foundations Director Katie Henderson on this: “Just as with adults, when children come up with ideas themselves, on their own (and 3 is the PERFECT age to begin this), they are much more likely to be aware of and act on them. Problem-solving and leading kids in a discussion, but also giving them time to think and verbalize, to the extent they are able, is a powerful way to teach and impact development at this age.” Isabelle was excited to decorate the goals poster and place it in her room. Having that visual is important to keep awareness at the forefront for kids (as it is for adults). Every few days we discuss our goals and evaluate what we could do to help us accomplish them.
Weekly Kindermusik class helps us with these goals. She can practice sharing and patience in a loving & safe environment while we are in class, like waiting for a turn to play an instrument or passing a puppet around class. She can also improve motor skills important for skating and biking, such as balance and coordination. Her Kindermusik class has a weekly FOCUS that allows for concentration on such things. Says Katie Henderson: “This week, for instance, our focus was the positional words of high and low, and we “flew” high, practiced jumping into the air, “leaped” low like frogs on the ground, and “rolled over” like Rover the Dog (working on our core muscles); EVERYTHING in Kindermusik has a musical AND developmental goal – it’s so powerful, yet fun!” Isabelle’s teacher gently encourages her to participate and stretch to do certain tasks in class.
Kindermusik has helped Isabelle have confidence, learn it’s okay to have areas in which we need improvement, and be aware that we aren’t good at everything. Kindermusik focuses positively on what kids do well and encourages personal growth in areas a child may need to grow.
Life, and every new year, is an opportunity for growth and change – whether you’re 3, 33 or 63! Hopefully Isabelle will accomplish the goals she set for 2020 (and me too); but, if not there’s always 2021, and another new opportunity for us to work together as mother and daughter. Happy New Year everyone!

Kindermusik – A Place to Feel Accepted

by Katie Henderson on December 7, 2019

by Beverly Smith, Kindermusik parent

This week I finally got to return with my daughter, Isabelle, to Kindermusik class (after being home with my new baby). It was so good to have that quality time with her and see her sweet teacher too! The thing I love about her teacher is that she makes all her kids and parents feel welcome. Isabelle gets so excited for Kindermusik every week and not just for the dancing, but to see “Ms. Lisa.”

The staff at Music Connections has always been so welcoming, supportive, and serve their families and community well. Every child is accepted and loved, regardless of their background, ability, or personality. My child is accepted for who she is; in fact, I feel like she is celebrated every week in class! Because she feels so comfortable, she is even able to stretch herself to interact in ways she normally wouldn’t. I love how the kids are included in the class when it comes to cleaning up, creating moves for dances or songs, for read aloud questions, and even in ways they can say hello to their friends, every single week! The kids have ownership in their experience and are made to feel like an important contributor to the class. At the same time, they are building, even at this early age, a community of friends that they learn to recognize, share with and love. It has helped encourage a healthy self-esteem and confidence in Isabelle. She leaves feeling more confident in other areas of her life, such as interacting with other children and answering questions during our story hour at the library.

My daughter’s personality is a mix of princess, animal lover, explorer, scientist, little mama, and farmer. Sometimes she’d rather play firefighter than wear a princess crown. In every Kindermusik class I’ve been in, it has been a mix of both girls and boys. In all those classes I feel that every child is allowed to explore many different interests and be who they are. Isabelle can be a princess or a tomboy and is supported and appreciated either way. The Kindermusik curricula, where every child feels safe and secure in being themselves, fosters so much more than music – it is whole-child development at its finest.

Times They are a Changing! by Beverly Smith

October 27, 2019

Soon my world and my daughter’s will change forever. We are welcoming baby number 2 (gender unknown) into the world later this month. My daughter is two and half and embracing independence, while still needing “me” for reassurance and encouragement. The transition will affect her whole tiny world! She spends all day with me as […]

Read the full article →

What is Kindermusik – a Mom’s Perspective

August 8, 2019

by Beverly Smith As the mom of a toddler I often get asked if my daughter is in any activities. I always tell them, first and foremost, that she has gone to Kindermusik at Music Connections Foundation since she was a baby, and absolutely loves it! Several times I’ve been asked, “What is Kindermusik?” To […]

Read the full article →

The Bond She Shares With Daddy – by Beverly Smith

June 27, 2019

One of my favorite things that has changed in my marriage since having a child is seeing the gentle, playful side of my husband. The relationship and bond he shares with our daughter is just as important as the one I share with her. This is why I feel it’s important for me to take […]

Read the full article →

The Sounds of Summer – by Beverly Smith

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 […]

Read the full article →

A Blooming Personality – By Beverly Smith

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →

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 […]

Read the full article →