Parenting through Music: Village & Our Time

Big idea: Kindermusik makes it easier to communicate with your baby or toddler

Traveling to another country can be exciting. New sights, sounds, customs, food, and time zones that wreck havoc on your sleep! If the locals speak a language you don’t understand, your communication abilities quickly downgrade to that of a one-year-old: the use of full-body gestures and speaking louder and louder in YOUR language thinking that will increase comprehension. Yikes! Where is the loo?
At Kindermusik, we know parenting a young child can be a bit like visiting a foreign country. New sights, sounds, customs, food, and your sleep is definitely wrecked! Plus, your little one does not exactly speak your language. Most grown-ups are no longer fluent in baby or toddler. We understand, which is why we intentionally include activities that will increase your child’s communication abilities. In class, when we use sign language, sing “Oh well, you walk, and you walk, and you walk and you stop” or when we listen to and imitate different sounds, your child is learning and practicing language. Eventually, this will lead to him speaking your language. (Well, until the teenage years, and then you’ll need your passport again!)

Everyday connection: A match made in Kindermusik. Your child loves the sound of your voice. Feed his love and grow his use of language at the same time by singing, listening, moving, and dancing to the music from class. The repetition helps increase language acquisition and retention. Plus, music is a language you both understand.

Spotlight on Parenting: Village & Our Time (Cock-a-Doodle-Moo!/Away We Go)

Big Idea: Socialization

Becoming a parent turns your world (and your social calendar) upside down and inside out. You move from lengthy conversations over dinner to brief chats scheduled around naptimes. Eventually, you progress to speaking in short sentences interrupted by wardrobe and diaper changes, boo-boo kissing, rocking, sharing interventions, and a few paparazzi moments. (Your child does do the cutest things after all!).
When enrolling in Kindermusik, many parents list “socialization” as one of the reasons. We do help your child develop social and emotional skills, but we also connect you with other parents and caregivers who understand the unique joys and challenges of parenting a child the same age. So, next week in class take advantage of Gathering Time and look around. Your newest BFF just might be sitting next to you or changing a diaper or kissing a boo-boo or experiencing a paparazzi moment, too.

Everyday connection: Come all you playmates! Connect with other parents from class on Facebook and invite them to join you and your child for a play date. Through this unstructured playtime, your child will expand his intellectual, emotional, and social skills and you will get some social play of your own.

Another Spotlight on Learning in Our Time Away We Go!

Big idea: Early Literacy

At Kindermusik, we love the quote by Emilie Buchwald: “children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” Reading picture books together with adults helps children internalize some skills that are crucial in the development of true literacy.

Reading together:

  • Fosters reading enjoyment
  • Provides predictability through repetition
  • Introduces new vocabulary
  • Expands understanding of story structures
  • Promotes critical t hinking
  • Encourages language play and creative expression
  • Each week in class when we read Shiny Dinah or another favorite story, your child receives all these key early literacy benefits. Plus, children develop music literacy through the rhythm and movement elements of Kindermusik stories.

Everyday connection: Act on it! Read your child’s favorite book together and then pretend to be the characters in the book. Is it Shiny Dinah? Be the train or a passenger. Where are you going today and what will you see and hear along the way?

Spotlight on Learning in Our Time Away We Go

Big Idea: Repetition

Think about the last time you tried doing something for the first time. Maybe it was using your new smart phone, going for the perfect cloth diaper fold, or even figuring out how to feed your baby while checking Facebook at the same time. (Hey, we all need some outside connections!) After lots of repetition, you’ll probably master the fine art of that new thing, or at least fumble a little less. For your child, few things build her brain and open opportuniites for learning more than consistent repetition of healthy activities and experiences. Every new activity in which she participates makes a new neural pathway in her brain. Each time that experience is repeated, the neural pathway is strengthened. That’s why in Kindermusik class we deliberately repeat activities from week to week and give you the tools to repeat them at home, too.

Everyday connection: Practice makes perfect learning. Listen to the music from class and do the activities together at home. Repeat. Listen to the music from class and do the activities together at home. Repeat. (Learning is that easy … and fun!)

Spotlight on Learning in Village Cock-a-Doodle-Moo

Big Idea: Singing Hello

Do you remember the first time you said hello to your baby? Perhaps you saw a shadowy, profile on a sonogram or maybe someone put a swaddled bundle in your arms when you first

whispered, “Hello, little one.” Somehow saying hello for the first time made your baby more than just a plus sign on a test. In that moment, your emotional connection became even stronger.
At Kindermusik, we believe in the power of hello. So, each week, we begin class by singing: “Hello, hello let’s sing together!” Using your child’s name helps him make an emotional connection with the song and activity right from the start. It also encourages social interaction by inviting him to respond with his own greeting, such as a smile, wave, laugh, or even a little peek-a-boo. As an added bonus, it helps you learn the names of the other grown-ups in class, too!

Everyday connection: Say hello to your little friends. Try singing hello to the people, animals, and objects you see around your house. Sing to Nanna…clap to doggie…wave to the bathtub, wave hello. Your child will love it and you will be encouraging social interaction, emotional connections, and even vocabulary development!!

Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum… Time to Play Some Drums!

We’re super excited here at Sing Music Studio about our upcoming Drum and Percussion Circles! Professional drummer Neal Burstyn will be leading these incredible workshops. Sponsored by SABIAN and Groove Factor Drums, Neal’s been drumming for over 35 years and in that time he’s built up a pretty impressive resume! Throughout his career, Neal has marched in drum corps, attended Humber College for Jazz Performance, recorded on numerous albums, had many TV appearances and has been instructing drum and rhythm for over 20 years. Neal’s also performed with Rough Trade, Carole Pope, Tom Barlow, Universal Honey” and many many more artists. Besides drumming, Neal is also a freelance commercial photographer (editorial and advertising) so don’t be surprised if you meet him around the studio snapping some shots of our Kindermusik classes in action! You can visit his website, to take a look at his amazing photos.

What to expect in these Drum and Percussion Circles? Firstly, lots of fun! Secondly, lots of learning! Thirdly, an opportunity to play lots of different drums and percussion!

For children from age 3.5 to 6, the main focus will be steady beat, simple rhythms and group work. All important for playing any musical instrument but these concepts also carry over into everyday life and learning. Mastery of steady beat also helps children to develop the ability to ride a bike, cut with scissors, dribble a ball, skate, dance, play sports – anything that takes organizing and coordinating the body in repetitive patterns.

For children from age 7 and up, the main focus will be steady beat, rhythm and ensemble work. This workshop is geared towards the student who is already taking lessons in order to improve time and rhythm and have more ensemble experience. Although non-lesson students of this age are also welcome. At Sing Music Studio, we run concerts twice a year where students have the opportunity to work together in duos/trios/quartets. Having a keen sense of time and working together is essential for ensemble success and also carries over into life and learning skills. There is a strong correlation between rhythm, mathematics and language and working in groups is definitely an ongoing school and life skill.

Celebrate the New Year with New Musical Fun!

Ah, a new year – doesn’t it feel great?! I know I am feeling more inspired and excited about music than ever! New kindermusik classes are beginning this February and registration is now open. New spaces are open for a handful of private lessons in voice, piano and guitar. And, new workshops are happening right here at Sing Music Studio! In particular I’m excited to be bringing in professional drummer, Neal Burstyn, who will be leading some specialty Drum and Percussion Circle events throughout 2012. More to come on this soon!

There are plenty of great musical vibes happening this year! Keep on checking back for more new and fun events and activities at Sing Music Studio in 2012!

Music can help you travel with kids… Read on for why and a free song download!

Music makes traveling with children easier…really!
Childbirth and parenting classes should include a section called “Packing for the littlest traveler.” Parents who travel with a young child often look like a mobile baby super store. Pack-n-play, stroller, nursing pillow, sippy cups, bottles, binkies, blankie (and backup blankie), case of diapers, case of wipes, baby food, toys, car seat, two or three outfits for each day, oh, and yes, the child! Are we there yet?!
At Kindermusik, we know a thing or two about traveling with the under 7 crowd. After all, we play Virtual Travel Agent each week in class. This semester in Village we booked excursions to go bird watching in Australia and Africa, learned infant massage in South Africa, sang songs in France, and even went dancing in Virginia and Charleston. In Our Time, we visited Clapping and Stomping Land, watched frogs in Sweden, hopped on Lukey’s Boat, and took a donkey ride in the West Indies. No packing required!
Everyday connection: Kindermusik for the Kindertraveler.  Few children enjoy being strapped in their car seats for long periods of time. Music makes it easier. Create a playlist of your child’s favorite Kindermusik songs for the trip or download these parent-child favorites:

Great Job on the Christmas Recital, Students of Sing Music Studio!

Well, with recital number 3 under our belts, we are old pros! I couldn’t be more proud of the singing, piano and guitar students of Sing Music Studio for finding the courage within to put on yet another fantastic show! The staff and seniors at the Regency Retirement Home were pretty much blown away and adored every minute of the show! All of the hard work and dedication that all of our students had put in over the past couple of month has really paid off! Just take a look at these great videos of some of our students practising who played duets at the show.



Congratulations on a job well done from your musical guide, Miss Mandi!

More Parenting Through Music!

Spotlight on Parenting: Wiggles & Giggles

Going to the grocery store can be routine. You make the same loop every week: milk, bread, diapers, caffeine-of-choice; milk, bread, diapers, caffeine-of-choice. What would happen if each time you went to the store, they moved it all around? Suddenly, a trip to the grocery store becomes an exercise in frustration as you try to make sense of your surroundings.

The value of routine works similarly in your child. Routine helps him make sense of his surroundings and know what happens next. In Kindermusik, we build familiar routines into the class to help your child become comfortable and anticipate what comes next. The Hello song signals that class is starting. The story blanket means … well … it’s story time. The Good-bye song brings the class to a close.

Everyday connection:
Establish a nighttime routine. Use music to signal to your child the start and end. “My Bonnie” and “You Are My Sunshine” are Kindermusik family favorites! Turning on lullabies or relaxing music after dinner will let your child know that the day is coming to a close. It is time for bath, books, snuggles, and bed. Plus, many children fall asleep faster (and sleep better!) with an established bedtime routine. Now that is a routine any parent can appreciate!