WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK week is here!

Announcing WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK Week!
Posted on January 31, 2012 by Kindermusik International

We Love Kindermusik! It was a simple concept, really, this idea for a WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK Week. It was born out of an increasing recognition of just how many of us – educators, children, and families – have been touched by being a part of something that’s more than just a curriculum or a weekly activity. The idea came to life as we reflected on just how much love there is for Kindermusik and how meaningful it would be to set aside a week to come together and purposefully delight in all that Kindermusik is and means to all of us.

With this one annual specially designated week, we will be able to publicly and corporately give voice to that light in a child’s eye, that song in her heart, that little person just waiting to blossom – to acknowledge all those precious, miraculous moments we as Kindermusik educators are privileged to nurture and celebrate with our Kindermusik families each and every week. Simply put, WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK WEEK is a small way we can raise up together to celebrate the wonder and magic that is uniquely Kindermusik.

And so, with much joyful delight and anticipation, Kindermusik International and the Partnership for Kindermusik Educators invite you to join us in celebrating WE LOVE We Love KindermusikKINDERMUSIK Week during Valentine’s week, the week of February 13 – 18, when Kindermusik educators and families around the world will join together to show – and tell! – how much we all love Kindermusik and what Kindermusik means to each of us.

As a little background, you might find it interesting to know that WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK Week, to be held annually in February of each year, was designed to:

* raise awareness and generate good will for the Kindermusik brand
* unite families and educators around a common cause
* give educators a way to show families how much we love Kindermusik and how much we love them!
* encourage families to share why they love Kindermusik
* highlight ways we can all do some good and spread the joy of Kindermusik
* remind all of us of the magic that is uniquely Kindermusik.

Keep an eye on KI’s blog, Minds on Music, and KI’s Facebook page between now and the middle of February for ways that you can celebrate and share what Kindermusik means to you. Kindermusik International is getting the love started by giving away a free download of “Love Somebody” from the Peekaboo, I Love You! album at play.Kindermusik.com. To download, go to http://play.kindermusik.com/en/tracks/3139-love-somebody/and then select the orange download button. If you’re new to the site, you may need to register to receive the free song, as all our song downloads do require a login. (Don’t worry, we don’t use your information on anything. This login feature is designed for those enrolled in Kindermusik classes to access their digital materials). Upon login, you should be able to quickly download the song to your computer.

WE LOVE KINDERMUSIK week is truly intended to be a week of happy reminders of why we all love Kindermusik and most importantly, of all the special people – educators, families, and children – who come together every week to change the world through music…. one child and one song at a time.
SO TELL US… why do you love Kindermusik? Comment HERE for everyone to see- tell us what you and your child love about Kindermusik!

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Giving the Gift of Music!

Looking for the perfect present this holiday season? Know someone who would be interested in giving a gift that truly “keeps on giving”? As you know, the benefits of Kindermusik not only last a few months or a few years—they last a lifetime.

 

This year, Grandma, Grandpa, aunts, uncles, friends, or anyone, can give your little ones the gift of Kindermusik. I have Kindermusik gift certificates available in any denomination! Gift givers can get in touch with me by emailing kindersinger@yahoo.com, and I will provide simple instructions for purchasing a gift certificate to be applied toward Kindermusik tuition at Kindermusik with Sound Foundations! Gift certificates purchased before December 18 are sure to be delivered to you in class or by mail in plenty of time to find their way under the Christmas tree, into stockings, or get hand delivered with a hug.

 

(And don’t worry, we won’t tell your gift givers that this isn’t just a gift for the little ones—it’s also a gift for you! After all, you’re the one who gets to sit crossed-legged on the floor each week, enjoying that special time to bond with your child.)

 

Are you wondering if grandparents love giving Kindermusik as a gift? Just check out this video, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHIgylTX85U, of a Kindermusik grandma who has pledged to sponsor Kindermusik for any of her 17 grandchildren who want it!

 

If you have any questions about purchasing gift certificates, I’ll be happy to answer them for you.

 

Wishing you the happiest of holiday seasons!

Musically,

Miss Wendy

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The Link Between Music and Reading

In classes, we have been focusing on the link between music, language, learning, and reading… Here is a wonderful overview of a new study out of Northwestern University on the subject!

“Music and reading ‘linked in brain’

(UKPA) – Oct 16, 2011

Musical ability is biologically linked to literacy, a study has found.

Children who performed well in reading tests were also good at discerning rhythm and tone, say scientists.

They also did better than average in tests of verbal memory.

Music skill accounted for 38% of the variation in reading ability between children.

Literacy and musical aptitude shared a common origin in the brain, the study showed.

The results may help to explain previous research suggesting that musical training can improve word skills.

“Both musical ability and literacy correlated with enhanced electrical signals within the auditory brainstem,” said study leader Dr Nina Kraus, from Northwestern University in the US. “These results add weight to the argument that music and reading are related via common neural and cognitive mechanisms and suggests a mechanism for the improvements in literacy seen with musical training.”

A total of 42 children aged eight to 13 took part in the research. Of these, eight were classified as “good readers” and 21 as “poor readers”.

The children were tested on their ability to read and recognise words. Other tests looked at how well they could distinguish between different rhythms and tones. Electrical measurements showed the brains of poor readers were less able to respond to regular, rhythmic sounds than good readers.

Musical aptitude correlated with reading performance. When rhythm and tone responses were measured separately, rhythm had the greatest effect. But the link with reading was greatest when the scientists measured both kinds of musical response together.”

 

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Fall Explorations- Use Your Senses!

The more senses your child uses, the more learning takes place! We emphasize the benefits of multisensory learning in the Kindermusik classroom every week… here is a great article from Simplekids.net on simple ways to discover the joys and beauty of the Fall season with your child using the same approach!

Simple As That: The Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Autumn

Happy Autumn!

Last week I mentioned my personal goals for this Autumn.  Part of that is to be mindful of slowing down and being aware of what is going on around us – indoors and outdoors.  I want my family  to experience this time of year, not just as dates on the calendar, but as an opportunity to use all of our senses to really savor the season.

I thought it would be fun to list some of the different ways we can experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of Autumn with our kids.

What Does Autumn LOOK Like?

The hallmark of Autumn is the changing colors of the leaves, of course.  This provides opportunities to create leaf rubbings and other leaf related crafts. We can rake leaves together, which naturally leads to jumping in leaf piles!

Yesterday, we made a map of our backyard. The kids and I have been talking about the trees in our yard and what they look like now versus what they looked like a few short weeks ago.  We wonder what they will look like in the Winter time.

 

 

Beautiful leaves are not the only sights of Autumn …

Look UP

Look DOWN

  • What is happening to the grass?  The flowers?
  • What are the insects and animals doing?
  • What does the garden look like now?
  • Do you see any acorns?  Walnuts?  Seed pods?

What Does Autumn FEEL Like?

As the weeks pass and the weather changes, we begin to experience chilly Autumn days. Our clothing reflects the temperatures as we don wool sweaters, waffle weave long underwear, thick socks, and perhaps even a puffy down vest or a coat before we go outside.

There are other ways to feel the season:

  • The textures of hay bales
  • The varied surfaces of pumpkins and gourds
  • Difference between the silky petals of the mum’s flower and its leaves

Go on a nature walk and ask your child …

  • What does the sun feel like on your skin?  What about the shade?
  • Is there any wind today?  Can you feel a breeze?
  • What does the air feel like?  Dry?  Humid?

What Does Autumn TASTE Like?

For me, the tastes of Autumn are fresh baked bread, homemade applesauce, and my Aunt Anna’s pumpkin pie. One of the dates on the calendar I most look forward to is Thanksgiving, and the delicious food is certainly part of the appeal!

Here are some recipes on my wish list to try with my kids this season:

What recipes does your family enjoy during Autumn’s cooler days?

What Does Autumn SMELL Like?

There are good smells coming from our kitchens in Autumn, it is true. What other wonders can we experience with our sense of smell this time of year?

To my family, Autumn smells like …

Autumn smells like the first fire in the fireplace and beeswax candles on the dinner table as night’s darkness falls earlier and earlier.

What Does Autumn Sound Like?

This time of year may not be as noisy as the Spring, when new life is bursting forth, but there are still plenty of sounds in Autumn’s symphony.

Consider …

  • the geese honking as they fly overhead
  • the wind rusting the leaves
  • crackling campfires

And at our house we can hear the tractors as the farmers nearby harvest their crops.  Indoors, Autumn sounds like the clicking of knitting needles and popcorn popping for an afternoon snack.

What about you? What does Autumn look like to you? What sights, smells, and sounds evoke this time of year for your family?

Written by Kara Fleck

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children. You can also find her at Rockin’ Granola, where things are “a little bit crunchy and a little bit rock’n’roll.”

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Fall/Winter 2011 Studio Calendar

Monday September 19- classes begin
Mon Oct 10- NO CLASSES
Tues Oct 11- NO OUR TIME CLASS; Young Child year 2 class begins 4PM
Thurs Nov 11- NO CLASSES
Thurs Nov 24 and Fri Nov 25- NO CLASSES
Monday Nov 28- PRIORITY REGISTRATION BEGINS for SECOND SEMESTER
Monday Dec 26 through Monday Jan 2- Holiday break, NO CLASSES
Tues Jan 3- classes resume
Wed Jan 4- last day Wed Our Time class
Tues Jan 10- last day for Tuesday Our Time class
Thurs Jan 12- last day semester 1 Young Child Year 1 class- YC semester 2 continues Jan19
Mon Jan 23- last day, Monday Village and Our Time classes
Tues Jan 24- last day, semester 1 Young Child year 2- YC semester 2 continues Jan 31
Fri Jan 27- last day, Friday Our Time, Imagine That, Village classes

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Musical Learning and Parent Interaction= Increased Reasoning and Intelligence in Children! A Study of KINDERMUSIK students from Sam Houston University

Early music training can improve intelligence but the amount of parental involvement in the music training can greatly affect the amount of improvement, according to a study by three researchers at Sam Houston State University.

The conclusions of the study support the nurture side of the argument in the on-going debate over whether intelligence is solely DNA determined and static, or whether it can be enhanced through life experiences.

The study also showed that parental time spent with a child is a more important factor in predicting intelligence test success than such factors as single parent households, poverty, low parental education levels, and ethnic minority status.

The study was conducted between September 1997 and May 1998 by Terry D. Bilhartz, professor of history; Rick A. Bruhn, professor of education; and Judith E. Olson, director of the SHSU Learning Assistance Center.

A total of 66 children ages four to six years completed the study and were tested, half receiving no additional music instruction (called the control group) and the other half (called the experimental group) participating in a Kindermusik for the Young Child Year 1 Pilot Program.

One third of the children in both the control and the experimental groups attended Head Start Programs, while the remaining two-thirds in each group were pre-schoolers who lived in middle and upper income households.

After receiving a Stanford-Binet intelligence test and a musical skills assessment test, the experimental students were offered 75 minutes of music training per week for 30 weeks. In accordance with the Kindermusik curriculum guidelines, parents or guardians were asked to attend portions of the weekly lessons and to complete home assignments with their children. Children in both groups were re-tested at the end of the program.

The experimental group children who were active participants in the Kindermusik classes and whose parents helped them with the home musical activities showed significant gains on the areas of the Stanford-Binet subtests that measured abstract reasoning abilities. No significant changes during the treatment period were registered on the verbal intelligence test scores for either the experimental or the control group children.

The magnitude of improvement in abstract reasoning scores varied in proportion to the level of participation in the music curriculum. The researchers set compliance criteria to measure the degree of subject and caregiver participation in the Kindermusik program.

At the end of the study, children of parents or guardians who met “low” compliance standards improved the equivalent of an increase from the 50th percentile on a standardized intelligence test to above the 78th percentile. Students whose parents or guardians met “satisfactory” compliance standards jumped on the average from the 50th percentile to above the 87th percentile.

Strong correlations also were found between musical abilities in young children, particularly the ability to match vocal pitches and reproduce rhythmic patterns, and abstract reasoning abilities. These findings support the theories formulated by Gordon Shaw, Francis Rauscher and other researchers who have argued that early music instruction produces cognitive benefits in the area of spatial-temporal reasoning.

In addition to demonstrating the effect of early music instruction on cognitive development, the results of the study also underscore the importance of parental involvement in the intellectual formation of young children. Children who participated in the music activities with their parents at least 30 minutes a week scored significantly higher on both their intelligence and musical skills tests than the children who attended the Kindermusik classes but did not receive this level of parental assistance.

A regression analysis of the data indicates that the time of parental involvement in the music exercises was a stronger predictor of child test performance than other “at risk” factors such as single parent households, poverty, low parental education levels, and ethnic minority status.

According to Bilhartz, “A number of studies have shown that low socio-economic class is a predictor of poor academic performance, but often these studies are unable to identify what it is about socio-economic class that contributes to low performance.

“This study, which documents the relationships between certain well known at risk factors and cognitive outcomes, suggests that low test scores among children living in disadvantageous environments can largely be explained as a consequence of lower levels of child-parent interactions.”

Additional study needs to be done to determine the optimal times for introducing young children to the benefits of music, said Bilhartz, who sees both positives and negatives in his first study.

“The results of the study are both encouraging and discouraging,” said Bilhartz. “It is good to know that we can help our children grow intellectually by exposing them to age appropriate early musical experiences and by spending instructional time with them.

“Unfortunately, children who live in poverty and who live in households with low parental education levels are less likely than privileged children in higher educated households to receive adequate hours of parental involvement. The good news, however, is that parenting choices can make a difference even among those who live in academically at risk environments.”

An article on the research group’s findings has been accepted for publication in a future issue of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.

The research was supported by grants from Sam Houston State University and Kindermusik International, Inc.

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Cool Summer Fun!

Summer programs are underway, and what fun we are having! In Creatures at the Ocean, our friends are exploring water themed music and learning activities- check out our water play while we sang ‘Come Splashing with Me’- building on our musical experiences, and discovering through all of our senses!

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