Welcome to my Kindermusik space...

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

Sunday, January 22

Your story

Whenever I start a new semester there are parents who are bringing their children for the first time.  Like any first time experience, they come with hopes but perhaps some reservations as to how their child will adjust to the class.

Just this last week I heard, again, from parents who had come for the first time.  One parent excitedly told me after the end of class time that she was completely surprised when her daughter came up for a hug, as she doesn't even hug her grandparents.

Another parent commented on how settled and "into" the class her son was because he usually just runs around.

These are comments that I keep in my heart as awards from a tough audience;  after all, if kids are not into what you are doing, they will let you know!  I LOVE helping families to love music through social connectedness, movement, and play.  Not just because it is fun to do - more importantly, because music has the power to transform a person's outlook and life expression.  Music can calm an agitated heart, bring energy to a just-waking body, translate deep emotion without even using words, and help a celebratory moment soar to greater heights.

The "moments" are not just for the new families, though.  This week I also had a mom tell me that her daughter delightedly exclaimed "KINDERMUSIK!!" when they pulled up in the parking lot, upon returning after a semester away.   And just this morning at church another returning Mom told me that she had waited til the morning of class to tell her son that they were going to Kindermusik that morning, and although he usually drags to get ready to go anywhere, he couldn't get out the door fast enough to get to class - wanting to leave at 7:30 am!

Moms, can I ask you to share your Kindermusik experiences with me?!  In February we are going to have an "I LOVE KINDERMUSIK" week where we have special things happen.  I'd love to be able to post some of your "moments".  You can post them on my Kindermusik Stepping Stones facebook page. You can send them to me via email at kmsteppingstones@shaw.ca, or leave them as a comment on this blog.  Share your joy!  Encourage the newcomers with your success stories.  Smile at the stories you read that are similar to your own.

Here are some suggestions -
What is your favourite Kindermusik curriculum book?
Does your child have a Kindermusik instrument stash that they use for "Family Jam"?
Has your child latched on to a particular lullaby from the rocking with the stuffies time?
Has your child felt so proud showing grandma and grandpa their new instrument and displaying their skills?

Share one sentence!  Or share a few!  Share a humourous moment, or a quietly touching one.  Share an observation.  Share a learned skill.  Share a parenting tip you've learned from Kindermusik or from a class parent contact.  Your story is one click away from making someone's day!  I know it will make mine!

Share with Our Kindermusik family - we all are better together!

Sunday, January 8

Finding inspiration

It always seems like such a wonderful dream, to come home after a day of teaching or shopping or running errands and have dinner then sit by a crackling fire with a great book and have time to read.  My mind is getting a little restless even as i write that - thinking that I should've done that today.

The trouble is there is always a list.

You know the one.  The to do list.  The list that says "Do me now!!!"
On mine is
making meals
picking up stuff left by others in the family
work-related administrative stuff
tidying a bathroom
grocery shopping
solving kids' dilemmas
dealing with the mountain of daily paper that comes to our home
...endless, really.

Most of it is non-negotiable, at least to a point.  When I settle in to read, my hands find 6 things to put away on the way to the couch.  But when I set aside the demands and make time for inspiration - what a sweet, sweet moment to be savoured.

Read two books over the holidays.  One by a newly found again, but long-lost friend from university days.  Another by an author whom I have read several times - Brennan Manning.  Both left me feeling like I had taken a breath of inspiration.  One took me on an adventure.  The other on a journey inward.

I love being inspired!  Love filling up my heart with love and wisdom and and hope and life-lessons.  The daily tasks, the giving part of life, seem so much lighter when the heart is full.

Sometimes I take the fast track to inspiration, though.
Watched some amazing youtube videos over the holidays.  Videos that had me with wet cheeks, videos that had my heart in my throat with their beauty.

And then there were moments of inspiration through live music!  Heart-melting, courage-building, awe-inspiring moments of "this-is-how-life-was-meant-to-be".  I walk away from such moments feeling like my heart is so full I couldn't keep the energy and love in if I tried!

I really do need to make MORE time for inspiration!  Makes me a better teacher.  Makes me a better Mom.  You too?

Tuesday, January 3

New Year's Goals: Children loving music!!

It's the New Year and many people start thinking about what goals they have for the year.  You know, the usual
- I need to get in shape
- I need to organize the basement
- I want to take a course
- I want to ...
But so many times people have a list of things they want to see happen, and don't have a plan for seeing it through.

I was at my hair stylist's house this afternoon getting my 5 week cut, when in wandered her 9 year old daughter.  Kayle had been in Kindermusik since she was 5 weeks old, and I recently heard from her piano teacher what a pleasure it is to have her in piano lessons.  She is naturally very musical, but the lessons over the years have helped to elevate her natural gifting to an even more established talent.

A few minutes later, one of her other daughters, the youngest at 4 years old wandered in to use a nearby washroom...singing her way in, and then through the entire washroom visit.  As I could hear her in the adjacent room, I commented to her mom about how remarkably in pitch she stays.  A great auditory memory, indeed.

The mom, Corinne, has had her girls involved in music lessons since they were VERY young and it remains a big priority for their family.  There are always lots of things on the go, like most families, but music making always remains on the list.

I was sharing with a new-to-Kindermusik  mom on the phone the other day that although Kindermusik is a well researched and developed by experts program, the fundamental reason why so many families stay over the years, is that it makes making music a pleasure.  Fun in the classroom, fun on the road, fun at home.  And I hear that from families almost everyday!

Moving to great rhythms.
Using instruments to play along in ensembles.
Using our voices to sing what's in our hearts.
Developing a sense of belonging to a community of other musically minded families.
It's all part of what we do every week!  And one moment at a time we are helping your child to know music, to feel music, and to LOVE music!

On your list of goals this year, why not commit to the process of encouraging a lifelong love of music in your children by coming to Kindermusik classes again this semester? Never been?  No time like the present to come be a part of it!  The first class preview is FREE!