Thursday, February 17, 2011

Kindermusik offers so much more than just children's music

School readiness and reading readiness: Is it just for preschool?

Stop and be still.
Stop and wait.
Stop and listen.
Stop and think.
Here she goes!
In Kindermusik we are always working on these! In Kindermusik "Imagine That!" we are careful to be still and listen when we stop so we can hear the different timbre of the instrument we are to pick up and play along with "We Are Fine Musicians". It is more challenging to stop when we are making big movements as in our song "In the City" where we move our feet fast all around our big city until the "stop" signal is given with our voice and our hands making the American Sign Language motion for STOP! It takes body control and timing to stop so instantly! Yes, these 3 and 4 year olds can do it! They are thinking, listening and their ears and brain sends the signal then they DO stop! And they love it!

She stopped!

With Kindermusik "Our Time" (18 months to 3 1/2 years) we are stopping to listen to the tempo of each section of our dance "Lento y Rapido" We have to be still and quiet, and think about the speed of the music so we can dance according to that cue!They appreciate the ASL hand stop sign. It helps their picture thinking brain grasp the concept of "stop".

Watch her dance and STOP just like this!

Even in Kindermusik "Village" (newborn-18 months) we see and feel the adults stopping according to a musical cue but also on another level we are beginning to understand being in control of stopping each activity. As we sing "Bells away, bells away" and allow the children the time and trust they need to put the bells in the basket ALL BY THEMSELVES! Two really important elements help the children with this huge accomplishment. First we must be willing to take the time to allow them to realize they have the choice. When we are in a hurry we "help" them put them away quickly. That's when they hang on tighter! In essence we end up grabbing the bells to speed things up and which means it will take longer next week. Ah! I must ask the adults to do some hard work: stop for a moment. Stop and allow. Stop and wait. Stop and trust. If they don't put it in the basket the first week or even the second week...they will soon. I promise.

We all need practice stopping, don't you know. Funny how this goes in a circle. So, time for the grown ups to stop. Put on a lullaby, maybe dim the lights, sit in a big comfy chair or even lie down on the couch. Really stop. Stop and breath. Stop like we do in the Kindermusik Village class when all the adults take a minute to really stop and relax. Then come back and listen to (or read) this NPR article on self control:

For Kids, Self-Control Factors Into Future Success

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