Learning Through Music: Fine Motor Skills

Do you remember when we actually called someone on a cell phone? Ah, those primitive years! Then texting entered the scene. Many of us watched in amazement as those of a certain age moved their fingers at an alarming rate while we struggled to text even one word on the tiniest of keyboards. Our finger muscles and fine motor skills certainly got a workout as we learned this new skill.

Children also need to learn how to use and coordinate their finger, hand, and wrist muscles—not for texting—but for reaching, grasping, and more. In Kindermusik class each week, we include many activities that support your child’s fine motor skills development. Wiggling fluffy chicks in a “Ten Egg” finger play or striking the resonator bars on “Sweetly Swings the Donkey” helps your child learn to coordinate hand, finger, and wrist movements that support fine motor control and precision. The skills practiced in class and at home build the foundation your child needs for buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, tying shoes, using scissors, and even writing. Texting will come later. Much later.

Everyday connection: Let your fingers do the walking. Finger plays are great activities to do together anywhere. Waiting at the doctor, grocery shopping, restaurants, or even at bedtime. Teach your favorite to your child or pick one from class. 

Many Thanks for Culture Days – Celebrating the Arts!

What a terrific class we just had, celebrating the Canada wide Culture Days event! Local families with children under age 7 from Port Credit joined us at Sing Music Studio to participate in a fun filled music and movement class to celebrate the event! There was singing, lots of movement, instruments, laughing and learning for both parents and kids. And was it ever fun! I’m lucky to say I really do love what I do! I adore meeting new children and families and sharing my passion for music with them – what better time to do that than during Culture Days!

So thanks for participating with me today! And thanks to Culture Days for creating such a wonderful weekend of arts celebration! I’m really looking forward to continuing to share my passion for music and music education with more new and familiar children and families this coming week as our new Kindermusik classes begin!

Spotlight on Move & Groove for School Aged Kids

Lesson Focus: Musical Patterning

If young children ruled the world, daily life would follow a predictable AB pattern: Play, Eat, Play, Eat, Play, Eat. However, even world leaders need to sleep, take a potty break, and brush teeth. So, as a parent, you add a few more of those things to your child’s daily routine, creating a pattern that works for your family.

In Kindermusik, we lead children to experience patterns through movement, listening, and playing instruments. When we step, step, step, stop through the rainforest or ta, ta, ta, rest with rhythm sticks, your child is learning rhythm patterns (quarter note, quarter note, quarter note, rest), a basic musical concept.  Rhythm patterns are combinations of long and short sounds and silences. Your child’s whole body involvement with patterning not only lays an early foundation for reading music but also for math and literacy…and maybe even world leadership one day!

Everyday connection: DO play with your food. Give your child two small snacks, such as pretzels and blueberries. Make patterns with the food and then sing or clap it together. Add a third item as a “rest.” Example: pretzel (hand clap), pretzel (hand clap), blueberry (wave), cracker (shh!). Enjoy eating the patterns you make together.

Learning through Music: Steady Beat

Spotlight on Learning: Laugh and Learn for Preschoolers

Lesson Focus: Steady Beat

Do you remember the first time you listened to your child’s heartbeat? Hearing that steady gagon-gagon-gagon-gagon probably made your own heart skip a beat or two (or three or four!). As an infant, hearing the steady beat of your heart coupled with the feeling of being swayed back and forth could lull your child to sleep…usually!

In music, the most fundamental property is beat—the underlying, unchanging, repeating pulse. For your child, feeling and moving to a steady beat develops a sense of time and the ability to organize and coordinate movements within time. Each week in Kindermusik class, we develop your child’s awareness of beat when we greet everyone with a steady beat motion, drum, march along with Liberty wagon, play together with zig zag blocks, or move together on the Merry Go Round. We know your child will use this same sense of steady beat for walking, running, riding a bike, cutting with scissors, and even reading!
Everyday connection: And the beat goes on! Steady beat occurs everywhere. Take turns naming things with steady beats and those without. Try this at home and in the car!

Improved Kindermusik Classes and New Digital Materials!

Check it out! We’ve gone digital!

You might notice a few changes to our curriculum here this year at Sing Music Studio. If you visit our ABC Music & Me page, instead of seeing the usual monthly themed units, you’ll now see Kindermusik Wiggle & Grow for Toddlers, Laugh & Learn for Preschoolers and Move & Groove for School Aged. You’ll also see an additional class, Laugh & Learn for Families on our Family Time page. The good news is, these programs are still the same fun and educational monthly themed music classes. The great news is they’ve been revamped to be even better with additional content and longer class times!

All classes are now 45 minutes and Move & Groove now includes sharing time during the last 15 minutes of the class. This is a pretty important aspect that was missing previously as you, the parent, are the most important teacher for your child. So, we want to make sure you know what’s going on in class and have the tools to engage in music activities at home with your child as well.

Which leads us to the new home materials – Kindermusik has gone digital! Check out the video to discover all about these wonderful new digital materials. In addition to the digital materials, each child will receive a monthly instrument – previously it was a bi-monthly instrument – so that’s another improvement.

Not only are we excited about the great new curricula and materials improvements, we’re also trying to make life even easier for you by offering these classes the same way we do our lessons at Sing Music Studio. All you need to do is register once and your spot is saved for the whole school year! So no more monthly scrambling to register at the last minute. And it’s easy to change classes at any time! Plus with the addition of our new online enrollment system – all your family information is saved so you don’t have to re-enter anything next year unless you move or have a new baby!

We’re so pleased to be bringing you such positive and time saving new benefits and features and can’t wait to see you in our new Kindermusik programs!

Congrats to our Draw Winner!

Congratulations to Chiara and Marcus for winning our draw for free tuition!

Marcus has been attending Kindermusik classes since the summer of 2011, beginning in the baby classes. Now Marcus has graduated into the next level, attending our toddler programs. Marcus and Chiara love kindermusik so much that they come twice a week to different toddler classes! So, it seems pretty fitting that Marcus was drawn as the winner of our June draw for fall tuition.

Marcus definitely marches to the beat of his own drum in kindermusik – illustrating how their are many different ways to participate and no one “right” way. Marcus is a mover and a shaker, as many toddlers are, and prefers to be up and dancing when we’re sitting and sitting when we’re dancing! Lol! But he is really taking it all in – no matter how he participates. He’s very focused when we do listening activities and has lots to comment on during story time. And the second I start to play the guitar, Marcus is up front and centre, bopping to the tunes as if he’s front row centre at a concert! It’s evident that Marcus loves music! I can’t wait to see how Marcus grows and changes with music as he gets older.

So, once again, congratulations to Chiara and Marcus! And I’ll see you both in Kindermusik!

A BIG Congrats to the Music Students for an AMAZING Recital Performance!!!!

Sing Music Studio Recital June 2012

My students never cease to amaze me!!!! What a fantastic job all of our singing, piano and guitar students did that participated in our 4th recital on June 23rd at the Regency Retirement Home!

I’m so impressed with the improvements of my students who have had a few recitals under their belts. And a special hats off to David, one of my adult students who consistently has been participating in the recitals as the adult representation despite performance anxiety. David really pulled it together and did a terrific performance. I know all the parents were quite impressed with his courage to perform!

I’m also very impressed with all the new students who participated in the recital for the first time. Some were super excited, some were full of nerves. But each and every one of them did a wonderful job!

We were also lucky to have some great instrumentation this year of 2-3 students/teachers playing together in an ensemble including ukelele, piano, guitar, singing and drums. In the future, I’m excited to put more student ensembles together as the students grow and improve and of course with the addition of drum lessons at the studio. This will make it easy to start forming bands with the students in the future. So expect the recitals to continuously improve and include great music!

A special thanks to Neal Burstyn for drumming with some of the students, videoing the recital and taking photographs…. which will be coming soon. And a special thanks to the staff and residents at Regency Retirement Home who hosted our recital as per usual! And last, but certainly not least, a special thanks to all the students of Sing Music Studio who worked very hard to prepare such a wonderful show and the parents for their ongoing support!

Can’t wait for the Christmas Recital!!!

Drumroll please…..

We’ve been having so much fun in the drum classes that have been happening here at Sing Music Studio over the last few months that we thought it was high time we brought you an inside peek into what happens in our Drum & Percussion Circles. The children have been learning about steady beat, rhythm, ensemble experience, feeling the beat with their bodies and trying their hands on different drums. Just take a look at this video to see for yourself!

Babies Learn Balance & Coordination in Kindermusik Village!

Big idea: Vestibular System

A hammock gently swaying in a warm ocean breeze or the quiet creaking of a porch swing in the dappled afternoon sunlight can bring thoughts of a little life balance in an increasingly complex world. As a parent of a child under 2, however, the nursery glider moving back and forth at 10:16pm, 2:01am, and 5:34am might be the closest you can get to that beach or front porch. It can work in a pinch though!
All that nursery rocking reinforces balance of a different kind in your child. The rocking, swaying, and movement stimulate your child’s vestibular system, the part of the brain that controls balance. In Kindermusik class, we rock to lullabies, bounce on knees, and even make hammocks out of blankets to help lap babies and crawlers begin to develop their sense of balance and to reinforce balance and stability in young walkers.

Everyday connection: Rock on! Try out some of the rocking moves from class at home. If your child feels nervous about hammocking in class, try it at home where she feels most comfortable. Think of different ways you can hold your child as you rock or bounce together.

What to expect in Kindermusik summer camps!

Believe it or not, summer is just around the corner! It’s time to start planning your summer activities! And there are lots of options for different ages and stages here at Sing Music Studio. Here’s what you can expect:

Weekly Kindermusik Adventures Camps for babies
One adult will participate with baby in two different 5 week themed camps: Peekaboo I Love You and Busy Days. In these weekly classes you’ll see baby grow and respond to new songs, movement, sights and sounds. Socialization, bonding, gross motor skills, listening, language development… just a few of the many important skills we will focus on through music and fun in class. Baby will delight in peekaboo games and activities that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine at home. And home materials including CD and instrument are part of the program making it even easier for you to bring the kindermusik experience home.

Weekly Kindermusik Adventures Camps and ABC Music & Me for toddlers
Toddlerhood is a world of exploration! Gross motor skills are the main skills toddlers are learning to master and mastery of movement creates self-confidence and a happy toddler! One adult will participate with each toddler in these fun and active weekly classes. We’ll be working on mastery of gross motor skills, fine motor skills, language development, listening skills, brain development, socialization and so much more in these fun music & movement classes! Of course home materials including CD and instrument will make it easy for your toddler to bring the learning home and really get to know the songs we sing in class! In the Adventure camp series for 18 mos to 3 years, we’ll be visiting the zoo in Zoo Train! In ABC Music & Me for 18 mos to age 4, we’ll discover Marvelous Me and have lots of fun in Let’s Play!

Weekly and Week long afternoon Adventures Camps and ABC Music & Me for preschoolers
There’s lots of summer musical fun to be had for your preschooler here! Our week long afternoon camps are a blast! Drop your 3 to 6 year old off for 2 hours, parents join in for the last 15 minutes of camp to recap what we did in class and do a few activities together. Of course there will be lots of singing and learning through music in these creative and imaginative camps: On the Road, Confetti Days and Under the Rainbow. We’ll also include outdoor play at the park or crafts/indoor games if the weather does not cooperate for outdoor play. There’s also a weekly 1 hour option available through June for our On the Road camp. Children will receive home materials including CD and instrument to bring the learning home!

Weekly Adventures Camps family style
Visit the Kindermusik zoo with your family! This version of Zoo Train is designed especially for families with multiple children. Of course families with one child are welcome to join us too! In these weekly classes, we’ll explore music and movement with children of all ages between newborn and 7 years. Creating a multi-stage, multi-faceted learning environment that’s different from our other classes. Younger children and babies learn and socialize by watching older children while older children learn team work and leadership by watching and guiding the younger ones. We’ll still focus on important skills like fine and gross motor skills, socialization, listening, language and brain development. And yes, home materials will include CDs and instruments!

Sign & Sing for babies and toddlers
In these musical signing classes, you will learn how to communicate with your baby or toddler through sign language. Signing with your little one will help them to gain a stronger understanding of the language and alleviate frustration for both you and your little one by providing communication tools before baby has the ability to speak. Signing with baby doesn’t mean they won’t talk, it’s just the opposite, they’ll probably talk sooner because they have a deeper understanding of words when attaching them to a symbol. You’ll also receive DVDs and flashcards to help you continue the signing at home.

Drop-in fun at Sing & Play Dates for ages 0 to 7 years
These pay-as-you-go drop-in classes are perfect for the less planned summer! 45 minute classes where you participate with your child in music & movement, with a new theme in each class. Expect singing, dancing, circle dances, listening, stories and so much more. In these drop-in classes, we’re still working on the total development of your child through music but it’s fun to have a different perspective with different ages coming together. Plus your child will still receive an instrument and music download card or CD to bring the music home from class!

So that’s our fun musical Kindermusik summer in a nutshell!