What is Kindermusik – a Mom’s Perspective

by Katie Henderson on 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 me, Kindermusik is a lot of different things, so it’s hard to explain in just a few words. Most simply put, though, Kindermusik is a developmental music program. Every activity has both a developmental and a musical goal; and it’s research-based. There have actually been studies done using the Kindermusik curriculum that show drastic increases on intelligence tests over the non-Kindermusik “control” group. One study with preschoolers showed 32% higher gains on the PALS tests (for language and literacy assessment).

Kindermusik addresses a lot of different skills important to children as they grow, but it’s done under the “guise” of play and fun, which is the best way for children in early childhood to learn. In what seems like a short amount of time (a 45 minute class), the following are addressed: gross motor skills, fine motor skills, social and emotional skills, early language and literacy skills, musical development and many important life skills. Teachers in class help us, as parents, understand how the musical activities are fostering these skills. But it’s like “broccoli hidden in ice cream” – what’s best about Kindermusik is that children don’t know that they are learning, and have an amazing time interacting with their parent or caregiver, other children, and the teacher, in joyful song, dance, instrument play, music and movement storytime, and more.

As a former teacher, I know the importance of both social skills and learning how to cooperate in the classroom. My daughter has learned so many of these skills in her Kindermusik classes. As a two year old, she knows how to sit at a rug or carpet for short periods of time and attend to a story being read aloud. She’s also learned to take turns, share, clean up after an activity, follow the lead of a teacher, answer questions, and interact with other kids her age. Her listening skills have vastly improved through a routine in class called “active listening:” they help us “turn on” our ears by rubbing them from top to bottom (to wake up the sensory nerves in the ears) and then use the sign language for “listen” so the children know they are making a choice to listen; we listen to sounds of animals, vehicle noises, instruments, even babies crying or laughing. Story time is another chance to practice active listening; my daughter’s love of books, music, and instruments continues to vastly grow as we have the chance to repeat the experiences from in-class using our home materials (the stories, all of the music and interactive digital activities.)

There are so many music skills she’s exposed to from class. She’s learned how to play several percussion instruments and she’s been exposed to several different wind and string instruments. Lately, she’s begun to sing along to songs in class and at home. The early language of music she’s been exposed to has been great, too. She’s learned to hear opposites of loud and quiet, high and low, and the terms of pitch, beat, rhythm, timbre and more. She knows how to keep a steady beat while clapping, playing percussion instruments, and patting her lap with her hands. By the way, steady beat is not just a musical skill! Research shows that kids who can keep a steady beat are better scissor-cutters, ball-bouncers and even walk with more self confidence – just another tidbit I learned in Kindermusik!

She’s also fostered so many fine and gross motor skills in class, like clapping, hopping, galloping, jumping, dancing, tapping toes, catching a ball, and more. I know I’m biased, but for a two year old her motor skills are amazing! The activities in class have increased her ability to do so many things. She plays instruments, plays with manipulatives in class like puppets, scarves and small toys, all while doing movements to a song. After all the practice she’s received through class and play at home, she can now cut with scissors and she’s beginning to write with pencils.

The part I love most about our Kindermusik program is that they give every kid this opportunity, whether or not they can afford to pay full price. The philosophy at Music Connections Foundation (our local Kindermusik program) is that every child deserves the chance to learn, grow and thrive through early childhood music. To that end, they offer scholarships and programs within the community to help kids who are at-risk, have special needs and those from all backgrounds.

It’s amazing to think how our time each week is impacting my daughter’s growth. It forces me, too, to stop and experience one on one time with my child that I know will make a difference in her for life! In this fast-paced busy world, I’m grateful for that chance, and that I am able to give her the opportunity to attend Kindermusik.

The Bond She Shares With Daddy – by Beverly Smith

by Katie Henderson on 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 a step back and let them connect daily.
My husband is always amazed to see her progress and the blooming of her personality. He looks at his daughter with such pride. Every day he loves to hear the things she does at home while he is at work, including pictures of her being cute or silly throughout the day. He always wants to hear what we are learning in Kindermusik and we include him in some of the activities at home. He can’t make the scheduled class, so we bring the class to him.
The activities we’ve done together have made us laugh and got us moving as a family. I’ve shown him how we drove a car in class using a hula hoop or a laundry basket. We’ve danced and sang to many Kindermusik songs. We’ve played with scarves, shakers, drums, and even used some of the homemade resources I saw used in class. She’ll run to him when he comes home to show her stamp from class and talk about the things she did and saw that day. All these special moments were created because of our experience in class, and doing them at home reinforces the learning goals Kindermusik has for the kiddos in class.
I love seeing fathers in class interacting with their little ones. It shows that dads can be just as nurturing and active in a child’s life as a mother. Both relationships should be supported and nurtured. If your husband is like mine and can’t make it to class, include him by showing him activities you learned and sharing the materials for class online. The home materials make Kindermusik a 24/7 activity that you can share throughout your week, and do as a family! And in today’s fast-paced world, taking time together is something you’ll never regret!.

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 […]

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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 […]

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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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