You are investing your valuable time and money into this Kindermusik experience.  I fully believe it IS and will be worth it ALL.  I will do my BEST on my part, and from experience, to create a valuable and worthwhile experience for you and your family.   I have recognized that there are some simple things parents can do that will strongly enhance this opportunity for you, and make the music and learning come alive in the heart and mind of your child.

Be aware, on the first day your child will be adjusting to a new environment, and their MOST important job, according to their brain, is exploring, whether physically, or cognitively to see if it is SAFE, and to recognize the boundaries (even if they like to “push” against the boundary to see how firm of a boundary it is.)  Since they are unfamiliar with the songs and activities, they do not have something to relate it to, and may not seem interested.  BUT you will see the process of music work wonders during the next few weeks, especially if you implement these ideas.

Just briefly these 5 suggestions are listed, but the descriptions below include amazing hints and tips to fully implement these guidelines.

1.       During class, intentionally CONNECT  with your child, observe and support their UNIQUE interests for ENGAGING in their own way (even if it looks different than anyone else), and ENJOY your time together.

2.       Help reduce distractions for your child and others.

3.       Be respectful of others and the location, and help your child learn to do so.

4.       Enjoy the home materials to extend the learning outside of class.

5.       TALK to your educator, and/or Debbie if you have ANY questions or concerns.



1.  When in class, truly be tuned into your child and assist them to participate in their own way. 

Be aware… this is not your typical school environment.  We do not expect everyone to sit still and perfectly follow instructions.  Our little ones are still developing their abilities and each of them are at different stages of learning.  It is a process to gain the skills needed to be an effective learner, and it does NOT start with conformity.  It starts with CONNECTION.  Through eye contact, loving touch, presence and playfulness, we can truly CONNECT and reach the heart of the child.  They will know they are safe and loved for who they are (regardless of any specific actions they choose at any given moment).  It is this mental space that opens their minds, and ours, to new opportunities and all the learning that can come along with it.

Observe to identify their initial reactions and knowledge.  Maybe they already know the song and start to sing or respond in a familiar way (rocking awesome start!), so verbally help them connect to what they already know about the song.  For example, if they know “The Wheels on the Bus” support the way they normally experience the activity AT FIRST…  then try out our potential new ways.  This could be a good time to let the teacher know your familiar way so we can adjust and connect together in order to move along more successfully.   Maybe you know some way that the song or activity relates to something they already know, so talk to them and help them make that connection. For example, if the song is about a dog, talk about a dog they know and love.  A child learns best if they can build on knowledge they already have, or onto something that really interests them.

Encourage your child to participate in their own way.  If they are just watching at first, you can talk to them about what is catching their attention “I see that girl is tapping her bell on the floor”, then YOU can imitate the same action.  At some point, you may want to  encourage them to try what they see, and may even gently “start” their arms to tap their instrument on the floor, then let go and let them continue.  Maybe they are compelled to bounce in that moment or move in a different way than the teacher introduces…. NO PROBLEM… respond enthusiastically to their unique way of engaging, and follow their lead, or let them see you trying it their way.  This validates their choice of how to learn.

If your child has a strong need to move around the room, make sure to MOVE AROUND WITH THEM.  Wherever they are, continue to try to CONNECT with them playfully, and encourage them to use their arms, or body, in a way that works with the activity.  For example, if your child is trying to open on of the locked cabinets in the room, get down on his level and keep a beat with the music on the cabinet, and encourage them to tap along with you.  I KNOW you want them to participate with others in the circle, and with our continued support and their growing familiarity with the music and activities, they will become more engaged in the learning process.  But we have to start with where they are, rather than expecting these little ones to jump to where we want them to be.

When a child’s body is compelling them to move, but they are being forced to sit in a lap – their body switches into a survival mode that prevents them from learning (which may propel them even more strongly to run away or fight being engaged).  OR when a child is simply running around the music room at random, unwilling to be redirected, they are not engaged, and this must be addressed.   They have lost the feeling of connection, and it is up to us to help them reconnect.   If this occurs with your child, take a deep breath and remember this starts with a mindset of LOVE, not control.  Recognize their need to move, and help them guide their movements in a way in which they can feel your loving and playful connection.  For example, take one of their hands as they continue to run around you in circles. Scoop them up, give them a kiss, and put them down to hold your hand and run around you again.  You are entering their world in a way that lets them see you as a playful partner, and they are often more likely to go along with your ideas, since you are going along with some of their ideas.   During this connection moment, consider how can this action scheme of moving be guided into the class activity… can you move up high and down low, or try a different way of moving, or STOP, then move again.   THIS gives them the opportunity to add a bit of their OWN control over their actions (rather than random running).   Everytime they have a positive feeling when they are controlling or coordinating their actions, they are moving toward greater ability for self-control.

Since each child is unique in their development and learning style, I expect to see a variety of ways that children participate in the class.  It is not required to do the activity “like Ms. Debbie” or “like everyone else”.   You, as their learning partner, will help adapt each activity work for your child.  As the educator, I will offer LOTS of ideas on how to do this.  ASK, if you need more ideas.

Be playfully engaged with the activity yourself (even if they aren’t) – SING, MOVE, EXPLORE, and PLAY!  Your child may really respond to your playful attitude and catch your enthusiasm, and may be more likely to follow your example and learn from the experience.  On the other hand, it is important to observe and determine if this is having a positive effect on your connection with your child, or if the result is that the child is feeling LESS connected to you.  Since young children often relate to the parent as part of themselves, they respond best when they feel the parent is engaging in a way that is more close to their own personality.  For example, a child who is timid, and likes to WATCH CLOSELY is more likely to be encouraged to engage by a parent who bounces with the beat, and talks about what the child is looking at… without making them try to do it.  When they see, or think, of a way they WANT to participate, it is a beautiful thing to see them blossom from within.

As your child becomes more familiar with the structure of the class, you may encourage participation that may be more a part of the structured activity, but be flexible and FOLLOW the child’s lead.


2.   Help reduce distractions for your child and others.

Keep your personal materials out of sight and reach of your child, including snacks, toys, shoes, etc. as they can be distracting to both your own child, as well as others.

Being thirsty can be distracting for a child, so you may want to bring a non-spill cup for your child just in case they are thirsty.   There is a sink for water in the classroom.

Keep your conversations with other adults to quick comments, even if you mention “I’ve got a great story to tell you after class.”  Longer conversations can be very distracting to your child, to other children and parents, and to the flow of the class.


3.  Be respectful of others and the location, and help your child learn to do so.

Encourage your child to interact with others in a gentle and fair way.  Please STOP them them if they are being too rough, and help them learn more effective ways to interact.  If they would like something that someone else has, encourage them to offer a TRADE for something else that is interesting.  Encourage them to put their own toys away, and let other children put THEIR own toys away.

Help your child treat the instruments, props, and the property of the location in a gentle and safe way.   That’s why our sweet magical song about putting things away includes the words carefully and Thank you.   And if your family enjoys the waiting room, please make sure to put away the toys before leaving.  If your child has been mouthing the toys, please use a cleaning wipe to make sure these are ready for the next child to play with.   It would be ever so wonderful for those stinky diapers to go with you as you leave the building to help keep the studio smelling nice.


4.  Extend your experiences at home, and during your family routines.

LISTEN to your MUSIC regularly.  The more the child is familiar with the music, the more they engaged they will be with the activities in class, and the more they will learn from these experiences.  Many families like to listen to the CD in the car, others like to make it a morning ritual.  What works best for you?

Infuse the activities into daily routines.  Watch for your child’s spontaneous initiations for music activities at home.  Recognize them with your enthusiastic response, and offer to join in, and expand on the activities.  You may also want to have a set time during the day for just a few of the current activities, or their FAVORITES.  See how you can fit in a particular activity to your regular schedule.

Place this units books and instruments in your home so they are easy to see and use regularly.   Each item is specifically designed to be age appropriate and engaging, and as they are used more at home, it lays a foundation of information that allows them to expand on the ideas with their creativity, and makes a huge difference on their participation in class.  When we introduce a book in class, make sure to READ the children’s book regularly throughout the week and find new ways to make it fun.

READ the weekly email from class !  In these email, I may recommend the songs and activities on specific pages in your Home Activity Book (Our Time & Imagine That!).  I will review some of the musical and developmental concepts that we brought up in class (or that I may have forgotten to bring up in class :/)  Sometimes, I’ll add links to articles on my website, or links to other resources providing relevant enhancements.


5.  CONNECT and TALK with your partner in this process… the teacher 

Connect with me about everything that comes to mind that concerns your child, the class… pretty much anything, but especially questions or concerns..  We LOVE to hear your stories of musical incidents.  AND, even more importantly, we really want to help you make this the best experience for you and your child.  If you feel that it doesn’t seem to be working that way – PLEASE talk to us, and we will help come up with solutions to anything that is getting in the way of letting the magic of music work.