Month: August 2013

Learning through Music: Imagination

Spotlight on Laugh & Learn for Preschoolers: Out & About (August Unit)

Many parents love to imagine their little ones all grown up. Will she be a doctor, teacher, CEO? Will he travel around the world, open up a restaurant, or work from home to stay with the children? Ask your child what the future holds and you may hear any number of ideas: M&M candy maker, firefighter-super hero, monster catcher, parent with 20 children (whoa!), or mermaid. In a child’s imagination, anything is possible.

Each week in class, we create an environment that fosters your child’s growing imagination. When we pretend to ride bicycles, go on a mountain hike, or play in the waves at the beach, your child’s imagination (and gross-motor and social skills!) get a workout.

During the pretend play activities, the social interaction is usually characterized by a heightened use of action and language. At home, where your child is most comfortable, the imaginative play can become even more complex as your child reexamines life experiences and adds to or changes what really happened.

Everyday connection: Character Acting. Encourage imagination and emerging literacy by pretending to be the characters from a favorite book. Let your child lead the way…even if it differs from the story’s plot. You might even get your child to clean up (or eat vegetables!) while in character!

Kindermusik or piano lesson – what’s the right fit for your 4-5 year old?

Your want to enroll your child in music. You already know the benefits of music and how much it can enhance your child’s learning and school readiness. But how do you know whether to choose a kindermusik class or a private piano lesson?

It’s easy for me to tell by seeing how your child interacts with me, in class or a lesson. But let’s face it, you know your 4-5 year old behaves differently with mom or dad than with a teacher and peers. So here are a few key things to look for when deciding between a piano lesson or kindermusik:

  • Where does your child’s interest lie? Does she keep asking for lessons or sit down often at the keyboard or piano to play or make up tunes? If your child is showing a keen interest in piano then that’s a good indication that a lesson is the right fit. If your child loves music and singing but is not yet gravitating to a specific instrument or is more interested in guitar or other instruments that are challenging for a 4-5 year old’s fine motor skills, a kindermusik class where we introduce a few different melodic instruments and continue to work on fine motor skill development is likely the right option.
  • What is your child’s energy level like? Do you have an active, high energy child on your hands who love to go, go, go? This child would likely fare well in the kindermusik class where we use a combination of movement activities (like the human staff), games, active listening and playing a variety of instruments to teach your child the basics of music. Or maybe you have a quieter child who prefers to listen and watch can easily focus attention and responds well to one-on-one interactions. In that case a private piano lesson is probably the best option.
  • Is your child an introvert or an extrovert? An extroverted child will more likely be comfortable in the kindermusik class environment interacting with his peers while an introverted child will likely feel more comfortable and confident in the one-on-one piano lesson.

Of course these are just guidelines and while an introverted child may get just as much out of the classroom environment, a high energy child who adores piano would likely do just fine in a piano lesson! The best way for me to tell is to teach your child! So if you still aren’t sure, then join us on September 3rd for our Kindermusik Demo Days or visit a class for a preview or sign up for a 4 week trial in piano lessons. I am here to help you find the best musical fit for your child.