The Musikgarten curriculum for babies, toddlers and little children is more than a mommy/me play time. These classes are looking at the long-term musical education of your child and capitalizing on the child’s inborn love of music to teach foundational skills.
Musikgarten uses a holistic approach to learning, which leads to a total musical experience, and these foundation classes are no exception. Here are a few of the purposes behind the fun activities we play with during class.
VOCAL EXPLORATION: As children experiment with their voices, they become more aware of their ability to manipulate and use their voice. One of the most basic ways we do this is through imitating the animal and insect sounds we hear in the listening corner. We also echo simple rhythmic and tonal patterns that build our musical vocabulary. Even young children who don’t otherwise sing or even speak yet will participate in the echoing patterns games.
LISTENING TIME. The world our children are growing up in is very noisy! There is such a bombardment of noise that it makes it hard for children to learn to focus. In the listening corner we develop the ability to focus on a particular sound by having your child focus their listening on a specific familiar sound. Focusing like this, even for just a few seconds, will start building your child’s aural discrimination skills and establish a “listening attitude”.
INSTRUMENTS: Children learn through exploration and experimentation. By allowing them to explore and experiment with instruments, they are able to discover lots of ways to play the instruments which also allows us to accept and follow their ideas, validating that their ideas are worthwhile thus creating safety for them to explore and discover and learn further.
MOVEMENT: This is Huge! There are so many reasons we include lots of movement in the foundation classes. Number one, children love to move and while it is helpful to have children move to get all the wiggles out, this movement also energizes the brain and gives the child mental energy to learn and participate in the next activity. We also use movement in these classes to help children learn how to use and master control of their body. Because the ear’s primary function is providing one with a sense of balance and spatial awareness and its auditory function is secondary, our children will be better listeners as we help them develop the skills of making their body stop on command, learning where their space is, and learning how to manage their body inside that space!
So, while it’s true that we want to nurture the musical bond between you and your child, and we want to help you make music a part of home life, the activities in these classes do so much more than that.
Come, connect with your child and join the fun in laying a solid musical foundation with us!
By Natalie Crookston