We Love Kindermusik Slide Show

Some of my favorite pictures from the Fall 2011 semester was used to make this slide show that shows the LOVE in these Kindermusik classes.  It made me cry when I saw and heard it all put together with the music.  I hope you love it as well.

 

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“Share the Love” and get a chance to win a prize

People around the world are sharing their love !   “We LOVE Kindermusik Week” is being celebrated around the world.   Here at InTune Studios, we are extending the love to include our music and art lessons… and our students ! 

We LOVE YOU because YOU allow us to see music and art blossom in the hearts and minds of your children.  It is why we do what we do.  

We invite you to share in this celebration of love for Kindermusik, music, and art !   Every week, many families share with us why they love our programs, and we just want to share these wonderful stories with everyone !

Check out “Kids and Parents Love Kindermusik because…” or this We Love Kindermusik Video

SHARE the LOVE you have for Kindermusik, Music, and/or Art at InTune Studios, through your comments, stories, art work, and/or pictures of your adorable musical child and family.

Each time you do, Feb. 3 – 18th, you will be entered to win one of the prizes we are offering:

EACH of the following gets you a separate entry in this Share the Love give-a-way:

  • LIKE our Facebookpage, and Post your comments, and/or pictures of your adorable musical or artistic children:
    • Music Connections Like us on Facebook
    • InTune Studios Like us on Facebook
    • Lakeland Kids Art & Violin Like us on Facebook
  • Add your comments and/or pictures to the comment section of THIS BLOG POST !
  • Email your comments and/or pictures to musiconnx@att.net .
  • Add your comments on our ALL-Inclusive Form, as you register for a Share the Love Event.  For more details about our Kindermusik Playdates, InTune Studios FREE PLAY, or the Friday Night Music and Art Kids Night Out, see the newsletter
  • Decorate your vehicle with one of our We LOVE Kindermusik window clings and show Ms. Debbie (take a picture and send it to me via text, email, post on my FB page, or drag me out to look at it !)  Everyone participating in any Kindermusik class last week or this week will get a free We Love Kindermusik window cling.  You just have to clean a small space on your car and apply it !
  • Decorate your “We Love Kindermusik” Coloring Page (given in class) and bring it to class so I can hang it up on my wall!
  • Join us during the Studio FREE PLAY and:
    • make a video of your family as you share your family’s thoughts, story, or a favorite song.
    • Create some Wall Art for our Studio sharing why you love music and/or art at our studio

Prizes to be awarded during EACH of the FREE PLAY events – to be chosen from all entries that are NOT online: 

  • 2 Kindermusik Ball Prizes – choose Gertie Ball or Village Chime Ball
  • 2 Art Sets including paints and brushes, etc.
  • 2 Best of Kindermusik CDs (or may choose play.kindermusik.com download of 10 songs)
  • ONE Special Do-Re-Me & You Music Set – (choice of 3 options shown at the studio)

Prizes to be Awarded on Feb. 19th to be chosen from all online entries: 

  • 3 FREE FAMILY PASSES that can be used for ANY:
  •        –   Kindermusik Playdate, including materials  (offered monthly)
  •        –   InTune Studios Music and Art Kids Night Out  (offered monthly)
  •        –   InTune Studios MUSIC or ART Workshop  (part of summer schedule)
  • $40 Gift Certificate for Tuition for any Kindermusik program, including Summer Camps

So… now is a great time to make your first entry.  Comment on this blog post to share your thoughts and/or post a picture of your musical family.

Local Treasures – Holiday Events for 2011

It is hard to find a good listing of ALL the wonderful local holiday events for Lakeland, FL, in one place.  It has actually taken a good bit of research and even some phone calls to compile this list of what I consider “must-do” holiday events coming up in Lakeland or nearby.  I WISH I could do all of them, but I will have to CHOOSE wisely !  Oh, decisions… decisions… 

PLEASE ADD your favorites as well in the comments so others can be aware.  That’s how I found out about two of these the last time I did this.  Click on the blue links for more information and pictures.  I’d add pictures, but then it’d be too long.  This way you can copy, paste, print, and hang it on the fridge !

I hope your holidays are filled with joy and special moments with your family …  and maybe even with our local treasures. 

Featured Events with Music Connections & InTune Studios

Winter Wonderland Kindermusik Playdate – Sat., Dec. 3rd,  9  OR  10 am

        at the Bay Street Bistro, where we will enjoy a Wonderful Waffle Bar  Breakfast

“As cold winds blow and bring us snow…”  Our musical adventures include snowy fun: snowflakes fall,  snow balls abound, snowmen are created and come to life, jingle bells ring, and the room turns into an ice skating rink. 

Check out the music on the Winter Wonderland Album.  As soon as you register, you’ll recieve a code to download the music  right away, and a Kindermusik jingle bell awaits your attendance.  Then after class, you can head to the downtown Snowfest.

 

A Whoville Christmas  –  Sun.,  Dec. 11,   5:30 – 6:30 pm

Dixieland Village is being transformed into Whoville, full of Whopeople, Whoscenes, Whostuff, and  delightful Whoville Christmas entertainment.  Our Art’Sing students are eager to share their set designs, costumes, and performance of “A Whoville Christmas”.  Other holiday musical gems will be performed by the InTune Studios students.  You can also catch the “Whoville”  performance (without the set)  at the downtown Holiday Walkabout on Nov. 29th.

Treasured Annual Lakeland Events

Public Ice Skating   Nov. 18 – Dec. 19  (see times)    –  The Lakeland Center

Get in the winter mood with some chilly fun.  Good Luck, and Be Careful !

Holiday Walk-a-bout  – Nov. 29 ,  6 – 9 pm                – Downtown Lakeland

Downtown Lakeland celebrates the holidays with shopping, dining, music,  horse-drawn wagon rides and more!  Holiday music from many area schools and churches create a festive atmosphere.  Visit Santa at Tougie Baby on South Kentucky Avenue.  PLEASE COME SEE Our Young Voices students from InTune Studios performing “Whoville Christmas”.   

Christmas Parade – Thursday, Dec. 1st   – 7 pm           – Downtown Lakeland

Get your seat early as the parade consisting of about 100 floats will set off from the Lakeland Center and wind through Downtown.  Roads will begin closing at 5:30.  Fireworks over Lake Mirror at 7:00 to start the parade.

Cookies & Carols  at First Friday, Dec. 2,  6 – 9 pm     –  Downtown Lakeland

Downtown continues the holiday festivities with holiday music and entertainment, visits with Santa and so much more.

Lights of Lakeland – Dec 2 – 4 & 9 – 11 – 6:30 – 9 pm   –  Highland Park Church

Lakeland’s largest lighted Christmas event boasts of 9 Scenes, including a walk through Bethlehem with live animals, and even SNOW in Florida !

Snowfest – Saturday, Dec. 3    10:00 am – 2 pm.        – Lake Mirror Promenade

A Holiday Event for the Entire Family featuring Snow Mountain, a rock climbing wall, photos with Santa, live entertainment and more!  The festival is open to all.  The cost for admittance onto Snow Mountain for a few minutes play is a can of tuna for the food bank (or $1), and other activities may include a ticket price.  This is totally lacking online info, but I called to make sure !

Colonial Christmas – Sat., Dec. 3,  6  pm    –  Kingscliff – Lake Hollingsworth

Geneva Classical Academy Event:  Experience the Holiday Celebrations of America’s Founding Fathers at a Lake Hollingsworth mansion.  90 minutes of interactive 18th century dancing, tavern fare, theatre and games.  Phone: (863) 644-1408

Santa’s Calling  –  Tuesday, Dec. 6   5:30 pm

Arrange for your child to receive a special telephone call from Santa!!  Print Santa’s Calling Form, then return the completed form to a city Parks & Rec. location (mail, fax, or deliver) by Dec. 5.  The questions are interesting.

Sounds of the SeasonsDec. 9 – 11 (check times)  

Lakeland Community Theatre at the Lake Mirror Complex:    A musical family event to celebrate the Holiday Season featuring 12-piece pit orchestra, as well as talented singers and dancers.  Call:  863-603-7529

Treasured Nearby Weekend Events

Cannonball Christmas ExpressSat & Sun in Nov & Dec        – Tavares, FL

Get into the holiday spirit on board the Orange Blossom Cannonball Christmas Express for a magical trip to the North Pole.   Take a real train ride in vintage coaches pulled by our 1907 steam locomotive as we travel to our destination singing Christmas songs and enjoying a cup of hot chocolate and cookies. Santa will board the train at the North Pole to visit with kids of all ages and present each child with a gift.

Tea with Mrs. SantaSaturdays throughout Dec.                – Auburndale, FL

Make arrangements with friends to enjoy a Christmas Tea Party in Auburndale.  Mrs. Clause is there to read stories and take pictures with your little ones.  Upstairs there is a place for decorating Gingerbread houses (graham crackers).  Limited seating means no overcrowding.  Magnolia Tea Room.  CALL for reservations:  (863) 965-1684

Christmas Notes – Sat, Dec. 17,   5 – 8 pm.    –  Homeland Heritage Park, FL

Polk County Parks & Recreation invites you to the annual Christmas Notes. Join us for a Frontier Christmas and explore the historic Homeland Heritage Park.  Activities include cookie decorating, photos with Santa, a caroling hayride, live music and entertainment, inflatable bounce houses, refreshments, and food vendors.  Most activities will be free to the public.   Phone: (863) 534-3766.  At the website, look for contest coloring page & festival info. to download  in pdf format.

Christmas at Bok Tower Gardens – ongoing                            – Lake Wales, FL

Coordinate your Guided Winter Walk with one of the Holiday Film Series for children, and the Seasonal Carillon Music concerts.    Make it on Sat, Dec. 17,  1 – 4 pm, and get the chance to “decorate a tree with naturally tasty garlands and gifts for our feathered friends.”, and hear the George Jenkins HS Golden Harmony Show Choir.

Hands On Play with Pumpkins

At the beginning of October, I set out to find just the right real Pumpkins for my annual Pumpkin Party !   This year, I had a new goal, to find a variety of sizes, from very small to very large.  I was led, in part by a desire to demonstrate a growing pumpkin in the field as I read “The Biggest Pumpkin Ever” by Stephen Kroll.   And, as I, and my students, continued to explore the opportunities of playing with real pumpkins, there was so much more that we learned with these unique vegetables.

I LOVE the book, “The Biggest Pumpkin Ever” by Stephen Kroll because of the story line, AND how easy it is to make the book come alive.  I love the story of two separate characters who work hard, over time, to make their hopes come true.  It is an excellent example of the work and persistence needed to grow something in a garden.  And I LOVE how they handle the conflict when they discover that someone else is involved with the SAME pumpkin.   The book often switches between day and night, and it adds a fun visual element, when reading it, to turn the light on and off in coordination with these changes.  This year, I opted for storytelling instead of reading.   The class was divided, one half was invited to be the country mice, and the other half to be the country mice, and each side had their turn to come up to the pumpkin and pull weeds, water it, etc.   And, yes, it was fun to switch out a smaller pumpkin for a slightly larger one along with each change in the book.  The best part was watching the looks on their faces as I rolled out the BIGGEST PUMPKIN EVER  (at least the biggest pumpkin I could find in town).  WOW !

Then I brought out ALL the pumpkins, from small to large, and we had fun rolling them all around our circle of friends.  “Roll that Pumpkin round the Town”.   Pumpkins offer a variety of sizes, of texture, and of weight that is not offered with typical ball play.  The children were challenged to use their muscles differently with each size pumpkin; gently for the smaller ones, up to a LOT of effort for the BIG ones.  It was fascinating to see them tackle this challenge.  And I marveled at the science they were learning through these hands on explorations. 

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During the next three weeks of  our regular classes, we put out Ms. Debbie’s Pumpkin Patch for gathering time in each of my Kindermusik classes (ages range from infants up to 7 years old).  This basket was filled with small and medium pumpkins, as well as hand sized bells in the shape of pumpkins, and our round wooden clackers.  The bigger pumpkins were rolled out separately.   ALL could be rolled between family,  and friends, instigating some fun social interactions.  This variety gave them the opportunity to figure out which ones made sounds, and which didn’t; which ones they could pick up, which ones just had to be rolled, and which were just too heavy to move. 

It was fun to watch each child reveal their preferences, whether they enjoyed the sound makers, or the small pumpkin rolling activities, or if they liked the challenge of the BIG pumpkins.  For some, the challenge was finding a way to sit on it, some wanted to see how much they could stack on it, some just HAD to make it MOVE, or learn the easiest way to roll it to a friend.  Some just wanted to pose for pictures !  I hope you enjoy the slide show as much as I do !

My Pumpkin Patch Basket also included some pumpkin accessories, a set of pumpkin glasses, large felt pumpkins with Peek-a-Boo holes, some pumpkin shaped cookie cutters, and a pumpkin decorated popper (a round rubber toy that you set up on the ground and let it pop up.)   This offered a wider variety of explorations to meet the needs of each child where they were at that time.  Some enjoyed peek-a-boo games.  Older children had fun BEing the pumpkin !  Some just liked playing with the basket.

In the distant past, my perspective of pumpkin fun, the actual USE of pumpkins, was limited to decorating the outside of it, decorating WITH them, or enjoying the gooey pleasure of cutting it, emptying it, and carving a design in it.  (I’m not a fan of pumpkin foods.)  Making a real Jack-o-Lantern is fun, and young children can help with some aspects, but it is not really an appropriate activity for very young children.  And they can’t play with it afterwards.    

"push..."

Although, I must admit, each year I am highly humored at some of the unique works created by pumpkin artists.  My favorite this year was this “pumpkin birth”.  It came across my Facebook feed, and I just had to share.  Now that’s creative !

I did not fully plan, or expect, where the unique explorations of our pumpkin patch would lead us.  Each year that I have held a musical Pumpkin Party, I have learned NEW and fun ways to explore pumpkins and the themes that surround them.   This year, the fun of playing with real pumpkins, uncut, has really burst out of the box.  I LOVE the way children help me expand my perspective.   I look forward to seeing what I will learn next year !

Please SHARE your unique brand of pumpkin fun with us !

Appalachian Music is Front Porch American Heritage

In the Appalachian Mountains – a strong part of our American heritage was wrapped up in songs and music that were birthed on the porches and back yards and shared only from person to person. 

Much of this music and heritage may have been lost, except for a select few who saw the beauty, and the history, and the cultural significance of this music.   David Holt took it upon himself to seek out those musicians who remained, and patiently interviewed and learned all they had to share.   In just under 30 minutes, David Holt sums up generations of real history with stories, songs, music, and people that fill out the history of this part of our world, of our country.  28 minutes may seem a bit long to consider, but this is riveting storytelling with music, and it is WELL worth watching.   I LOVE the story about the cotton fields which leads into the introduction of some of our African American music as well. 

To learn MORE about the people and music of the old Appalachian music, there are LOTS of videos on You Tube of interviews with these original musicians.  Search under David Holt, and banjofolk.  Or just check out his website, www.Davidholt.com 

You may also enjoy two of my previous blog posts in relation to this style of music:

Melodies and More on a Mountain Dulcimer  –  see different ways dulcimers are played

Got Spoons? Play Them !   –  see a video of a spoons player and get some ideas for fun at home !

The students in the second year of Kindermusik for the Young Child study Appalachian folk music as they continue their music studies, while learning to play melodies on their own two string dulcimer.  We LOVE exploring these fun songs with nonsense words and silly animal stories, and making up our own new verses to sing in between playing the chorus on our glockenspiels.  We LOVE using our musical memory to pick out familiar songs on the dulcimer.  We LOVE exploring REAL instruments that are used in this folk music, like washboards and spoons, as well as the banjo, guitar, fiddle, and the mountain dulcimer.  And we LOVE hearing the masters of this music and their stories.  That is one of the reasons we LOVE David Holt and what he has done to make this part of our culture accessible to us. 

This Appalachian music helps us learn how making music becomes part of a person’s daily life, part of a person’s heritage, part of a person’s soul.

Enjoy a StoryWalk in Downtown Lakeland

Can you and your young children WALK and READ at the same time???  Of course you can, on a special StoryWalk™.   I’m setting one up in Downtown Lakeland for the month of June, for your family’s enjoyment.  Since it is in the store windows, it costs nothing, and you can even go when the stores aren’t even open.   Try some of the activity ideas on each page, then head to the next store.

Every month, since before my son was born, I read the Family Fun magazine cover to cover, and we are often inspired to create some family fun !  The May issue inspired me to create a StoryWalk™ for downtown Lakeland with one of my Kindermusik books.  

The original StoryWalk™ Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition and the Kellogg-Hubbard Library.  Find out more at http://kellogghubbard.org/storywalk.html

The idea is that separate pages of a children’s book are posted along a path.  To promote a healthy exercise activity, and the fun of reading, families can accompany their young children along the path, walking and reading along. 

For the month of June, we will feature Pete and PJ, a fun story about a boy and his dog who get dirty playing in the mud, BUT are HAPPY to enjoy a bath to clean up.   Each page of the story ends with the fun phrase “Wishy Washy, Wishy Washy, Wishy Washy, Weee!”, and while chanting it, the readers swish their hands together to the beat, then raise their hands up in the air on Wheee!  There are also some fun activity ideas for the story part on each page that the readers can enjoy on the spot.

There are 8 pages of the book which are located at some fabulous downtown businesses.   The list below has them in order, and includes a link to their website (if they have one) and a brief point of fact.

Click HERE for a map of Downtown Lakeland.

Start at The General Store.  Go in and get a bookmark guide.  This bookmark will include ALL the locations, and some contact information.  Or copy and print the following information:

KI logo

    StoryWalk  featuring Pete & PJ

1)       The General Store,      125 S. Kentucky Ave.      Groceries, Sundries, and Memories.    Make sure and say HI to Ms. Terisa and Sparky when you get your bookmark !    IBC Cream Soda …  Mmmmm !

2)      Paint Along Studios,     123 S. Kentucky Ave.     Their  Kids Kamps this summer looks like a lot of fun !

3)      Tougie Baby  (NEW)     121 S. Kentucky Ave.      A new store featuring specialty clothes and items for your babies  (She’s only been open 3 weeks !)

4)      Nathan’s Men’s Store   221 E. Main Street         A classic traditional men’s (as well as the best local Cub Scout & Boy Scout) store

5)      Black and Brew              205 E. Main Street         Coffee House and Bistro  (I LOVE their Ginsing Peppermint Tea – ICED !)

6)      Main Street Creamery  128 E. Main Street         Old fashioned ice cream shop (a great lunch too).

7)      Explorations V                109 N. Kentucky Ave.     Three floors of hands-on Children’s Museum FUN.  I got an annual membership when I moved here 12 years ago, and have renewed every year since.  It is THAT worth it !

8)      Palace Pizza   (last page)   114 S. Kentucky Ave.         The best pizza in town (in my opinion) !       

If you are reading this posting before you go, you may want to bring a few things just to make it a more concrete experience(optional, of course), a washcloth, a bath towel, maybe a bubble jar, and possibly a stuffed (or real) pet dog.  Walk, read, talk, sing, pretend, move, and have a good time together. 

This book, “Pete and PJ” by Cindy Bousman and Susan James,  is featured in several of our upcoming Kindermusik programs.

  • a Kindermusik Playdate called Tub Tunes,
  • our Music and Art Family Classes called “Splash” this June,
  • and our Fall Semester of Our Time called “Wiggles and Giggles” includes the book in the home materials.

On each of the story pages posted in the store windows, there will be:

  • Which page it is, out of the total number of pages
  • Fun activities to enjoy while reading that page,
  • Creative ideas to make it musical !
  • Which store will have the next page, and a suggested way to move to get there. 

It may look silly as you enjoy the activities, but your children will LOVE it, and may want to do this repeatedly.  The cool part is that the stores don’t have to be open to enjoy this StoryWalk, it is ALL in the windows.  It’s like a literary treasure hunt.

To enhance THIS StoryWalk with music, go to www.play.kindermusik.com  and download the song called “Wishy Washy Wee!” off of the Bake, Build, Sing and Scrub album.  It is a fun song to sing along with the repetitive phrase in the book .  You may also want to download “Sailor Scrub”, which is perfect music for marching, or gliding, or stomping, to the next location.  If you are new to this site, you get 10 free credits to use, making these FREE downloads !

Upon completing the StoryWalk, contact us at InTune Studios and you will receive a coupon for a FREE music, art, or Kindermusik class.

We are loaded with fun, creative ways to enjoy your family time.  Check out our Music and Art Summer Camps and Workshops.  Some are for families, some are for big kids.   Our #1 focus is to provide such a quality experiences that the creative juices just START to flow, letting open the flood gates, and you will see your children riding the tide long after classes are over.

Once you’ve enjoyed the STORYWALK, please share your thoughts!   Do you like it downtown?  Do you have other suggested locations?  Is it the right distance for walking with your family?   Are you enjoying the book and activities?   I’m here listening, to my comments here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Kindermusik and Gingerbread Art FUN

Bake, Build, Sing & Decorate !

Our Kindermusik & Gingerbread Art Event, at the Bay Street Bistro in downtown Lakeland, was Fantabulous.   An hour of fun interactive Kindermusik activities based on the music set “Bake, Build, Sing, & Scrub” was perfect preparation for the Gingerbread Art to follow.  Families came away with lots of new playful ideas for kitchen learning.  They LOVED using cottonballs as dough !

Families enjoyed playing with Ginger Play Dough – rolling, cutting shapes, and making ornaments.  THEN, each had their own house to build and decorate.  Stephen Blois, the chef at the Bay Street Bistro, designed and prepared our gingerbread houses.   Carolyn Espina, the art teacher at InTune Studios, made the Ginger Play Dough (and provided everyone a recipe), and headed up the building and decorating of the houses.  Of course, the true creativity came from within each child, with their parent supporting their ideas and efforts.  Enjoy the slide show. 

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There are still more Gingerbread Events in the near future.

Book and Art class with Carolyn Espina at InTune Studios

“I’m the Gingerbread Man” book & 3 types of Gingerbread Man art activities

Tues, Dec. 14 – 9:30 am.   and/or   Tues, Dec. 21 – 9:30 am.

Gingerbread House building & Decorating for the Big Kids ( 5 and up)  with Stephen Bloise, Bay Street Bistro Chef, AND Carolyn Espina, InTune Studios Art teacher. 

Monday, Dec. 20th  3:00 pm. at the BAY STREET BISTRO in downtown Lakeland

For information or to enroll in either event, call Carolyn Espina:  581-5282