So, What Is Kindermusik?
For more than 35 years, Kindermusik has been bringing together experts in education, music, and child development to create the world’s leading early childhood music and movement program for children from birth to age seven…to date, more than 1.1 million families, in 60 different countries, have experienced the joys of Kindermusik classrooms. Originally formulated in the late 1960’s for kindergarten children, this music & movement program has a unique approach to learning that is based on the works of some of the most brilliant (and famous) educators and musicians from Europe and Asia, including Shinichi Suzuki, Maria Montessori, Zoltan Kodaly, Carl Orff, and Emile Jaques-Dalcroze.
Our curriculum is, “research-based and research-proven”. We take great pride in being able to say that our experts continually monitor emerging research so that we can give you the very best materials, activities, instruments and programs. In the past several years, research in the areas of early childhood development and education have become increasingly focused on the amazing effect music has on children’s ability to learn and grow. It has been proven that early experiences with music actually physically create neural pathways in children’s brains, making the connections needed for every type of intelligence.
In our classrooms, each activity we do is designed to support the development of the “whole child,” which means we strive to nurture and strengthen skills in all areas of development…musical (of course!), physical, emotional, social, cognitive and linguistic.
But all that scientific stuff aside, Kindermusik classes are so much fun! Imagine being able to take a few minutes out of your busy week to do nothing but sit back and enjoy watching your child learn and grow!
The Kindermusik Philosophy
A commitment to excellence requires adherence to high standards, and since we are intent on providing nothing but the best quality programs, Kindermusik has defined a core set of principles that are at the center of everything we do:
- Child-centered – Every child is musical and every child is unique. We celebrate this individuality and invite children & families to explore, learn, respond and contribute in the manner in which they choose.
- Developmentally Appropriate – Early childhood developmental stages follow a predictable sequence of growth. A thorough understanding of the interests, abilities and appropriate learning methodologies for each stage allows us to choose activities and lesson plans that support the development of the whole child (keeping in mind that every child develops at their own pace, which is perfectly normal).
- Nurture the Whole Child – We create “integrated” learning experiences through music & movement, allowing them to foster growth in all other areas of development: physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and linguistic.
- Process, not Performance – Children are encouraged to explore, engage in, and enjoy all activities without any preconceived expectations of a particular outcome. The value is in the process itself, not the product. Our goal is to create musical children, not child musicians.
- Inclusive of the Parents – We recognize that a parent, or loving care-giver, is a child’s first and most important teacher. It is our job, as Educators, to affirm their efforts, educate them about their child’s developmental stages and create a supportive community in the classroom.
- Fun for the Child, Fun for Families – Children respond best when they are having fun; creating a positive, enjoyable classroom experience encourages them to repeat activities, songs and games over and over. Repetition leads to the mastery of developmental skills and learning new concepts. Incorporating parents and siblings in these learning experiences strengthens family bonds and encourages healthy family dynamics.
- Highest Quality Materials, In Class and at Home – Kindermusik uses extensive research, piloting, testing and the consulting services of experts in a variety of different fields to create the highest level of quality for all materials. “At Home” materials are a vital part of the Kindermusik experience because they allow parents to bring lessons from class into their homes and continue reinforcing new skills and concepts throughout the week.
Why Choose Our Program?
So what is it that truly sets us apart from our competitors?
As I mentioned above, our focus on the educational process, and on supporting growth in all areas of development, adds a whole new dimension to the fun and excitement of music class. We prepare children for a lifelong love of music, and to give them a solid foundation for learning. Plus, we have 35+ years of experience on our side, which we’ve used to fine tune our methods and perfect our craft. Most other early childhood music classes put children of all ages together in one class, but Kindermusik classes (with the exception of our “Family Time” class) are divided into developmentally appropriate age groups. This means that children are in an environment of their peers, who are in the same age range and at the same developmental skill level…just like school!
But beyond the incredible educational benefits, the thing that really sets Kindermusik apart from all the rest is the attention and support we give you, the parent. Rather than treat you like a spectator, as most music classes do, we recognize one of the guiding principles of early childhood education: You are your child’s most important teacher, and home is the best place for learning. We are well aware of how daunting this task is (since most Educators, themselves, are mothers or grandmothers), and understand that parents need more support when their children are infants and toddlers then at any other time in their children’s lives. That’s why our curricula are designed to teach you all about the nuances of each stage of development, and give you tons of ideas for songs, storybooks, activities and exercises to do with your child both in the classroom, and even more importantly, at home. There is no substitute for the quality bonding time you and your child will experience!
Don’t Take My Word for It…Ask the Experts!
Research has shown that music is the only activity that stimulates each of the developmental centers in the brain simultaneously -musical, cognitive, physical (gross, fine & locomotor skills), social, emotional, and linguistic. Kindermusik recognizes the amazing implications this has in early childhood education; the rich, multi-sensory experiences that are at the center of every Kindermusik lesson physically create neural pathways between the right and left sides of the brain, maximizing their learning potential, and setting them up for a lifetime of success!
**Want the details? See our “Benefits of Music” section**
Take a look at just a few of the reasons why experts in childhood development and education love our programs:
Playing with objects such as the scarf play in Kindermusik Village encourages baby to make sounds and words and helps her anticipate outcomes which are central to conversational development and language acquisition. Varying pitches between high and low in Kindermusik class stimulates these first foundations for a baby or young child’s learning the variety of sounds of language.
– Dan DeJoy, Ph.D., Speech-Language Pathologist
Attention Span & Inhibitory Control
Kindermusik addresses a child’s development in many various and powerful ways. Repeated exposure to musical activities develops important cognitive and behavioral skills. Some musical activities can help develop inhibitory control – the ability to control or stop one’s movements. Also changing volume, rate and pitch in songs and activities teaches a child discrimination, a crucial factor to listening and language processing.
– Ed Dougherty, Ph.D., Neuropsychologist
Movement & Physical Development
Current research has shown that movement is the key to learning at any age. Our brains fully develop through movement activities such as crawling, rolling, turning, walking, skipping, reaching, and much more. When children and adults participate in Kindermusik classes, they are developing both sides of their brains through structured and creative music and movement activities. Television, video games and computers have helped to produce a generation that struggles with learning problems, hyperactivity and obesity. Many of these problems can be helped through systematic music/movement exercises and patterns. Kindermusik classes have always been fun. Now I feel strongly that they are also part of our essential learning process!
– Anne Green Gilbert, Movement Specialist,
author of “Creative Dance for All Ages”,
director of Creative Dance Center
A major task for toddlers, that can confuse parents at first, is resolving the conflict between their passionate desire for closeness to their parents -after all, they are still barely out of babyhood- and their equally fierce drive for independence. Activities such as those in the Kindermusik “Our Time” curriculum provide toddlers this opportunity. A child can move into the circle during story time and actively participate if he wishes, or he can stay close to Mom or Dad and listen to the story being read. Given this security, most toddlers will naturally move to greater, and more appropriate, independence as they approach preschool age.
– Melissa R. Johnson, Ph.D., Pediatric Psychologist, Cary, NC
When introduced appropriately, music and literature play an amazing role in the development of infants and toddlers. I’m happy that Kindermusik has extended its programs to include this time of life when brain development is most vulnerable and parents are most in need of support and direction.
– Claudia Quigg, M.Ed., Founder & Exec. Director of Baby TALK
(an organization to help parents become better parents;
affiliated with Dr. T. Berry Brazelton’s “Touchpoints” project)
One of my strongest impressions of Kindermusik’s work is the variety of musical selections that are there for my children. The selections are of high quality and of considerable diversity, such that children can listen and respond to the music of Bach, Mozart, contemporary composers and cultural traditions around the globe. Kindermusik understands that children deserve opportunities to know a palette of musical colors, and thus through the program provide windows to the world of people and their artistic expressions. This rainbow of musical colors is the stuff that surrounds children through their Kindermusik training,so that their listening, movement, singing and playing possibilities are grounded in history and across cultures. These musical beginnings set children straight for a lifetime of well-considered choices in their musical and cultural valuing.
– Patricia Campbell, Ph.D. Professor of Music
at the University of Washington, and author of,
“Songs in Their Heads: Music and Its Meaning in Children’s Lives, Lessons from the World”
Special Needs Children
Music as a curriculum in its own right is a valuable one. There are no winners or losers in Kindermusik class -the only competition is with one’s self, which is a crucial part of educating children with special needs. Kindermusik incorporates not only the joy of music but also movement, touch, listening and socialization that are so important for children with varying abilities.
– Stuart J. Schleien, Ph.D., Professor and Department Head,
Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism,
Univeristy of North Carolina at Greensboro
For even more information, check out Kindermusik International’s official Blog:
about Kindermusik | Minds on Music