Wonderful thanks to the Oak Park Arms and the gracious Desi Vasquez, social director at the Arms. We are tremendously grateful for their extra-ordinary support. “It is a wonderful world and it’s all at the Arms.”
MUSIC MAKERS AT HOME AND MUSIC MAKERS AROUND THE WORLD 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 makeand express music, not just to play the piano, and to simply follow the song sheet.”
Kristin Barendregt Ludwig has written the following article to highlight key components of the class.
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 lays 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 including a CD, poster/folder 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 fall season of musical adventures.
Amy & Ana Pappageorge & Maria Bolchert
Music Makers: At the Keyboard…
…is a group method.
…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.
We have enjoyed singing about the robin bird in several of our music classes. You and your children will enjoy this special viewing of robins and their nest.
|Friends tell stories together
Photo by JEFF KRAGE
For Pioneer Press
Story by CHRIS LAFORTUNE
Friends for 13 years, Amy Pappageorge and Gigi Hudson met doing what they now do every weekend together, through storytelling.
Hudson's husband had written a play for Oak Park's Village Players Theatre, Hudson said, a production cast with local storytellers. Pappageorge was one of them.
"I remember you being so incredibly gracious and kind," Hudson said. "That moment is where we connected."
And now, the local women are paired together at Pappageorge'sMusikgarten studio at 344 Harrison St. Pappageorge continues to offer her music programs for children, while Hudson is also offering theater for young people with her programActors Garden.
The pair is also team teaching a weekend class called Tuneful Tales, a storytelling program for children. The cooperative work is most appropriate, the women say.
"We've been living parallel lives for years," Hudson said. "We've known each other because we're in the same types of circles."
Gigi Hudson, left, and Amy Pappageorge lead a Tuneful Tales class Saturday, Sept. 26, at Musikgarten, 344 Harrison St.
Gigi Hudson and Amy Pappageorge have partnered together at Pappageorge's Musikgarten studio.
Both women have been in their respective specialties for a while. Hudson has been doing theater education for the past 20 years, she said, and is devoted to family programming.
"It's an amazing experience for me," Hudson said. "Children who I taught when they were four years old are coming back and being teachers or assistants in summer camps."
Pappageorge has spent 15 years teaching early childhood music and movement. She spent time teaching in the park district and out of her home before opening her own studio about three years ago.
"I always loved to sing as a child," Pappageorge said. "I was always the kid on the bus who would lead the kids in song."
Teaching between 20 and 28 classes for almost 300, Pappageorge said she'd been planning on trying to pull back a little bit. And having another program set up in her space would be a good way to do so, she thought.
Then Hudson came along, looking to start her own theater program for young people.
"She was the answer to my prayers," Pappageorge said.
So far, the reviews are positive over the partnership. Sam Roe of Oak Park has his twin sons enrolled in Tuneful Tales. They've been with Pappageorge for the past five years, he said.
"I think she may be the best teacher I've ever seen anywhere," Roe said. "She's great with kids. She has a wonderful voice. She has great rapport with adults and children."
Together, Pappageorge and Hudson run their joint class with energy and urgency, keeping the kids motivated, Roe said.
"I think it's extraordinarily fortunate that Oak Park has people of the quality of Miss Amy and Miss Gigi teaching children in a theater class," Roe said. "I can't imagine too many communities anywhere in this country have people of that caliber teaching children."
Chicago resident Julie Trenker's had her daughter enrolled with Hudson for five years, as well. Her daughter's enjoyed the experience, Trenker said,
Trenker now has her daughter enrolled in the Tuneful Tales class, as well.
"The space is wonderful," she said. "The energy, you can feel it the minute you walk in the room."
Having the programs share space offers a continuum of education, of sorts. Pappageorge will start with children as young as four weeks old, she said, ranging all the way up to nine years old.
The older children can then get involved in Actors Garden, Hudson said.
And now, the Musikgarten studio is open seven days a week, also a job to Pappageorge.
"It's a dream come true," she said. "The studio has been underutilized. Now it's going ot be alive with beauty and goodness seven days a week."
To register or for more information email: nicole @mamasgottamove.com
- More than two thirds of women develop diastasis recti, a separation of the abdominal muscles, during pregnancy.
- More than 60 percent of second-time moms experience pelvic floor dysfunction, such as incontinence.
- Performing sit-ups, crunches and planks postpartum can prevent your abdominal muscles from healing and contribute to a “belly pooch.”
- Dysfunction of the pelvic floor and/or abdominal muscles can lead to imbalances and injuries elsewhere in the body.
Recommended for mamas with babies ages 8 weeks to 9 months (or not yet mobile). A portion of the class involves wearing baby in a front carrier. Class is capped at 6 participants.
When: Wednesdays, 12:30-1:15pm
How much: $100 for four weeks
Please contact Nicole at: email@example.com to sign up or for more information.
Local Parent Support
Giving yourself a reliable way to regroup goes a long way towards great parenting. These group calls are Sheryl's way to be sure you have the support you need, just days away from whenever you need it.