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March 19, 2008

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My son is enrolled in Musikgarten classes so that he can explore musical concepts like tone and rhythm. The class meets once a week for 10 weeks and the children become more willing to participate and follow the instructions as time goes by. I love watching him anticipate his teacher’s next move and interact with the instruments and other props.

The children in this class are two years old, but there are also friends and siblings participating or looking on from the sidelines. The children touch instruments such as tambourines, wood blocks or bongo drums and pass them around the circle so that each child has a turn. Learning to take turns and negotiate with others is an important aspect of the class.

There are many chances for everyone to use simple instruments like wooden sticks or jingle bells. I like seeing them manipulate the wooden sticks in so many different ways: clicking them together lengthwise, tapping the ends together, hammering one with the other, and rolling them on the floor.

We are seeing a lot of progress in their willingness to repeat rhythms and tones that the teacher has been emphasizing. She takes a toy microphone around the circle and invites each child to repeat a simple rhythm using the syllable “ba” to represent quarter notes, eighth notes and sixteenth notes. She also sings tonal patterns using the same syllable “ba” while changing the patterns of high and low pitch. Today was our seventh lesson, and the children did remarkably well with these repetitions.

Musikgarten is a wonderful program for children from birth to age nine. There are likely classes in your area, so be sure to check it out!

  1. March 19, 2008 6:05 pm

    Great thing! We do Music Together. At first my family wondered if I was trying to be too much of a “supermom” and spending too much $$ on classes my kids didn’t need—and then they saw how my children’s language and social skills EXPLODED, and their attention span improved. Music is an amazing gift! Plus we have so much fun!

  2. March 19, 2008 8:03 pm

    I know a lot of children who do the music classes. My kids get a lot of social skills already on top of music exposure all the time so I cannot justify spending the $ on it to the warden (my husband).

    I do have my children enrolled in swimming!

  3. March 19, 2008 8:25 pm

    Goldie, I saw some of the Music Together videos on YouTube once I had uploaded mine. They seem like programs with similar goals and songs. I love incorporating music into our daily discipline. It helps to sing good-bye to things like the park or the bathwater and sing clean-up songs to avoid tantrums. Not only do the children benefit, but the parents also have new and more creative ways to be effective parents. 🙂

    WhiteyMcWheatbread, the $80 cost is spread out over 10 weeks, so I think it is a good deal (and a lot of times my parents pay for Musikgarten because they love this gift for their grandchildren). It’s a chance for my son and I to get out of our apartment and have this time together. Otherwise we would have a very monotonous life. My daughter and I have taken swimming lessons together, too!

  4. March 20, 2008 8:30 am

    This sounds wonderful AND important. They are such sponges at this age, aren’t they? I saw a pgm on the news about a 17 month old who can read – it was amazing.

  5. March 20, 2008 3:07 pm

    Wow! I just saw her on YouTube. What an amazing child! Thanks for telling me, CuriousC.

  6. March 22, 2008 9:06 am

    We have this type of program in our area. It is called Kindermusic or something like that. My mind just went blank. A friend of mine from England started it in our town. She has since moved back to England, but someone else instructs the classes now! This is a wonderful program!

    BTW~does hubby know about your blog yet? Remember when we discussed this awhile back? LOL!

  7. March 22, 2008 9:09 am

    Kindermusik is what it is called!

  8. March 22, 2008 9:13 am

    You are amazing video taping and participating too! I just want to squish his cheeks and give him a hug-such a cutie!

  9. March 22, 2008 5:32 pm

    Mercedes, isn’t it great to see how children respond to music in this kind of class? The instructor wants me to tape another class and feature each of the children so that it is less biased. Then she can use it as a promotional video.

    I did tell my husband about my blog because one of my posts got linked by some big name blogs and I got about 2000 hits in one weekend. Usually I get no hits over the weekends, so I couldn’t contain my excitement/pride. I told my husband because I wanted to show him what was happening and he didn’t know what “getting linked” or “incoming hits” or any of those terms meant. I had to tell him about blogging so that my happiness could have some context. He was okay with my having a blog, but he wants me to focus on our real life and not get obsessed with blogging. I do feel addicted and I know he is right. We will find the right balance somehow.

  10. March 22, 2008 6:36 pm

    How fun! My 3 y/o son made me watch your video over and over last night, FW – that connection again! He also watched your son on the frog slide endlessly! Thanks for the child-friendly entertainment – and no commercials!

    Music’s huge in our house. Baby wants to be a clarinet player when he grows up, since Daddy plays the saxophone. He also wants me to learn flute.

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