Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Please and Thank You playlist giveaway!

Teaching your children manners can be a fun activity when you add music and some sign language into the equation.

Help your little one master their manners with our Please & Thank You playlist HERE.

Monday, 7 November 2016

Ready, steady .. beat!

One of the first musical traits many easily pick up is a beat; that repeated, regular pulse that lies at the foundation of any composition.  But it isn't just a trait needed to learn music. It's a trait needed to develop the whole person.

It can begin with a gentle rocking whilst snuggling up to hear your heartbeat, the patting on the back, and the steady speech in your voice. Our young children experience the pattern of things to come from these comforting offerings we deliver as parents. They then take this to explore on their own with repeated gurglings, kicking legs and outstretched arms.

As a toddler, they gradually find their own steady beat to co-ordinate their walking, bouncing and clapping their hands. They are employing a whole collection of senses by using beat. It's absorbed through listening, repeated back in speaking, seen and felt through movement, and reflected in their thinking ... yes, thinking!  Those neurons are firing at regular intervals, making the thought pathways stronger each time, so that complex connections become easier and easier through habit.

The element of beat can be so basic, yet it's so important, especially in those early developmental years of a child. So, how can we help ensure that it isn't neglected? There are LOTS of ways families can all engage in fun activities together. Here are a few ideas to get you started, but do let me know if you can add to the list in your comments below!
  • Put on the music and move!  Who doesn't listen to music some time during their day?  Get up and dance together, or bounce baby on your lap so they can feel the beat. If your child is walking, make up a dance routine using some other movements such as marching, patting knees or clapping hands. Cuddle and sway to the beat of a slower song before nap time; this is a lovely way to establish a bedtime routine.
  • Pull out the picture books.  Reading nursery rhymes and other simple poems lets children hear and learn the pattern of beat in our language.
  • Set up a kitchen band! Let your child experiment with the sounds of different utensils on pots and containers you already have in the house.  It's also easy to make your own shakers by filling small bottles with rice, beans or pasta.  Have a regular session of playing along to the music together.
These ideas are fun and easy, helping you bond with your child whilst also helping them developmentally. Kindermusik classes can also provide you with opportunities to share these experiences with other families, whilst also providing you with access to music and activity ideas.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Dem Bones!

Kindermusik is offering some seasonal music: 'Dem Bones!'  Get those bodies moving around, bending those joints and enjoying some musical fun.

Head on over for your FREE download HERE!

If you'd like to keep moving with some regular Kindermusik classes, check out what's available in your area: FIND A CLASS (Australia).

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Toddler independence

There are always things I learn which I really wish I knew earlier. Going through my child's journey of 'toddlerhood' is no exception. As a parent, I knew when my children were on a learning curve because they were wanting to do things on their own, and making choices but then 'melting' because it's all too hard. I really wish I had more information back then, though, to facilitate this intellectual growth stage.

I think it's really interesting that the first step in learning independence, which occurs around the age of 18 months, is called the first 'adolescence'. As a parent, learning to become a facilitator and give the time your child needs to explore is really important. I found I needed a paradigm shift, becoming more 'hands on' to this learning process and enjoying watching how my children creatively found ways to investigate problem solving.  My involvement in the process really mattered, and often I'd need to set up activities and situations so my child could learn and explore whilst still feeling safe.

An early childhood educator, Camille Edwards, shares some interesting information on this independence stage in this short video. I'm sure you'll relate to some of the scenarios to which she refers!

Our Kindermusik Wiggle & Grow toddler classes are specially set up so that you can spend some quality time each week with your child. They experience being with other families, singing and dancing together, whilst still having the freedom to be with a parent or carer for cuddles and reassurance whenever they need it.  Each lesson also gives the child an opportunity to explore playing an instrument, and parents are encouraged to allow them to take the lead before suggesting something new.

The method by which your child learns and their own pace really does matter.  Learning independence takes time, and a huge dose of parental patience, but the rewards are so worth it!

For more information on Kindermusik classes in Sunbury, visit the website HERE.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Join us for our Pet Parade!

Our Wiggle and Grow class will be starting a brand new theme on AUGUST 18th, 2016. 

You can join us for some pet-themed fun, sharing our experience of the animals that bring love and laughter into our lives.  We'll gallop like horses, scamper like mice and fly like birds as we develop our motor skills, vocabulary, recall, imagination, and so much more! Get ready to meow, neigh, woof and squeak along as we all join in our PET PARADE!

For location and contact details, visit website.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The learning process of 'scaffolding'

There is a reason children start out small. Changing diapers and clothes, strapping into car seats, bathing, feeding, sleeping (or not): It’s a steep learning curve for new parents! For many of us, it’s only after surviving that first year (and every year thereafter) that we recognize how much we learned along the way—and how much more we have to learn! Thankfully, as we built on what the previous day taught us, we gained both skills and confidence in our parenting abilities.

In Kindermusik, we call this learning process “scaffolding.” Each week in class, we support your child’s learning by building on your child’s current abilities and nourishing your unique role as your child’s first and best teacher. Scaffolding involves varying the level of the activity depending upon your child’s responses. So each week in class scaffolding occurs when you investigate together different ways to mend shoes with rhythm sticks or when you follow your child’s lead on how to move with the scarves on “Sing a Ling” while also offering suggestions based on the original idea. As with your parenting abilities, scaffolding helps your child gain both skills and confidence.

Everyday Connection: “Scaffolding Seuss.” During story time, use scaffolding techniques to support your child’s emerging literacy skills. Point out letters, label the pictures, ask your child questions about what is happening or encourage your child to make predictions about what will happen next or even after the book ends. Let your child’s responses guide the conversation.

If you'd like more tips on how to use scaffolding to encourage your child's skills and development, visit HERE.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Learn ukulele in 5 easy lessons!

I remember meeting the wonderful Mike Jackson over 15 years ago, with his bright personality and engaging knowledge of entertaining youngsters.  He loves sharing his passion for music with children and he hasn't stopped!

Mike Jackson is an Australian Children’s Entertainer, Recording Artist, Songwriter, Radio Show Host and Author.  He is perhaps best known for his hit version of Bananas In Pyjamas and appearances on ABC Television.   If you're in my age group, you may even remember watching him on tv!

He's been kind enough to visit Musicroom in London and share some of his wisdom about playing ukulele – a talent which he’s cultivated over a career spanning 40 + years in the ukulele game.

Check out these 5 videos here on how to learn to play ukulele from scratch.

You can also find his books here if you'd like to know more.