Music awakens and stimulates neural pathways in the brain that are associated with higher forms of intelligence, such as abstract thinking, empathy, mathematics, and science. Music's melodic and rhythmic patterns provide exercise for the brain and help develop memory. Remember singing the ABC song to learn your ABCs? Studying music helps children establish good listening habits, which are essential for achievement in school. Overall, music activities are perfect for child development. Music classes at Mistletoe Musikgarten immerse the child in language, evoke movement, stimulate the brain, and foster physical coordination, all in a group setting that builds self-esteem and community.
How long are classes each week?
Classes for babies and toddlers are 30 minutes per week. Explorers classes are 45 minutes. Music Makers at Home and Music Makers at the Keyboard classes are 60 minutes per week.
Do you have a class that would allow me to bring several of my children at the same time?
Yes. Younger siblings are welcome to attend, free of charge. Ms. Carol requires all children under 18 months to bring their own Musikgarten instrument kit ($10), but otherwise, there is no charge for younger siblings. The little ones learn so much with their big brother or sister singing, dancing, echoing, and playing instruments and making music with them in class and at home. The younger siblings, indeed, get as much from each class as the "big kids" do.
Is there a discount for twins?
Yes. Siblings whose ages fall within the class age range receive a $10 to $15 discount, depending on the class. Tuition for the first child is 100% and discounted for the the second child. The registration fee is charged for only one child. (The registration fee covers the home materials, and the entire family enjoys the CD and games together.) If you would like to purchase additional rhythm instruments for the second child in the toddler or baby class, they are available for a small fee.
Musikgarten has a nine-year developmental plan for my child? What does that mean?
Only Musikgarten has a music and movement program that addresses the unique developmental needs of children at each age. The classes are interrelated, as they were written for children to grow with Musikgarten. This sequential planning makes it easier for the students to grow in their musical competence and graduate to instrumental playing.
Do parents attend and participate in the classes?
Yes. Parents are an integral part of class, especially in the younger years. Beginning with Music Makers at Home in the World, children participate by themselves for about half of the class, but parents participate fully at the beginning and end of each lesson. For all classes, parents are asked to include active music making in their child’s life. Sing along with the CD. Play echo games, making up patterns, as we do in class. Put the picture cards or notation games on your refrigerator, and play identification games with them as you get ready for dinner. More structured practice is required when the children get to Music Makers at the Keyboard.
Does Musikgarten prepare students for piano lessons?
Yes, in most cases. Musikgarten classes develop students' aural senses more than other pre-piano methods. The Music Makers at the Keyboard classes are taught in a group session, so that children learn from each other and grow in their comfort playing with and for one another and parents.
Why do the students receive home materials? Are we supposed to practice at home?
Children and parents can have so much fun at home and in the car with Musikgarten songs and dances. In class you learn the songs, but at home you really have fun with them. It's a great family bonding time. Try it. You won't have to ask this question ever again!
What if I can't make it one week due to a vacation or other conflict?
Please let Ms. Carol know as soon as possible. The last week of the semester is a free make-up lesson. At Mistletoe Musikgarten, families do not make up missed classes on a different day or at a different time. To keep each class cohesive and united, only those who are assigned to that class will participate from week to week, although an occasional visiting family may attend. If your child is in the Music Makers at Home or Music Makers at the Keyboard class, Ms. Carol will let you know about homework.
May I bring a friend to observe?
Better yet, bring your friend and her child to participate in class and experience the joy of active music-making. Ask your friend to call or e-mail Ms. Carol to arrange for the free introductory class.
As my child gets older, more and more activities are available for him/her? Why should I continue with music and movement classes?
After being in the program for a while, you will see the benefits for your child. We believe that the singing, dancing, moving, and playing (in class and at home) are vitally important for your child's wholistic development: language, movement, math skills, and physical coordination. While other activities can be fun, too, music and movement classes set the stage for future success in a wide variety of activities that require moving, making music, and/or listening. The joyful and loving spirit at Mistletoe Musikgarten allows young children and their families to thrive and grow.