Friday, October 11, 2013

FOL FRIDAY- Learning by Contrasts

In Family Time! this semester, we are focusing on contrasting fast and slow.  Learning how to differentiate between fast and slow and understanding when either is appropriate can be a difficult task to master.  Children do every new skill quickly.  They crawl as fast as they can. Once they walk, they run.  Learning to slow down takes a lot of practice.  Here's a wonderful article about the benefits of learning by contrasts.

FOL Fridays: Learning by Contrasts

Children enjoy learning within the context of contrast, as it is one of the primary tasks of their preschool years. Understanding contrasting concepts (i.e., loud and soft, fast and slow, high and low) is a significant aspect of cognitive development. The capacity to learn relationships between ideas and then apply the learned information in other situations is highly related to a child’s success in school. (Johnson-Martin, Attermeier, and Hacker, 1990)
Tips for parents: Play the Contrast Game. Sing a line from a song or say a line from a favorite little rhyme or chant in a high voice. Ask your child what she heard. Was it high or low? Then invite her to copy you in her low voice. Repeat this with other musical contrasts like fast and slow, loud and soft, or long and short. You can also switch and let your child be the leader. (This is a great game for the car, while you’re getting supper ready, or while you’re waiting in line at the store!)
- Contributed by Theresa Case, whose Greenville, SC program, Kindermusik at Piano Central Studios, is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide and originally posted at

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Believe in Kindermusik.

Normally, I reserve Friday posts for FOL statements.  FOLs, or Foundations of Learning, are the highly researched and tested reasons for why we do the things we do in Kindermusik. Sure, everything is fun and children enjoy it, but as a teacher and a parent, my main concern is their emotional, social, physical, cognitive, literacy and creativity development. We care about the wellness of the whole child and design our classes accordingly. But today, as I prepared for tomorrow's open house and demonstration, I felt I owe you, the readers, my Kindermusik story: the reasons I believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of Kindermusik.

My family became a Kindermusik family when my daughter was almost 2 years old.  At that time, I never thought I would eventually be the teacher.  I was looking for something to do with her and was hoping it could be music-centered.  I saw a commercial for Kindermusik while I was pregnant and complained that all the good things were in bigger cities while nothing that wonderful could be in tiny Tuscarawas County.  A year later, I learned it was already here, and had been for a while.  Better still, Kindermusik was taught by my college sorority big sister whom I had recently learned lived in the same tiny town as me.  What were the odds?  I knew it was fate and I had to enroll.

Kindermusik was everything I had hoped it would be.  My daughter loved it.  She made friends.  I made friends.  It was so much fun and I learned a lot about her developmental needs.  Every curriculum has its own set of home materials which give parents the ability to recreate the classroom experience at home.  Kindermusik, every day, at home.  After all, the parents are the first and most important teachers in a child's life.

Within a few days, I noticed my daughter was learning the songs and tapping rhythms on the table, her dining chair, and anything she could her hands on.  As she grew, she began "teaching" Kindermusik to her stuffed animals, newborn twin brothers, and our dog.  She developed amazing language and literacy skills.  She could read and create her own stories by age 3. By four years old, she was adding small numbers.  Kindermusik helped prepare her for preschool and kindergarten and for more specialized music education, like piano lessons.

Friends, I cannot fully express my love for Kindermusik.  When our teacher, Miss Leslie decided to stop teaching, she asked me to consider taking over.  She hoped Kindermusik would continue to be offered in Tuscarawas County. I felt in my heart it was the right thing for me, my family, and certainly our community.  There is place in Tuscarawas County for Kindermusik. Come, see for yourself why 2 million families, worldwide, have chosen Kindermusik. Join me at my Open House and Demonstration today at 10am at the Tunnel Hill Community Center, 112 E. Maple Street, Stone Creek, Ohio.  OR, call to schedule your free preview class,  (330) 265-3027.  You can also request a preview class via email @ or by visiting Kindermusik International's website

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kindermusik Playgroups

Do you have an existing playgroup or wish to start one with your friends and their children?  Do you struggle with planning activities?  Are you looking for structured play that will provide age and developmentally appropriate enrichment your children will love? Look no further: introducing Kindermusik with Miss April's new playgroup options.

Cuddle & Bounce:  Ages 0-12 months
Cuddle, bounce, and bop with your baby in Kindermusik's newest curriculum. Whether your baby is five weeks or five months, this class will be perfect for you! With age-appropriate activities for newborns, infants and crawlers, this parent-child music and movement class will help you strengthen those early parent-child bonds, understand your baby’s development, and heavily focus on child development and communication with your baby. You and your baby will enjoy instrument play, dance, exploration time, and together time—and you’ll get expert advice and parenting resources based on the most recent research in baby development.

Sing & Play:  Ages 1-2 years
Get ready to sing, play, and move with your little one in this high-energy music class designed to be just right for very young children. This new Kindermusik curriculum focuses on your child's beginning movement, helping to build the muscles your young toddler needs to walk, run, and climb; and on vocal development, helping to nurture your child's speaking and singing voice. With a mix of both parent-child joint activities and child-focused activities, you’ll be able to join right in on all the singing and dancing while also getting the chance to observe how your young toddler learns on his or her own. Embark on Kindermusik’s fun new exploration of singing, swaying, laughing, and playing  through Sing & Play, a just-right mix of early-childhood vocal play and language development, together time, and music and movement activities!

Wiggle & Grow:  Ages 2-3 years
This music-filled class celebrates the unique joys of your growing child. Each week your child will love singing, dancing, and playing instruments with you and her new friends and you’ll love helping her practice a wide variety of abilities such as gross and fine motor skills, turn-taking, social skills, and active listening. In class, we’ll also share tips and ideas for using music throughout the week. Plus, the fun (and learning!) continue with the Kindermusik@Home digital home materials, including music from class, musical activities, and each month’s story.

                                                   Laugh & Learn:  Ages 3-4 years
Each week in class we combine your preschooler’s natural love of music, storytelling, and imaginative play with age-appropriate activities that introduce early music concepts and foster independence, social and emotional skills, language growth, and self-control. We also connect you with other parents who share in the wonder of parenting a preschooler. Parents join class for the final activities. The Kindermusik@Home digital home materials bring the music activities, and each month’s story everywhere you go. The repetition enhances the learning—and the fun!

                                                   Move & Groove:  Ages 4-5 years
From the moment you became a parent, you wanted the best for your child. In class, we engage your child in music and movement activities that also promote language, social and emotional skills, early math and early literacy, physical coordination, creativity, and more. Plus, your child will learn basic music vocabulary and notation—all setting the stage for future school success and formal music lessons. Parents join the fun for the final activities. The Kindermusik@Home digital home materials extend the benefits all week long with music from class, activities for the whole family, and each month’s story. 

For more information or to set up your free playgroup preview, call or text Miss April @ 330.265.3027 or email @

Friday, September 20, 2013

FOL Friday: Freeze Dance

Teaching children to develop their own inhibitory control can be a difficult task.  Little ones are always on the go and, sometimes, it's tough to get them to stop for a moment, walk instead of run, or listen to instruction in the midst of play.

One tremendously fun way to teach this skill is to "freeze dance."  Play a song, dance with your children, and stop the music in various places.  Tell your children that, when the music stops, they must freeze in whatever pose they are in.  Then show them how to do it.  They'll have a blast...and you will too!

In my family, we love to freeze dance to the Fresh Beat Band's "Freeze Dance" song. You can find it here. Try it with your children!

Now for the child-development reasoning behind all this crazy fun:

Musical learning at Kindermusik & at homeActivities that encourage a child to move or STOP moving in response to a cue help the child develop inhibitory control.
This ability to control one’s own body movements is an important first step toward developing both coordination and self-discipline.

Tips for parents:

One start/stop learning game for kids is to turn on a favorite recording or song and have your child dance until you push “pause”. Then start dancing again when the music starts up again.

Learning Through Sign Language

You can also teach your child this ASL sign for STOP.  Sometimes giving children something to do, i.e., making the sign for stop themselves, helps them be able to stop their bodies.
- Contributed by Theresa Case, whose Greenville, SC program, Kindermusik at Piano Central Studios, is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide.
Originally posted at

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fun for Now. Skills for Life!

Raising children in today's world is difficult.  Every parent wants to provide their children with the best experiences. There is so much pressure to create well-rounded little learners at very young ages.  We enroll in preschool for 2 or 3 years, instead of the standard 1 year of our generation.  We sign up for dance, sports, art classes, story times, etc. before our children are even potty trained.  We stretch our time and resources thin.  We take on crazy amounts of stress doing what we've been led to believe is absolutely necessary to ensure our child's successful future.  BUT....we don't need all these things to give our children a great start.  All those early life skills gained from the collection of activities we shuttle our children to are developed and nurtured in Kindermusik.

At Kindermusik, moms and dads become a part of the team.  Your instructor models the things to do at home with your children to keep the magic of Kindermusik alive all week long.  One hour a week will help provide you, the parent, with knowledge of what your child's age-specific social, cognitive, language, physical and creative needs are AND show you how to meet those needs, stimulate your child's mind, and have a whole bunch of fun together!

Put more fun in your life. Free up time to play with your children. Stop the daily shuttling from one class to another. Enroll in Kindermusik and enjoy all the benefits of dance, sports, gymnastics, preschool, art and more all in one place.

Enroll your baby or toddler today.

Friday, September 13, 2013

FOL FRIDAY - Repitition

Again, again!!  Children learn through repetition.  Each time a child is exposed to a new object or experience, new neural connections are made in his brain.  Through repetition, these connections are strengthened and learning occurs.  Every Kindermusik curriculum is designed to repeat certain activities – in part because of this important connection between repetition and learning, but also because repetition of activities helps to create the Kindermusik class community.  Ritual and repetition at home are important components of a predictable and nurturing home life as well. 
TIP:  So go ahead, sing that song or read that book again.  For the hundredth time.  Take satisfaction in knowing that you’re doing your child’s brain a world of good!
- Compiled by Theresa Case, M.Ed., whose Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina, is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide and originally published at

Discover the benefits of Kindermusik for your family today! Enroll Now! 

Saturday, August 31, 2013


It's FOL Friday!  FOL is an acronym for Foundations of Learning: statements Kindermusik educators use to help us explain to parents the "why" and "so what" behind many of the things we do in class.  Be sure to visit this site weekly for an interesting FOL, perhaps providing a window into your child's growing body and mind.


Most parents and teachers understand that regularly reading aloud to a child is beneficial, but do you know why?  Reading increases your child's understanding of the world, vocabulary, familiarity with written language and overall interest in becoming literate. Read to your children at home.  Ask grandparents, aunts, uncles and babysitters to read to your children.  Allow older siblings to read bedtime stories to their younger brothers or sisters. Encourage other family members to read to their children at home-the larger the variety of fluent readers your child hears, the better.

Every Kindermusik curriculum includes story time.  Like all things Kindermusik, it is carefully placed in the curriculum because of its direct connection with literacy development.  The stories read aloud during class are designed to complement the curriculum theme and are included in the home materials. Try a free class.  Attend a demo.  Come, see for yourself, the benefits Kindermusik can provide for your child.