6 Year Olds’ Piano Duet in Action!

Piano Duo

The 2 piano students each take their own private piano lesson at the Sing Music Studio. These girls do not just share a love of music but they are also very close friends. So they’ve made it their own tradition to play a duet at each of our bi-annual recitals (of which there have only been 2 so far). You can see very clearly in this video that they are both dedicated to their craft. Each are diligent practicers with an ear for music. Watch the video to see just how terrific they are – their dynamics are fantastic! It’s also very candid as they thought I was taking photos, not videoing!

Click here to view the video!

Kudos to the Students of Sing Music Studio!

Wow! I am so proud of all of the students who participated in the Sing Music Studio’s end of year Recital! What a great job everyone did – singers, guitarists, pianists, from young to older! 😉

I do have to mention, though, that I am especially proud of one student in particular. A young boy who was so nervous at the Christmas Recital that he was in tears and had his mom stand up with him to give him an extra boost of confidence. Well, in just 6 short months, this boy made a complete 180! He asked to be first and couldn’t wait to perform in front of everyone. And in the meantime, between the 2 recitals, he got up and performed for his class at school numerous times! The breakthrough he had at the Christmas Recital – which he only had decided on performing at a few days beforehand because he had such performance anxiety – changed his world. In fact, I am positive he will become a musician. This boy is proof that standing up and facing your fears can only make you stronger and more confident!

Click here for more info on the music lessons at Sing Music Studio!

How to Incorporate Music into Baby’s Day!

Village Ben
Music is such an important part of learning and it’s never too soon to start adding music into baby’s life! Music can help you calm and sooth baby and also help to open up baby’s brain to new learning opportunities!

● Adding soft calm music such as lullabies or classical pieces while you rock and soothe baby aides in parent/child bonding while also stimulating baby’s sense of balance and coordination and teaching baby how to relax. I bet you didn’t know there were that many benefits to rocking!
● Bath time is full of learning opportunities. Adding music to bath time by singing a little ditty about body parts helps your baby learn about body awareness while also exploring language, musical and sensory stimulus. And multi-faceted learning experiences that engage all of baby’s senses are the most successful ones!
● Add a rhyme and and exercise to changing time. Babies all go through that phase of squirming and crying and giving you a tough time changing that diaper. So why not give them something to anticipate. Give them an instrument to hold and recite a nursery rhyme while you change them. At the end of diaper change, do a little exercise to the beat or rhythm of the rhyme. Moving baby’s limbs will help her gain muscle control and feeling the beat will help her develop her own sense of time leading to the ability to mover herself to the steady beat – an important part of creating music but also important in learning to dance, play sports and coordinate her body.
● Sing good morning and goodnight! Routine is so important in baby’s day. His routine helps set a sense of emotional security, creating a successful learning environment. So why not add a little music to your baby’s greeting and goodnight routines. Baby loves your voice, no matter what your singing ability is, so sing sing sing and foster a love and appreciation for music!

Studies have proven that young children who participate in music classes like the ones we offer at Sing Music Studio actually improve brain functioning and help your child to excel at learning when they reach school age. So it certainly makes sense to add a music class into your baby’s weekly schedule. In our baby music classes, you’ll learn that each of our many songs and activities have a purpose and how you can easily work those activities into your baby’s day at home. Plus you will receive a CD, instrument and storybook to help you further the musical interaction at home! So what are you waiting for? Join our baby music classes and baby summer camps at the Sing Music Studio to create the best possible future for your child!

The Family Musical Bond

I think I’ve mentioned before what a strong impact making music with my family as a child has had on me throughout my life. I was lucky enough to have musical parents and siblings. As a child, my parents would play their guitars while they, my 2 sisters and I would sing along at the top of our lungs! My parents also took us to concerts, musicals, ballet and the symphony from a young age. And if we weren’t off listening to or making music, we had the tunes pumping in our house and were always singing along! As my sisters and I grew older we learned to play instruments and trained our voices and the sing alongs were led by us, instead of our parents, as we performed for our extended family with the piano and lots and lots of singing!

So when I talk about the importance of doing musical activities together as a family unit, not only am I speaking of this from an expert’s perspective, but also from personal experience. I could talk until I’m blue in the face about the benefits of music and how making music in a structured, expert led environment effects learning and development in every area and at every stage of life. But today, I want to talk about how supporting your child’s learning as a family unit is so important.

The more you show your child support in their music class, the more you are making your child feel confident and grow self esteem and creating a sense of emotional security within your family. That’s why it’s so important that grown-ups participate just as much as children do in a Kindermusik class. The family unit is so important throughout our entire lives. We lean on our families for emotional support at every age. So setting that family togetherness support system up from day one is your way of building that family bond. Certainly having one on one time with your child or children is also important. But when you have more than one child it’s also important to do activities together that engage the whole family.

I know that not all families have the musical resources that I had as a child – parents and siblings who sing and play instruments. But I want every family to experience the same kind of joyful musical experiences I did as a child. That’s why I became a musician and music educator! I don’t expect your child to grow up to be a musician or educator too, just to grow up with a love and appreciation for music and a way to express themselves. That’s why here at the Sing Music Studio, we offer Family Time classes that allow you to build that family bond that’s so important! And there’s a new family class beginning in 2 weeks: Zoo Train! We’ll hop on the Allee Allee O and visit the zoo animals together as a family! I can’t wait to share my love of music with your family!

Family time

Spotlight on Babies in Music Class

Babies in Kindermusik Village and Sign and Sing never cease to amaze me. Those babies really make me feel like I’m the star of the show! I like to keep an relaxed, natural air to our classes, providing some much needed time for the grown-ups to get to know each other. There’s certainly lots of time for that at the beginning and end of class and we trickle it in throughout our activities where it fits too. The babies let us know when they are ready for the next activity if they start to fuss. But I tell you, each and every time I open my mouth and sing the beginning of our next activity, they all stop, turn their heads and stare at me! It’s amazing!

I’ve seen so much growth over the years watching babies who have begun with Kindermusik as early as 3 weeks and move on up to the toddler music classes at our music school! One thing I notice time and time again is that babies understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Within a couple of weeks of repetition of an activity, at all stages, babies consistently anticipate what’s coming next. And wow, do they ever pick up those signs quickly in our signing class, like ball and bear! I’m equally impressed to see the babies at the beginning of an 8 week session who cry and carry on when they have to put away a toy or instrument easily put away those items at the end of an 8 week session! Not to mention the fabulous vocalization that occurs throughout our classes… but check out the blog on Baby Speak in Baby Music Class.

All in all, I love watching the changes that take place in the babies. Their familiarity with the classroom, their excitement to see me and Mokie, the smiles and giggles and vocalization and words…and oh how can I forget the first step that was taken in music class a few weeks ago by little Grayson! A first for him and a first for me! Just goes to show you how comfortable the babies are in class!

Wow – Paul Simon in Concert!

Feeling inspired! I was fortunate enough to get to see one of my musical idols in concert this past weekend, none other than Paul Simon. His music certainly touched my soul from a very young age. I can remember countless hours of listening to records of Simon and Garfunkel with my friends back in high school. And how can I forget my parents blasting the Graceland album throughout the house while all of us would sing along at the top of our lungs!

Paul Simon was definitely a strong musical influence in my life growing up and I love his music today just as much as I did then. His music is so beautiful, with rich harmonies, interesting melodies, fantastic instrumentation and unexpected nuances in form. What an inspiration. Seeing him in concert was a real treat – something I never would have thought would happen in my lifetime! Not only that but seeing him at such an intimate venue as the Sound Academy made it even better! And to make him even more iconic in my mind, he actually invited a young woman up from the audience to play with him! Wow, what it must’ve been like to be her in that moment! He played the 2 songs I most wanted to hear during his 2 encores – Kodachrome and Late in the Evening. He even played the first song that really made me fall in love with Simon and Garfunkel, The Sound of Silence (This tiny little pic is him playing The Sound of Silence).

Paul Simon - The Sound of Silence

Now that I’m back to reality and continue to have Paul Simon tunes float around in my head has prompted me to revisit my old Simon and Garfunkel music book. And pulling it out of my shelf, I am reminded again of my love for Simon’s music by the tattered book holding together by one little thread and a staple. Well used is an understatement. Perhaps it’s a sign I should be passing this amazing music on to my music students by teaching some of these amazing tunes in our lessons!

Signing Fun with Little Ones

Daddy SignDid you know that signing with your baby can actually help him to speak and understand language sooner? So many people believe that by signing with baby, they will inhibit their baby’s ability to speak as he will just rely on signing to communicate. Well this is simply not the case.

Signing can actually improve your baby’s language comprehension and ability to speak sooner. By signing with baby, we add a level of understanding that surpasses simply pointing and labelling. Not only that, but we are giving baby the tools to communicate with us long before their vocal chords are capable of producing language. It takes a lot of practice and a lot of muscle control to put the syllables together to create words. Certainly ample vocal play, as we do in our Kindermusik Village baby music class, can help strengthen those muscles and practice syllables. But your baby will not be able to communicate with you much sooner. No wonder both you and baby can experience so much frustration.

Signing can help to alleviate a lot of the communication frustration you both experience. However, it’s not as simple as just signing a few handy signs that work for you, like “milk”, “eat”, and “more”. Those signs are certainly useful for you, but not as interesting for baby. It’s much more likely that baby’s first signs will be something of interest to them, like “ball” or “music”. And it’s more likely that they will use signs more regularly if you know how to add them into your day regularly and naturally. Sounds tricky, but it’ easier than you think through some simple techniques incorporated into your playtime, bath time, reading, mealtime and everyday activities. In the Sign & Sing class here at the Sing Music Studio, you’ll learn all about how beneficial and easy it is to add signing into your day and find out, firsthand, how much signing can impact your communication with baby. New Sign & Sing class begins mid-May!

Baby Speak in Baby Music Class

It never ceases to amaze me how much the babies get out of our Kindermusik Village music classes! This morning was the loudest baby class I have ever experienced. Not in a negative way, in a super cute way! All the babies were full of conversation! Squealing with delight. Trying to converse with each other in their babbling, conversational way. And vocalizing with me just as much as they were vocalizing with each other! They were really working their vocal chords and practicing their conversation and socialization skills.

Since our music class is exactly halfway through the session, you can really see that the babies have the routine down pat! They’re are feeling comfortable and ready to explore the instruments and materials. Anticipating what comes next and flowing easily from one activity to the next. Of course it helps that we have a really involved group of moms, dads and caregivers that are terrific at participation, really getting into the groove of dancing and movement in class and even doing activities at home! Sure makes for more learning for the babies!

What a fun class this is! I’m enjoying every minute and can tell that not only are the babies having a blast, but they are learning more and more with each passing week! Can’t wait for our class next week!

Guitar Lessons

Miss Mandi's Guitar
Guitar lessons are the newest area of business here at the Sing Music Studio. I’ve played the guitar for many years but just haven’t taught it. I recently bought myself a new guitar (my 10 year old one was sounding pretty sad) and, due to the high demand from my students, shortly thereafter began teaching guitar lessons. I tell you I love it! Don’t get me wrong, I love teaching singing lessons and piano lessons and Kindermusik too! It’s just fun for me to tap in to a new part of my brain and teach a new instrument. I love learning and teaching too. Teaching, for me, can be just as much a learning experience for me as it is for my student – finding out what each student needs to work on and how to reach each student as we all learn and understand differently. Apparently my guitar students are enjoying it too because I received this cute picture from one of my students of us during our lesson. She even included Mokie! Guitar Thanks

Practice First + Homework Second = Smarter Kids!

Music is the only activity out there that actually makes use of the entire brain. Try this on for size. A study on brain activity was done on musicians. They were hooked up to a monitor that measured activity in each part of the brain. The musicians were asked to play a tune that they knew from memory. Every single light that measured every single portion of the brain actually lit up! So it’s science, brain functioning is actually improved by making music!

I don’t need the science to tell me that though, I know this from personal experience. Every time I play a gig, rehearse or teach a music lesson or music class, I feel energized afterwards. I am literally ready to take on the world and tackle any project that comes my way. It’s not just my mind that feels open, but also my body. It’s no wonder I am so productive after musical activity!

It’s for these reasons that when the parents of my music lesson students ask me about practice schedules, I tell them to practice first and do homework second! Spending that time being musical and working the brain and body opens up the mind to become more perceptive to homework. Your children will be more focused on homework and retain more information after practice than before. That’s certainly a key benefit from music lessons. Not only does music improve your brain functioning, memory skills, vocabulary, social skills, fine and gross motor dexterity, cognitive development, emotional development, mathematical skills and creativity, it can also help your child with their homework. That’s pretty impressive.

This spring at the Sing Music Studio, we’re offering a special on all of our music lessons: piano lessons, guitar lessons and singing lessons. Four lessons for the price of three. Here’s your opportunity to experience the positive effects music lessons have on you or your child’s brain development. We also have Kindermusik, music and movement, classes for children as young as newborn! The mind is never too young or too old to be enhanced by music.

Read more on how music affects the brain in this article from Scientific American.