Parents

Want to bring your child to one of our music classes? Here’s some information you might find helpful.

What your Child learns in a Kids Love Music Class (in addition to music!)
What an Adult can expect at a Kids Love Music Class
Why music for Babies and Young Children? Aren’t they too young for this?
Class Guidelines for Kids Love Music Parent Participation Classes
Development of the Child’s Voice
Why “Pentatonic”?
Developmental Emotional Needs: Birth to age 8


What your Child learns in a Kids Love Music Class (in addition to music!)

Gentle Boundaries (Staying in the Circle)

We accomplish this by the parents making an outer circle, the interior of the circle being the space for the children to sit, dance & interact.  Adults are encouraged to redirect the children when they try to leave the circle by grabbing hands with an adult neighbor.

Regular Activity Sequencing which Promotes Delayed Gratification

Once the kiddos realize there are drums and xylophones to play with (Oh Boy!!), they often want to play them as soon as they walk into the classroom.  This is an opportunity for your child to learn self control and to delay gratification, learning to enjoy a different activity while waiting for their favorite one.

We make this easier by using the same format each week, set at the first class.

This format is used throughout all classes in a session, and from session to session, with just the content changing.  Children become familiar with what to expect as the class time progresses, and are able to wait for whichever part is their favorite.

General class format for Kids Love Music ages 1-4:

  • Circle Sing-a-long
  • Movement/ Dance
  • Songs with Animal puppets or toys (pass out & clean-up)
  • Rhythm instruments (pass out & clean-up)
  • Making music with drums, xylophones, glockenspiel & metallophones

Young children who learn strategies to delay gratification grow into more responsible and successful adults. For further information, see The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self Control by Walter Mischel.

Clean-up

Music therapy at its most basic!  While singing the “Clean-Up Song”, little ones are encouraged to return their instrument or puppet to the bag. Parents often report that this skill transfers to the home front. 🙂

Please note: Children at a certain developmental stage find it difficult to stop what they are doing and move on to the next activity.  When this is the case, parents are encouraged to let their child hang onto the object and trade once the next activity has started.

Trading is a useful strategy and often works! (Often… not always…) It is a good idea to have a special something to trade with at the end of class.  Ultimately, we DO have to put all the fun musical stuff away!

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What an Adult can Expect at a Kids Love Music Class

You will be sitting on the floor in a circle for the class opening time.  Those needing a chair to sit in may bring it to the circle!

Children may sit in your lap, get up and move about within the circle and dance as they wish. Children are encouraged to stay within the circle – it helps keep little ones focused on the song activity – and to be nice to their friends!!

Adults in the circle make a boundary for the children to play within, and redirect “escapees” by grabbing hands with their neighboring adult.

When we all work together on this, we all benefit!

You have the opportunity to meet other parents & families with similarly aged children and for your child to be around others their own age, playing alongside them in a welcoming atmosphere.

Young children need and enjoy repetition. Think about how often they like to hear the same story, or watch a favorite show and apply that to music class. 🙂 Because of this developmental need to practice new skills and information, the same overall content will be presented for the duration of a particular session, usually five weeks.  Each week verses or songs are added, as time permits, until all the songs are incorporated, so the content progresses over the 5 week session. During this time, the children are becoming accustomed to the song play and activity sequence and are interacting more and more with the musical activities and with you.

When children hear and are doing something that has some familiarity, they are able to enter in more fully with mind, heart and body.

Hands-on Environment

Young children need to touch and explore their environment to help them learn.

All Kids Love Music classes are hands-on! We include individual instruments for the children to hold, play, shake, and interact with.

All classes end with musical exploration on good quality, specially designed instruments including drums, xylophones, glockenspiel and metallophones.

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Why music for Babies and Young Children? Aren’t they too young for this?

From  zerotothree.org:

Music boosts memory. For reasons we don’t yet understand, song, rhythms and chants linger in a child’s memory especially well. The association of melody & lyrics encourages young brains to take hold and store the information better than in regular conversation.

In fact, music is a great organizer that helps the body and the mind work together.

Young children are attracted to musical patterns and structure. They show this in many ways like clapping at the end of songs or making hand motions for special parts, like the mama duck quacking in “Five Little Ducks.” Also, music introduces children to the sounds and meanings of words and helps strengthen memory skills. Alphabet and number songs like “This Old Man” help children remember letter and number sequences. Songs such as “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round” help children understand how things work.

Music provides an opportunity for your child to interact with other children and loved ones in joyous ways.

Excerpt from “How Music Helps Brain Development in Infants” by Cara Batema

Psychologist Dr. Frances Rauscher and neuroscientist Gordon Shaw have conducted many studies with young children investigating the relationship between music and brain development, all of which suggest that early exposure to music increases abilities in many other areas, including math and language. Subsequent research at Brigham Young University suggests music has a positive impact on the physical development of premature infants and can promote calmness in babies.

Singing is an ideal way to foster language development, and the exploration of words and rhymes through a familiar tune enhances memory. An infant’s brain is not fully developed at birth, and he needs sensory input for the cells to build and connect. Music provides an auditory means of stimulation that can also carry educational concepts, such as language, which will develop as an infant obtains cognitive skills.

According to Dr. Diane Bales, any kind of music helps build musical pathways in the brain and may help infants relax. The Washington Times suggests that whether it’s classical, pop, jazz, blues or Mom’s favorite tunes, it’s the complexity of music itself that offers brain-building benefits.

So let’s sing, make music and build relationship with our little ones!!!!!

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Class Guidelines for Kids Love Music Parent Participation Classes

You are your child’s Most Important Person!

Because this is a class where you have the opportunity to play with your child and interact musically with them in special ways, I ask that you refrain from things that will distract you from entering into class activities with your child.

Distractions include: texting, e-mail, posting online, phone conversations and extensive conversations with other adults in class.

Cell Phones and Other Devices

You are encouraged to use your cell phone/device for photography only.

Please get permission from other parents before including their children in photos.

Snacks

Please finish snacks before class. Eating and/or drinking during class takes children out of the activity focus – we are very hands-on!  Also, spilled snacks can be damaging to the instruments and other items brought in for your use.

Special Care for Instruments

Instruments used in Kids Love Music classes are actual xylophones, glockenspiel & metallaphones, not toys.  Please help us care for them kindly:

During our musical exploration time, I ask that only the adults move the instruments. This keeps the kids and instruments safe!

Children are encouraged to help with taking out and putting away the sticks.

Also please help your child sit on the floor (not on the instruments!) and keep their feet from stepping on the instruments.

Stay and Play with your Child

Interaction with them is key. 🙂 Remember – you are their MIP!!

Allow your child to be “in charge” and take you to the instrument area they would like to explore.

Self-determination when reasonable and appropriate is encouraging for children.

When you sit with them and play along, it encourages them to explore, builds relationship with you, and you might even make some beautiful music together. 🙂

Work Together

During circle sing-a-long time at the beginning of class, adults are encouraged to redirect the children when they try to leave the circle by grabbing hands with the adult sitting next to you.

Be Kind

I find the families in my classes to be most kind and thoughtful – thank you!!


Development of the Child’s Voice

From Martin Greenberg, Your Children Need Music

From Birth to 3 months:     Stage 1     First Vocalizations

From birth, the normal healthy child develops a repertoire of vocalizations that help him or her interact with the environment. The child’s earliest cries, coos and sighs form a basis for the development of all singing and spoken language.

From 3 months to 18 months:     Stage 2     Vocal Experimentation & Sound Imitation

The child enjoys experimenting with their own vocalizations. Between 6 & 9 months, musical babbling may begin, especially when an adult or older child sings to the infant.

18 months – 3 years:     Stage 3     The Approximation of Singing

This is a prime developmental stage for tonal patterns and tonal memory. At about age 2 or later the child can begin to learn songs he or she hears. Most often the child will first imitate words, then rhythmic patterns, and finally pitches. With singing models and some adult guidance, most children can sing simple songs by age three.

3 – 4 years:     Stage 4     Singing Accuracy – Limited Range

At about age 3, children who have had many musical experiences approximating pitches of songs will begin to sing accurately in a limited range of notes, specifically d’ e’ f’ g’ right above middle c’ (on the piano). This is also a time of spontaneous singing and making up original songs.

4 years and up:     Stage 5     Singing Accuracy – Expanded Range

With many singing experiences and guidance, some children will be able to sing accurately in the range of an octave, middle “c” to an octave above by the age of four or five.

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Why “Pentatonic”?

Pentatonic Scale:   “Penta” =  5    “Tonic” =  tone

A Pentatonic scale is a five tone scale.

In the key of “C”, a pentatonic scale includes the notes C, D, E, G & A.

On an instrument designed with a “pentatonic” scale, you will not be able to play or sing the “Do Re Mi” song all the way through, because all the notes are not there!

Kids Love Music always uses specially designed pentatonic xylophones, glockenspiel & metallophones that play in the key of “C” for our musical exploration time.

Use of instruments designed with the pentatonic scale is a technique practiced in music therapy to promote a positive music-making experience for the unskilled musician.

Advantages of using pentatonic instruments:

There are no “wrong notes” or dissonances when one or several people are playing.

It is thought that the pentatonic scale represents an early stage of musical development, because it is found, in different forms, in most of the world’s music, forming the basis for many traditional folk melodies around the world.

“The Farmer in the Dell”     “Old Mac Donald Had a Farm”

“Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Pentatonic instruments are perfect for improvisation.

A rhythm played on random bars on the instrument will make a melody.

The instruments used for Kids Love Music classes have a pleasant tone and are of good quality. You can sit with your child and make pleasing music together!

Tonal Memory:

The “Sol-Mi” interval (using “solfege” or “do-re-mi”) is a basic building block for tonal memory. Think “Yoo-Hoo” or the traditional doorbell’s “Ding-Dong” and you have it!

Many simple songs for young children include this tonal interval:

“Rain, Rain, Go Away”

“It’s Raining, It’s Pouring”

“Ring Around the Rosie”

“Bluebells, Cockleshells, Easy Ivy Over”

“Clean Up Song”

And the tease:  “Nyah, Nyah-Nyah Nyah Nyah!”

This “Sol-Mi” interval is also part of the pentatonic scale.

Simple, traditional tunes, songs with basic building blocks for tonal memory, call and response are all used to stimulate your child’s tonal memory.

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Developmental Emotional Needs: Birth to age 8

Deficits in these areas create a vacuum that we work at filling the rest of our lives.

Birth – 1 yearSurvival & Security

Baby feeling safe and knowing her needs will be met is of primary importance.

12 months – 24 months:  Affection & Esteem

Positive experiences with Mommy & Daddy – our Most Important People – are of primary importance!

24 months – 3 years: Power & Control

This explains the “terrible twos” 🙂

Giving children choices when possible, appropriate & reasonable embraces their individuality and encourages independence.

We can let them choose what instruments to play, what clothes to wear, etc.

4 – 8 years: Socialization:

Until this stage, children play alongside, rather than “with” others.

We encourage positive interactions and good behavior by showing kindness to our “friends”, helping our own children use gentle touching and involving other children with our music activities and instrument play.

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