I recieved an email from Montessori Services last night that had the most wonderful quote about the musicality of children, with great ideas for home activities. Make sure to note the importance of the “sensitive period for music” during the youngest years. Following the quote, you’ll see how Kindermusik takes these ideas to a whole new level.
with your children
Children have a wonderful capacity to appreciate and make music. Early exposure to a music of all types has intrinsic value — it can tell a story, set a mood, and reflect the character of a culture. Music stimulates the part of the brain associated with pattern recognition and mathematics, helping to lay the foundation for later academic success.
Music with Your 18-month to 6-year-old
Music matters. Encourage your child to listen to all types of music and to clap, dance, and sing along.
As your child gets older you can play all sorts of musical games with her. You can sing or hum loudly along with the music, encouraging your child to do so, too. You can clap your hands to the beat, and you can dance free style in response to the music, swaying, twirling gently, or dancing in any way that feels right for the music playing.
Start to teach your child to recognize the instruments that are being played in a particular piece of music, as well as teaching her the name of tunes – “Mommy, Swan Lake is playing on the radio!” – or even composers. Make sure your child has access to lots of instruments that she can play – maracas, xylophone, drums, guitar – and encourage her to sing along with favorite tunes.
Remember that during these years, your child is in a sensitive period for music and has a spontaneous interest in the development of pitch, rhythm, and melody. Musically talented parents who expose their children to live music in their home life tend to find they produce children who are musically gifted, and Suzuki music teachers have shown for years that children younger than age four can learn to play an instrument, such as the piano or violin.”
The quote is from a book called “How to Raise an Amazing Child, the Montessori Way”, written by Tom Seldin, the founder of The Montessori Foundation. I’m ordering the book today, and I will let you know more when I read it. It can be found at www.forsmallhands.com .
Of course, Kindermusik incorporates all of these activities and ideas, and even more, LOTS more, in their curriculum. Parents get a chance to learn new activities, and why they are important for their child’s development through a full semester of weekly classes, enabling the parent and child to learn and grow together in the company of others who are doing the same. A full set of home materials help to bring all these ideas home where the real learning occurs.
Kindermusik is designed specifically to reach children during this “sensitive period for music” through methods proven to be effective by years of research. And teaches parents to use music to help the development of the whole child. My degree in Music Therapy, instead of leading me into clinical practice, has lead me to place the power of music in the hands of a child’s first teacher – their parents.