Musikgarten Musikgarten


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Class Descriptions

If you intend to bring more than one child to a class, please feel free to contact us to help you find the best fitting class for your family!   Babies attend with their older sister of brother for free until they turn 1.  All other siblings (ages 5 and under) are registered, too.  They love actively participating in music class.

Family Music for Babies (Fall 2017) (Baby - 18 months)

14 Week Session. Class meets for 40 minutes.


In this 40 minute class, adults have the opportunity to play musically with their baby so that their well-being and total development might be served. Parents, or caregivers, will learn many songs for touching eyes and ears, hands and feet - to help baby learn about the body and to build body awareness; songs for wiggling and tickling - to help baby enjoy the delight of music; songs for movement - to allow baby to feel the flow, beat, meter, phrase, and nuance for music. 

This class is rich in interactive songs - bouncing, rocking and dancing songs - to express the joy of playing together. We sing rocking and quiet songs, to help baby calm him/herself. We explore various rhythm instruments that baby can use and manipulate as he/she learns about sound, timbre, and vibration. There is much repetition from week to week because repetition of simple songs and rhymes enhances memory, oral expression and later written language. 

Our goal is to awaken baby's natural curiosity and response to music, to develop aural perception, a musical sense, and a sense of beat, and to encourage pleasure in listening to and making music together at home.  Come enjoy a wonderful playtime with your baby, and meet other moms, dads and caregivers!

Materials for the Fall Session:  Baby CD 1, Parent Book and Instrument packet.

Materials:$40 Baby CD 1 CD/Booklet and instruments.
Total:$265 (Deduct $10 if you already own instrument packet.)

Family Music (Fall 2017) (17 months - 3 years)

14 Week Session. Class meet for 40 minutes.

Children will love making music along with their parent (or other grown-up). We sing songs from all different cultures!  Songs of contrasting tonalities, moods, and meters. We do finger plays, wiggling and tickling activities, body awareness songs and bouncing songs to experience the joy of playing together! Lots of movement is part of this class to allow children to feel the beat of music and learn about spatial awareness while enhancing their gross motor skills and coordination.  Children will wander (hence the name) during this class, and adults are not to worry... they are still listening and taking everything in!   Children need time to explore the environment, and as long as they are not endangering themselves or another child, wandering is just fine!

Activities include singing, dancing, focused listening and simple instrument playing, creating an environment in which the child's music aptitude is nurtured and skills are developed. Occasional use of drums and hoops enhance the delightful playtime. Patterns continue as part of every class to shape listening skills and acquaint the child with the rhythms of music. Dancing with scarves and hiding games are part of the fun! Parent (or other grown-up) and child enjoy a time of bonding, playing and music-making!

Materials:$35 (includes 10% sales tax) Play With Me CD/Parent Book & 2 Jingle Bell Sticks

Cycle of Seasons (Fall 2017) (3 - 5 years)

14 Week Session. Class meets for 45 minutes.

Children and parents (or caregiver) attend class together. 
The Cycle of Seasons ~ draws its central themes from nature and aims to bring the family into the music, movement, and environmental experience. Life on earth is subject to seasonal changes - a wonderful phenomenon! This class cultivates the child's musical development through songs, tonal and rhythm patterns, drumming, poetry and stories, movement activities, listening games, instrumental play and manipulative games.

The children will explore songs, dances and instruments using themes from the seasons and nature - a subject children love! Children are reminded that music is all around them - even in a sunset or a breath of wind! 

The children are introduced to musical language for the rhythm and tonal patterns (Du Du-de for the rhythm patterns, and "do-mi-sol" solfege for tonal patterns.) The children begin to transfer tonal patterns to resonator bars. We continue with active listening and enjoy poetry to experience of the music of language. At this age, the child's language is exploding and is a source of joy and pleasure.

We do group dances for gross motor development and cooperation. A lot of movement is incorporated in all classes to develop balance, control and coordination, and to raise the level of consciousness of how to move, where to move and how parts of the body feel while in action. 

The senses - sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste - are the pathways to knowing, and the language for the sensory discoveries is confirmed by touch. As neurological networking occurs through movement, hand-eye coordination develops. 

Humans are social beings and naturally seek community. Through making music with other children and adults, young children are invited to become part of a music-making community.  Holding hands, listening and moving to music together bond the child to the larger family through shared activities that bring pleasure and enjoyment to everyone.  Children will love making music along with their parent (or other grown-up).
Home materials  (2 CDs, Parent Booklet, and Listening Game allow the learning and fun to continue at home.

Materials:$45 (sales tax included) Wind Dancers 2 CDs/Parent Booklet & Listening Game

Music Makers at Home (Fall 2017) My Home Place & Woodlands Packets (4 1/2 - 6)

Class meets for 1 hour. Parents and caregivers attend last 15 minutes

Music Makers at Home is part one of the two  year sequential program leading to music literacy and Keyboard. Rudimentary music skills such as pitch matching, beat competency, ensemble development, and music notation are dealt with using themes taken from the child's home environment and natural surroundings. These themes include: My Home, The Woodlands,(Fall materials)  Cattail Marsh, The Meadow, (winter materials) Seashore (Summer Materials) 

Children ages 4 1/2-6 years will begin to learn how to write music patterns thru making music. An hour of songs, dances, and expanded instrument exploration (use of resonator bars, glockenspiels, and xylophones ) will give the child a solid music foundation in the language of music. We continue with active listening, and listen to and learn about instruments of the orchestra. Names are given to tonal patterns (do-mi-sol) and rhythmic patterns (du du-de du); then we begin to "read" these patterns through card games. Stories, poetry and singing games enhance the child's developing language, vocabulary, compr ehension.   This is a wonderful, well-rounded holistic program that meets all the needs of the young child, while taking him/her on the path to music literacy!

Material packets include CDs, a posters and game pieces, notation games, instrument pages and a book. 

This curriculum richly supports the development of the skills needed to pursue a successful musical journey. One of the hallmarks of the Musikgarten program is that we are preparing children to be lifelong, joyful musicians.    Our curriculum and teachers support music making that fosters a dynamic, playful and creative relationship to music making.  Instilling a passion for music is key. As Ellen Johansen writes, “This is the enduring motivation of children to spend the time to learn an instrument and to put in the hours to refine their technique and their musical ear.”  Children learn to love to make and express music, not just to play the piano and to simply follow the song sheet.

Music Makers at Home and Around the World: The Next Step

You and your child have enjoyed the singing, moving, rhythmic and tonal activities that are hallmarks of a Musikgarten class.  In the next level we keep all of these great elements, plus offer musical discoveries that meet the developmental needs of your child as he or she enters a new phase of independence.

So how do we teach all these important musical skills and have so much fun?

•  We sing songs with opportunities for individual responses and a broader range for vocal development.

•  We practice moving with more complexity.

•  We continue to practice rhythm and steady beat.

•  We tell stories with movement and music, inviting the children to bring them alive.

•  We offer many different opportunities for children to verbalize their ideas and suggestions.

•  We continue to practice patterns with accuracy, using tonal and rhythmic names that we later connect to notation.

•  We emphasize making connections between symbols and sound first with graphic notation and then with note reading familiar patterns.  Later, these are found in the notation of favorite songs

•  We develop ensembles, building skills on large motor instruments.

At this time many parents ask us:

When should I start my child on an instrument?

Success on an instrument starts with preparation.   The Music Makers at Home and Around the World curricula lay the foundation for tonal accuracy, beat competency, motor readiness, and note reading. We teach young children to audiate, that is, to hear the notation in their heads.  In this way we teach music, not only operating the piano. At around age 6, when fine motor skills are starting to develop, the children can bring this wealth of musical experience to their instrument with confidence. Most importantly, learning in a way that engages with the natural motivation of your child fosters a love and a passion for music making.  What a powerful gift!

That’s not all:

Did you know that, in addition to musical skills, your child will be practicing key areas of development for this age? 

The musical activities your child enjoys also help to build impulse control, inner speech, self soothing strategies, pre-reading skills, pre-writing skills, balance, and motor skills. The important rhythmic and movement activities actually prepare the brain to learn; all while experiencing the joy of making music with friends.

What does this look like in class?

In class, we sing songs that delve imaginatively into the thematic material for the session, whether exploring various natural habitats for the first year or diverse world cultures for the second year.   We tell stories based in the theme often with responses and movement from the children.  Listening examples introduce instruments from the orchestra and we, in turn, explore the instruments we use in class as well.  Step by step we build ensembles, inviting the children to make their own music. They love recording it and listen intently when it’s played back. Through this process we introduce graphic notation and eventually traditional notation patterns. The children delight in the games that we play with the notation cards, identifying, matching, and composing while they gain the confidence that they are reading music!

The activities in class and at home are supported by the beautiful materials for each session. 2 Family Packets, including CDs, poster/folders with game pieces and notation cards.  Parents join for the last 15 minutes and are encouraged to continue the joyful music making at home.

We look forward to a wonderful Winter season of musical adventures.

Materials:$55 (sales tax included) My Home Place & Woodlands Family Packets

Music Makers Around the World Fall 2017 British Isles & Native American Heritage (5 1/2 - 7)

Class meets for 1 hour. Parents and caregivers join for last 15 minutes.

Music Makers Around the World is a pre-keyboard class! It is part two of the sequential Music Makers Program.   In this class, children explore the music, dances and stories of different cultures, including Amerindian, British Isles, Germany, and African-American Heritage.  Every class offers age-appropriate steps to develop music literacy - symbolic thinking, concentration, memory and self-expression. Your child will have a solid, comprehensive music foundation, an excellent preparation for the next step, whether it be instrumental lessons, singing in a choir, participating in an Orff ensemble, or joining a dance class. This class is also a pre-piano class and all participants are guaranteed a spot in the Music Makers: At the Keyboard Program or pre-keyboard program.

As always, the key ingredients are singing, listening, playing instruments, lots of movement, and tonal and rhythm patterns. Through echoing patterns, the children will build a vocabulary of musical phrases which they can recognize aurally and visually, which leads to an understanding of musical notation. Ensembles are developed further, and there is more focus on writing and reading music. 

Materials include a CD, a map, song pages, and notation games.  Children start reading music patterns with the games, and finding rhythm and tonal patterns in the music we sing! This is a holistic musical education - singing, movement, composing, improvising, and listening!   You will be amazed at what your child learns in this class!

Materials:$55 (sales tax included) British Isles and Amerindian Family Packets

Music Makers at the Keyboard Year 1 (Fall 2017) (6-7)

Class meets for 60 - 70 minutes. 17 Week Session. Parent or caregiver attends for the last 15 minutes.

Music Makers at the Keyboard Fall 2017  – Expressing meaningful experience at the piano.

Piano is a wonderful foundation for the musical education you value for your child.  The Musikgarten philosophy is reflected in our goals: To awaken and nurture the musician inside of your child (and you!), to develop a positive relationship between your family and music, to lead every child to become musically literate.  This philosophy is also evident in the structure of our curriculum.  We value the advantages of group teaching only the beginning of which is more time and experience with concepts.  Peer interaction encourages students to teach each other as they learn how to teach themselves.  A “master class” style helps children learn how to articulate direct, positive, and thoughtful criticism, and more motivation to continue as part of “the band”. 

Musikgarten’s sequential and comprehensive approach to piano instruction includes:

  • Singing to increase repertoire and form positive associations with repertoire through games and group song. 
  • Listening to important beginning piano repertoire by major composers in a variety of styles.
  • Moving in complex dances with accuracy.  This leads toward an innate understanding of rhythm, phrasing, and form.
  • Echoing, reading, and composing with tonal and rhythmic patterns in duple, triple, major and minor in a variety of keys.
  • Learning songs at the piano through familiarity with these patterns, and transposing the songs into a variety of keys.  Previous musical experiences with this repertoire results in more expressive and accurate playing.
  • Continuing to develop more complex and challenging ensembles which develop listening and coordination.   Many piano students lack the opportunity to practice playing with other musicians
  • Improvisation within different keys, meter, and styles.
  • Music history and theory.

These are exciting and challenging musical goals and to develop them I need your time and patience.  Please contact us with any questions regarding the curriculum.  I hope your child will join me on this exciting next step on the pathway to music literacy and musicianship!

Music Makers: At the Keyboard

…is a group method.

…works well with 6 – 9 year olds.

…develops aural skills.

…involves children in singing and movement activities.

…is based on a repertoire of melodic, tonal, and rhythm patterns, and familiar songs.

…leads to true music literacy, enabling the child to “hear what s/he sees” and “see what s/he hears”.

…follows a careful sequence in teaching the children to read music, including notation  games, mystery songs, and dictation activities.

…provides a solid musical foundation for all subsequent music making.

…is a logical follow-up to early-childhood music classes.

…enables kids to figure out how to play their favorite songs.

…starts in a five-finger position.

…helps kids to aurally recognize patterns within songs and utilizes solfege as a means of naming and organizing those patterns.

…begins with a chord approach and encourages kids to figure out the appropriate accompaniment as they begin to recognize melodic/harmonic relationships.

Total:$503 Class meets for 17 weeks. You are welcome to pay in installments.

Music Makers at the Keyboard Year 2 (Fall 2017) (7 - 8)

Class meets for 60 - 70 minutes 17 Week Session. Parent or caregiver attends for the last 15 minutes.

Class continues from previous year.  You will meet at your usual class time/day.
This class is based on an aural approach to music literacy - a natural pathway to reading. The children are led to true music literacy by means of a comprehensive musicianship course which holistically addresses both the child and the music. Comprehensive musicianship encompasses many facets of music - performance (playing by ear, playing from memory, playing from score), improvisation, an understanding of music concepts, and an acquaintance with the historical and theoretical contexts of music. Additionally, the literate musician is able to understand music in terms of its tonality, meter, style, and historical context.

Materials:$58 (2 CDs, Keyboard Book (sales tax included)
Total:$503 You are welcome to pay in installments.

Music Makers at the Keyboard Year 3 (Fall 2017) (8- 9)

Class meets for 60 - 70 minutes 17 Week Session. Parent or caregiver attends for the last 15 minutes.

Class continues from previous year.  You will meet at your usual class time/day.
This class is based on an aural approach to music literacy - a natural pathway to reading. The children are led to true music literacy by means of a comprehensive musicianship course which holistically addresses both the child and the music. Comprehensive musicianship encompasses many facets of music - performance (playing by ear, playing from memory, playing from score), improvisation, an understanding of music concepts, and an acquaintance with the historical and theoretical contexts of music. Additionally, the literate musician is able to understand music in terms of its tonality, meter, style, and historical context.

Materials:$58 2 CDs, Keyboard Book 4 (sales tax included)
Total:$503 Please note you can pay in installments.

Movin' Moms and Kids (Parent/Child Class (2 - 5 years))

Parent/Child Class

This class is not just for the kids. In fact, don’t tell anyone, but you’re the one about to get your workout on.  Learn how to move better, get stronger, and break a sweat, all while playing with your preschooler. Each week will feature a new “natural movement” skill, including rolling, crawling, squatting, balancing, lifting and carrying, jumping and hanging. We will take these skills and incorporate them into games, obstacle courses, relay races, and other fun, creative activities. You’ll bond with your little one(s) and learn new ways to get fit and have fun at home!


Fridays 10:30am-11:30pm, 9/15-10/20  (6-week session)

Free trial class Friday 9/8

Ages 2-5

Cost: $150 per parent/child duo, $75 for each additional child, children under 2 are free (up to 2 children per parent)

Max 6 adult/child groups

HeartGarden of Oak Park, 911 S. Lombard

Please contact Nicole at: to sign up or for more information. 

Instructor: Nicole Radziszewski, CPT, MCT. Certified personal trainer, MovNat certified trainer and postnatal fitness specialist. Founder of Mama’s Gotta Move, Inc.


Nicole Bio: Nicole is a certified personal trainer, nationally published fitness writer and mama to two boys. She is certified as a trainer through NPTI, FMS and MovNat and has taken multiple courses on postnatal fitness and the pelvic floor. Nicole became interested in working with the postnatal population after her second son was born and she recognized that her core muscles were not functioning properly. After feeling confused, under-serviced and pressured to “get her body back,” she started digging for answers and found them in the work of leading women’s health physical therapists including Julie Wiebe and Diana Lee. She now specializes in postnatal training and doles out mom-specific fitness advice via her blog, Mama's Gotta Move. Nicole is passionate about empowering new moms to return to fitness and feel strong and confident about their bodies!

Tuition:$150 (Siblings 1/2 price)