Welcome to my Kindermusik space...

A place to refresh your love of music, your wonder in children, and your peace in parenting well.

Sunday, October 30

Thinking of enrolling in 2012?

The new fall schedule is up and available on-line!
Families exploring legato and staccato with egg shakers!
Here is an advance heads up for you...

One large Kindermusik studio in town unexpectedly closed it's doors in September, and another large one is set to close in November!
That leaves lots of Kindermusik families with very limited options.

I have added a few options and moved a few classes around to accomodate having more children in the program, but spaces are still limited.

My passion is to bring music to families, but a girl only has so much time...

Check out the new schedule and bring in your registration for the coming term.  Reservations are necessary!!!  And prices are holding at the same price they have been for years!  The same discounts are available for families with multiple enrolled children!


Sunday, October 23

When saying "No" is better than "Yes"

Ever feel like life is one big "to do" list?  There is the Monday routine, the Tuesday routine,  the....you get the picture.  We working moms have so many things to juggle from keeping the family well fed, to laundry, to chauffeuring, to keeping on top of work responsibilities, to maintaining friendships, to taking care of our physical and emotional selves.

I love my life.  I love teaching.  I love my family.  I love my friends.  I love being involved and contributing to my world.  There are so many interesting things in life to try - so many interesting people to get to know.  But... sometimes I find myself saying "yes" to too many things and feeling stressed at the end of it all.  

When I make better choices and say "no" to a few - it makes me feel better about the things I said "yes" to.

This weekend was good.
I said "no" to going to the gym early - and said "yes" to sleeping in.
I said "no" to doing more of the chores myself - and "yes" to asking my family to contribute.
I said "no" to going to a free class - and "yes" to spending time with my husband.

Making a fire.  Reading a book.  Playing a game with my son.  Singing with friends.  Taking a walk.  Long chats over cups of tea.  Eating birthday cupcakes...moments best savoured in an unhurried way.  Moments that restore and renew!  Moments that make me a more content mom, a happier teacher, and a more balanced woman.

Kinda reminds me of the principles behind our quiet rocking time in class - learning to relax is a learned skill we use our whole lives.  Even teachers, sometimes, need a refresher course.

Sunday, October 16

Kindermusik at home

Each week there are stories I hear from families about how Kindermusik activities are being lived out again at home.  The activities that we enjoy in class have become a normal part or the children's experiences, and they start to incorporate them into their daily lives.

Just this past week a grandmother who comes with her granddaughter was telling me about how the "stop" hands were being translated at home.  Her little musical munchkin had been asking Mom and Dad...and their dog, "Charlie", to do "stop hands".  Someone had then told her that Charlie couldn't do stop hands to which she replied..."stop paws, Charlie".  Clearly someone has been noticing routines in the classroom and had moved into the imitative realm of reliving moments - a precursor to imaginative play! :)

A few days ago I was on facebook and one of the moms had posted this picture and speculating that the son was "proposing" to his little sister.  I posted a note back to her about how in Kindermusik for the Young Child we had been learning a song about a frog courting a mouse, and that I had explained to the students about a man getting down on one knee to ask his love to marry him.  Mom had caught this picture of their play and let me borrow it for here.

Then there are the stories of children singing their Kindermusik songs while travelling.  Stories of playing Kindermusik class at home and pretending to be "Mrs. Wiebe" or "Teacher Heather".  

One of the best parts about Kindermusik is that it can continue long after families have left the 4 walls of the classroom.  Mother/son dances at home, family time sing-a-long while travelling, and weekly musical  projects from the home activity books or web site are all value-added bonuses of involving your young musician in a Kindermusik semester!

Hours of imaginative play and creative song composition as you and your child make up silly new words to familiar Kindermusik songs are all great ways to strengthen your child's growing sense of self-expression!  

Just to get you started, try looking at one of your Kindermusik books today and talk through it without reading the text.  Talk about the colours on the page, talk about what each character is doing.  Talk about the musical/rhythmic aspect is used in the book....pat your legs to the rhythm of the text for syllable recognition.  Act out the story in some way....you've got the idea, I'm sure!

Monday, October 10

Thank YOU!

Thanksgiving Day.  So many blessings to count, but today, special thanks for how my life has been enriched through knowing you and your children :)

Thanksgiving for the everyday kinds of moments you
offer up each week (big smiles and heart swells)

Dancing with abandon
Singing out loud
Playing instruments and jamming together
Building friendships with others in class
Sharing your Kindermusik experience with your friends
Sharing your home activity moments with me
Words of appreciation
Thank you for enriching my life with yours
as we take the Kindermusik journey together!

Sunday, October 9

A little "fall" in your music

Fall can be a season of mixed emotion for me.  Love the colored leaves!  And the shorter daylight hours give me the opportunity to make some quiet ambience at home with lit candles and fires in the fireplace.  A cup of hot tea to finish off the moment!   But truth be told, I have an underlying feeling of "Oh-no-winter-is-on-it's-way" as I try to keep my shoulders from residing next to my ears, protecting against the cold.  The coming cold ..... brrrrr.

Not being one to dwell on the challenge ahead, I thought today of how autumn can be one of the musical times of year, too.  Not just because you are in Kindermusik classes again, but because there are so many songs and ideas you can use in the fall time that encourage the expansion of your growing young artist.

A couple of examples of this can be found in this semester's activities.   In Village and Imagine That classes we have been using scarves as floating leaves and/or feathers.  Watching them flutter down, twirling ourselves around with them, and blowing them in the breeze created by our breath are ideas all related to autumn.   While we are playing together, children are storing away bits and pieces to use in further pretend play both now as pre-schoolers, and for the future as babies or toddlers.

Walks outside in the fall leaves are a great family activity, but autumn can have it's weather challenges, making the outdoors less appealing.  Wet, cold, early snow.   You can also bring the outdoors in by using something as simple as a paper bag.  Talk about the crunchy sounds with your child.  Hear the sound of ripping paper as you tear the bag into "leaf-size" pieces.  There is something magical about creating an indoor leaf pile and watching them flutter and float :)

A little vocal play with descending "faaaalls" also makes a musical connection between leaves (or scarves!) falling and sounds getting lower and lower.

Although we use our hearing for musical experiences, the sensory exposure  is not limited to sound in these activities.   They can hear the tearing and crumpling, but they can also see the paper get smaller and smaller as we ball it up, they can feel the texture of the paper, and feel the excited atmosphere in the room as we have fun as a musical community.  And by making a paper bag into a pile of leaves, your child's ability to think in new and creative ways grows just a little bit better.

Check out the songs  "Windy Weather" and "Autumn Leaves" on your home CD's or on play.kindermusik.com, and start having some fall weather fun!

Sunday, October 2

Encouraging the nurture nature

Every week in Our Time and Family Time when we have our Quiet Music and rocking time, we get out the "stuffies".  Sometimes children don't need a "stuffy" to rock, they just snuggle in with mom or dad or grandma - but most often it's just more fun to rock with a "stuffy friend".

Sometimes we use a scarf as a blanket for our "stuffy friends"!

Quiet music is calming and helps children to experience intentional relaxation, and the rocking also helps children to feel steady beat in their whole body.  You've heard me say that in class, I'm sure.   But did you know that taking care of our stuffy friends also encourages your child's nurturing nature?   As we rock the stuffies, remembering to stroke their head and hold them close, we are passing on the love of caregiver to the one cared for.  As we then gently tuck the "stuffies" back into their bed (aka the box), children are experiencing the wonder of imagination development and the joy of caring.

One of our most important jobs as parents is to teach our children important life skills.  Learning to be a nurturing person goes a LONG way in the development of our best selves.  And aren't these precious rocking moments with your child, ones that get filed away in your own memory bank of life's best minutes?  You know you love to nurture...so will your child!