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Music classes for babies to seven year olds with the Kindermusik method

Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

Instructors are Kindermusik licensed, specially trained in the method. Children start from 18 months to seven years.

The 18 months - 3 1/2 year olds are grouped in Toddlers, 3 1/2 - 5 year olds are grouped in Growing with Kindermusik, 4 1/2 - 7 year olds are grouped in Kindermusic for the Young Child which is 60 minutes.

Some of the other methods that derived from this are the Yamaha method, and the Musicgarten (not licensed teachers).

The young babies hear the music and feel the pulse, the parents participate, and if the child is a slightly older toddler, then they participate together. There are many tools used in this class. For example, they would use a certain tool or sticks to tap out the pulse that the music is playing. They also walk around the room or dance or march to the feel of the music.

The children are observed or taught to move their fingers independently, and to know which is the right hand and the left hand, what is up or down, whether they know the alphabet, tracking music reading from left to right, checking their motor skills, or if they have the capability to sit for 10-15 minutes at a time.

The 3 1/2 - 5 year olds work with vocal exploration such as the whisper, the calling voice, the question voice and other mini sounds. This also helps in developing areas like language, diction and memory.

These courses are an ongoing learning process with no pressure. Other things made aware of is the concept of slow or fast, and the use of ritardando (a gradual slowing down) in physical movement to feel it in the muscles first so that later it will make sense in performing it with notation. Other things are waving a scarf around to watch the effect it creates, or walking then stopping.

The 5 1/2 - 7 year olds are taught specific listening for recognizing sounds, like a clock, or a train, environmental sounds such as a storm. Then, hearing an actual symphony piece emulating that sound, like Haydn's Clock Symphony. Rhythms are first learned without a note-head, and proper breath control from the diaphragm is worked by blowing ping pong balls. They learn about pitch and timbre, counting the staff from bottom to top. Rhythm and note reading starts with the use of a glockenspiel because it is a controlled pitch; you use a mallet to hammer the notes.

Another positive aspect is that children in groups work well.

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