The #1 question we are asked by parents is…
“So, what do you do in a Kindermusik class, anyway?”
Great question! And, since you might just be wondering the same thing yourself, here are some of the delightful, learning-packed activities you and your child will experience in almost every Kindermusik class:
Gathering time – Gathering time is the unstructured start of our class that enables everyone to settle in, catch up, and get ready for fun! While the children explore instruments or toys and play together, parents share everything new their child has done that week, ask parenting questions, and share ideas. It is delightful to watch friendships form between both children and adults during this community time!
Hello song – Our hello song is more than just an opportunity for the children to learn each other’s names. Predictable routines such as this create a safe, predictable environment that children rely and thrive on. Our hello song is a lively ritual that signals to the children, “class is starting now!” Plus, the children’s self esteem and self awareness are boosted as we name and sing hello to each individual child.
Bounce – We often begin class with a catchy rhyme or song as parents bounce their little ones to the beat. These give children a whole-body steady beat experience, while often incorporating concepts like slow & fast, smooth & bumpy, high & low. There’s no better way for a child to learn new information than by being physically involved in that learning. Plus, these bounces are lovely bonding opportunities that parents can use at home.
Active listening – Though most of us are born with the ability to hear, the act of listening is entirely different, requiring conscious focus and attention. Strong listening skills are critical in school, in a meeting with the boss, and in communicating with others. In Kindermusik we practice this skill by actively listening to, identifying, describing, and imitating all sorts of sounds, from train horns to bluebirds.
Vocal play – Ever notice how a baby’s first words are always single-syllable words like Ma, Da, or Moo? These single syllable sounds, called phonemes, are the building blocks that children later string together to make longer words and sentences. We build young children’s phoneme vocabulary by engaging in fun vocal play – imitating animal sounds (meow!), cars (beep!), and household sounds (ding dong!).
Instrument play – Instrument play provides many development opportunities. By manipulating an instrument and figuring out what it does, a child is using problem solving and critical thinking skills while also discovering cause and effect – “when I shake this bell, it makes a fun jingley sound!” By grasping and manipulating an instrument, the child is building fine motor skills and developing motor grading – the ability to gauge how little or how much physical force to apply. And, aurally, the child is discovering many new sounds by playing with all kinds of shakers, bells, drums, and other instruments.
Object exploration – Young children learn everything about their world through their senses. By exploring objects such as balls, building blocks, or child-friendly kitchen utensils, children discover how various objects feel and how they can manipulate them with their bodies. Our sheer, floaty scarves – a favorite among the children – are perfect for peekaboo, scrunching up small and stretching out big, tossing and catching, moving fast and bouncy, or slow and smooth. They also make great superhero capes!
Singing – Singing happens all throughout every class. And as simple as it may seem, singing to a pre-speaking baby or child is one of the greatest things a parent can do for his or her language development. Why? Children learn how language is constructed, acquire vocabulary, and experience vocal inflection through hearing simple, rhyming songs – all necessary for verbal communication
Structured dances – Every class features a lively circle or line dance in which movements are paired with a particular part of a song. By alternating movements – such as from moving around in a circle to moving into the circle – children are experiencing patterns with their whole body. The ability to recognize and predict patterns is a critical early math and literacy skill. Plus, dancing together as a group instills a sense of belonging, community, and teamwork.
Free dances & creative movement – Part of a child’s self-discovery process is learning to express him or herself. As we listen to music in class, children explore how to use their bodies to express musical concepts they hear, matching their movements to fast, slow, high, low, smooth, bumpy, and other qualities. As we move our bodies like animals, cars, and trees, children exercise their imaginations and build empathy. All the while, they build their movement vocabulary as they discover the many ways their bodies can move and put names to those types of movement.
Quiet time – The ability to relax is an acquired skill – and one our children need in this fast-paced world. As each class winds to a close, parents and children are invited to rock or rest together as we listen to quiet, relaxing music. In addition to being a lovely bonding experience, quiet time enables parents to model for their children how to consciously relax through body language and deep breathing. Learning and practicing this skill, children will be able to relax and maintain calm in a stressful situation later in life.
Goodbye song – Just as our hello song marks the start of class, our goodbye song is a predictable routine that helps children comfortably transition out of class and on to the next part of their day.
The rest of the week – Kindermusik is more than a once-a-week class. It is a joyful way of bring with and nurturing the development of your child. And we help parents be the best parents they can be by equipping them with fantastic, research-driven and kid-approved online parent resources that extend the fun and learning throughout the week!