The Gift of Kindermusik
The soft music of a waltz floated through the air as eight kids twirled and glided on their paper plate skates. It’s a hot, blistering day in March but these kids, including my 5-year-old son, were pretending to play in the snow, something this tropical country doesn’t have.
It’s all about imagination, pretend play, and music. This is Kindermusik, a music and movement program for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged kids. The program combines music with dance, art, storytelling, art, and other fun activities aimed at stimulating brain growth, building motor skills, and enhancing a child’s social-emotional development.
I’ve been sending my son to Kindermusik since he was a year old. Much has been said about music and its effects on a child’s intellectual growth. But there is one thing I know. It makes him a happier kid. He’d go around the house humming Mozart’s “Serenade No. 13 in G” or bang on his lollipop drum, or pretend to march while blowing his wooden train whistle. He’d bellow tunes he learned from his Kindermusik classes while in the car. He’s also developed an appreciation for different types of music, from ditties to folk songs.
“Kindermusik aims to encourage a lifelong love of music in children, “said Teacher Suzette Yu-Kho, a licensed Maestro educator who runs a Kindermusik studio in Quezon City.”We expose the children to all sorts of multi-cultural songs. We teach French, Chinese, African and even Hawaiian songs.”
“We engage our kids in fine and gross motor skill work through the instruments such as sand blocks or one-bell jingles, focused listening, storytelling, instrument exploration, vocal play and tonal awareness,” she added.
Kindermusik builds on the many research on music and child development and how it stimulates the brain. There is also a study that shows young kids who regularly engage in playful and joyful singing may be more positive and free of anxiety. Singing apparently increases the production of feel-good hormones. By moving and dancing to music and playing simple instruments, children improve their gross and fine motor skills. They use music to express themselves. The songs they hear in class inspire them to draw or paint or make crafts.
“Kids who take Kindermusik show an improvement in behavioral, cognitive and social skills, “added Teacher Suzette. “ Studies in the United States have found that children who participate in Kindermusik classes have improved results in standardized-intelligence tests by as much as 37%.
Many developmental pediatricians have been recommending Kindermusik.”
There are 4 types of classes, depending on a child’s age. Each semester runs for 15 weeks. For example, one semester under Our Time, which is the class for 3-to-5 year olds, is a unit called Wiggles and Giggles which deals with water, the ocean and taking a bath. There is also a set of At-Home materials which contain activities parents can do at home with their kids. The materials include an age-appropriate musical instrument like a wooden stir xylophone, storybooks, a home activity book, and musical CDs which have all the songs taught in class.
For me, what makes Kindermusik unique is that it encourages parents to bond with their child. Moms and Dads and even yayas are encouraged to join the singing and dancing. We rock and swing with our kids, dance, and tap and shake instruments together.
“There are so many memorable, touching moments in Kindermusik that I don’t know where to begin,” shares Teacher Suzette. “There are teary-eyed dads who say that it is the only time they have ever waltzed with their children to the precious times when children with speech delay would utter their first words, much to the amazement of everyone in class! Many children would be so moved by the songs in Kindermusik that they do not hesitate to say “I love you, Mommy!” out loud.”
For inquiries: Call Kindermusik with Teacher Suzette and Friends at 2165677 or 09178530225.
Win a gift certificate for ONE MONTH FREE LESSONS of IMAGINE THAT! (for 3 to 5 years age) and a THE BEST OF KINDERMUSIK musical CD.
Share what favorite songs you and your child enjoy together. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries will be accepted until April 30, 2012.