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Class Descriptions

Musikgarten classes come to you!  Below are descriptions of our current curriculum.   I am glad to adapt lessons to meet the needs of your family and community of learners.

Drop-in Class (Family Class)Mixed Ages Class meets for 45 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!

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. 

We develop and learn in the context of loving community. Through making music with other children and caring adults, young children are invited to become part of a music-making community.  Playing instruments, singing, listening to simple stories, , and moving to music together bond the child to their loved ones and the larger community. Our shared activities bring enjoyment to everyone.  

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. Use of drums, hoops, large parachute, and other props enhance the delightful playtime. Patterns continue as part of every class to shape listening skills and acquaint the child with the rhythms of music.
 
Tuition:$15 per child. Children over five and grown ups attend for free.

Family Music for Babies (Newborn-17 months)
FAMILY MATERIALS
Baby CD1 / Booklet / Instrument Packet  

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!
 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER


Family Music (16 mo-3 years)
FAMILY MATERIALS
Fall: Sing With Me Parent Book / CD & Digital / Two sets of rhythm sticks

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!

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. 

We develop and learn in the context of loving community. Through making music with other children and caring adults, young children are invited to become part of a music-making community.  Holding hands, singing, listening to simple stories, playing instruments, and moving to music together bond the child to their loved ones and the larger community. Our shared activities bring enjoyment to everyone.  

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. Use of drums, hoops, large parachute, and other props enhance the delightful playtime. Patterns continue as part of every class to shape listening skills and acquaint the child with the rhythms of music.
 
 

Cycle of Seasons (3-5 years)

FAMILY MATERIALS
FALL: Wind Dancers Parent Book (56p), 2 CDs/DDs, 12 Animal Cards in Cloth Bag

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.)
 

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Music Makers at Home (4 1/2-6 years)

FAMILY MATERIAL PACKETS AVAILABLE

My Home Place 
Parent Book (24p), CD, Poster (10" x 15"), Graphic Notation Game, 2 Instrument Poster/Pages, Tree Poster in a Sturdy Folder.
Woodlands Parent Book (24p), CD, poster (10" x 15"), 6 Game Pieces, Duple Rhythm and Dynamic Notation Games, 1 Instrument Poster/Pagein a Sturdy Folder.

Cattail Marsh  "Cattail Marsh" Parent Book (24p), CD/DD, Poster (15" x 10"), 6 Game Pieces, Triple Rhythm Notation Game, 1 Instrument Page in a Sturdy Folder;
Meadow  1 "Meadow" Parent Book (24p), CD/DD, Poster (15" x 10"), 6 Game Pieces, Duple Rest and Melodic Pattern Notation Games, 1 Instrument Page, Staff Coloring Page in a Sturdy Folder
Seashore
My Neigborhood Community 
 Parent Book (24p), CD, poster (10" x 15"), 6 Game Pieces, 1 Coloring Page in a Sturdy Folder.

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 Place, The Woodlands, (Fall materials)  Cattail Marsh, The Meadow, (Winter materials) Seashore or Neighborhood Community (Spring 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!

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!
 

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER