One of the most common questions I get when I tell people that I teach Kindermusik is "what can a baby do in a music class?" Followed up by "why would a baby need music classes?"
So this blog is devoted to answering that question. Truthfully, some moms come to class with their baby to engage in a social connection with other moms. That is a very important side-benefit, but not the real reason I offer classes for babies.
It actually starts with the premise that babies and young children are seeking to learn primarily through sensory experiences. You have probably noticed how babies put everything in their mouths. The reason they do that is that the mouth has a very high number of nerve endings per square inch, making it a highly sensitive region - capable of taking in a great deal of information about how something feels. They really aren't interested in "eating" everything (smile).
Babies will hold on to instruments and objects, feeling their texture, smelling their fragrance, finding the taste. They want to know what happens when they move their arms - and discover the sensation of moving beads inside various shakers. They begin to understand that their movement brings pleasure.
The key to all of this is that adding music to the discovery process opens up the brain to new areas of memory. Studies and testing have shown that only music provides total brain stimulation. While there is an auditory center, a visual center, and language area, imaging done while people listen to music shows that the entire brain is activated and stimulated when music is involved.
Kindermusik classes offer layers of learning by hearing the music, experiencing the social connectedness of the same songs through dance and group play, playing instruments to the same music, having a parent sing the songs, and doing various finger plays and motions to the same songs and rhymes. The repetition of activity in similar ways and creative options provides optimal learning and assimilation of material.
Addtionally, parents are equipped with new ideas through class attendance. Kindermusik teachers provide valuable information regarding child development and age appropriate learning schemes. Children discover social skills, musical skills, and cognitive skills on a developmental plane. Having that knowledge helps parents target their child's learning in a more appropriate way.
Whether it is stimulating the vestibular system through blanket rocking, or providing visual development through tracking coloured scarves during object play, Kindermusik classes offer growing children and their parents the opportunity to create neural connections in the growing brain. Did you know that your child's brain is physically growing until he or she is approximately 3 years old? The early years are critical in developing the neural connections that will serve them throughout their lifetime. Besides the complete fun of making music as a family, early childhood music classes are an investment in your child's learning potential.
Equally important is the notion that all learning takes place in an emotionally charged environment. The positive associations to music of various styles that take place in a Kindermusik classroom and a Kindermusik family home are invaluable.
The testimony of thousands of families worldwide is that Kindermusik provides an environment where long term learning occurs because of the excellent curriculum, the care and attention of qualified teachers, and the primary support of families who want to make music an integral part of life.