Try a music or art class at January Demo classes

Of course, you want to try a Kindermusik class with Ms. Debbie, or an art class with Ms. Carolyn, but you are worried about the cost, or whether your child will like it, or whether they will disrupt the class, or whether you will have to dance or sing.  Well, don’t worry so much, you can dance and sing when you want to, just like your child is encouraged to participate in their own way.  Your child may not be ecstatic about it the first day, but will grow to love it in just a few weeks (when they become familiar with the routine), and we can work through the cost issue (I’ve got my ways.)  But first, just come and try it out a class.

Demo Days Logo

THIRD Week of January:    17 – 21st

at InTune Studios

Enroll Online:   FREE DEMO Class Schedule 

Invite a friend: See you then !               Enroll Together and each get FREE music !

 

Demo classes reflect the programs offered by Music Connections and InTune Studios

Spring 2012 Semester

starting First week of February:            Jan. 31 – Feb. 2

leaf play

Babies: infants up to 17 months

– Kindermusik Village: Cock-a-Doodle Moo

– Kindermusik Playdates: Winter Wonderland
– Kindermusik Sign & Sing: Unit 1 (6 – 30 m)

 

Peek a boo Darcy

Toddlers: 1 1/2 – 3 1/2 yrs

– Kindermusik Our Time: Away We Go

– Art & Literacy: Pee Wee Picasso’s (InTune)

 

IT Boats

Preschoolers: 3 – 5 yrs.

– KM Imagine That: Toys I Make, Trips I Take

 

Ole'

Elementary: 5 – 7 yrs.

Kindermusik for the Young Child (5 – 7 yrs)

Art’Sing: Singing, Drama, Art (6 – 13 yrs) (InTune)

 

Family Lap bounce

Families:

Kindermusik Playdates: (one time events)

Jan: Winter Wonderland

Feb: Let Me Call You Sweetheart

Mar: It’s Your Lucky Day

 

These Playdates are offered one Sat. a month, as well as a variety of times of other times.

 

Be a part of a wonderful musical experience with your family this Spring !!!

 

For any Kindermusik classes,  Enroll online   or contact Debbie Mondale.

Email  musiconnx@att.net ,  or call: 863-816-8835

 

For any InTune Studios classes,  contact Tiffany Stokes

intunestudios@gmail.com , or call  863-937-7782

I hope to see you at the studio this week.  Until then, be well.

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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.

Melodies and More on a Mountain Dulcimer

The Mountain Dulcimer is a unique stringed instrument that was born in the Appalachian mountains.  The fact that it is already tuned to a known chord,  AND that is that it is played on the lap, makes it easier for young children to learn than the ukulele or the guitar.  With 4 strings tuned typically in the key of D, the melody is played on the 1st string, with the other strings droning the D chord as it is strummed.   At least that’s how we START to play it.  Those who continue to play, learn to use more and more of its unique abilities. 

In the second year of Kindermusik for the Young Child, our students get to build and decorate their own dulcimer before the rosewood fret board with 2 strings is attached.  Although OUR two strings are both tuned to C, so we can easily play many of the songs we learned on our glockenspiel.   During this time, we are studying music from the Appalachian Mountains. 

Here are some video examples of mountain dulcimers being played by musicians as various stages of development. 

In this video, a man plays Amazing Grace – only the melody is played with noter on first string, while the D chord is strummed.   This is much like the Young Child students play familiar melodies on their own dulcimer.  We also give them the opportunity to use their musical memory to pick out familiar songs on the dulcimer. 

This fun folk song, Turkey In the Straw, is played amazingly well by a 7 year old using his fingers and more of the strings to add harmony.   I’m inspired !

A folk musician at a dulcimer festival uses “All the fingers, and ALL the strings” to play Eight More Miles to Louisville.

THEN, for another step up, to the modern world of dulcimer playing, Bing Futch introduces us to the Double Dulcimer.   I actually got to watch him play locally at a folk music festival, and I was blown away.

So, I hope these musicians will  inspire my young musicians, in our ongoing musical adventures, as well as maybe a few other friends along the way.

You may even want to listen to some LIVE dulcimer music.   Search your area for Dulcimer festivals or live events, and you may find a lot more than you expected.  If you live in Polk County, Florida, we are fortunate to have a Dulcimer Night on the FOURTH Friday night of every month, starting at 5:30 pm in the Central Park of Winter Haven.  Don’t look online for it… just show up !

Please share if you know of any websites that list festivals or events that feature live dulcimer music, or even if you are familiar with a video that would also be inspiring.

Fall Semester Programs and Themes

YC - UkelelesMusic & Learning FALL  naturally together in Kindermusik, especially with Ms. Debbie !

Lakeland Fall Semester

starts first week of September 2011

Host:  InTune Studios in Dixieland Village at 1037 S. Florida Ave. Suite 125 

Most programs are held once a week, Monday through Thursday

Monday eve. and Tues morning classes are taught by Ms. Tiffany

All the rest are taught by Ms. Debbie.

 The following Core Curriculum classes are 45 min. for 15 weeks (except for Young Child which is 60 min.).   For an overview of how the Core Curriculum meets the needs of children at each stage from infancy up to 7 years old, please click here.

Click on the class logo for links to videos and program descriptions.  Or get class details, and enroll right away, at my website,

http://musiconnx.yourvirtuoso.com  

No classes are scheduled during school holidays, so the last 2 classes are first 2 weeks of Jan. 

Village Logo————– Babies ————

                         Infants up to 19 months   

                       Wed. 9:30     Thurs. 12:30

Do-Si-Do  (Feel the beat with the Waltz, the Tango, the Cha Cha, and more…)  (8 weeks) 

Feathers  (Celebrate the migrating birds and the Fall changes through song and dance.)      (2nd semester starts 11/4)    

Our Time

————- Toddlers ————-

                 (1 ½ – 3 ½  yrs)     

Tues.  10 30 am.  with Ms. Tiffany

Wed. 10:30  &  11:30 am.   

                                                             Thurs. 9:30  &  10:30  am.  

  Wiggles & Giggles Semester Themes: Bath time fun and water themes, self discovery & love between family and friends)            

IT Logo———— Preschoolers ———-

                           (3 – 5 yrs) 

         Wed. 1:30     Thurs. 11:30

  See What I Saw  Theme: Park play in every way:  playground, nature discovery, picnics & more !

Kindermusik for the Young Child—— Kindergarten / First Grade ——

                          (5 – 7 yrs)

             Tues. 5:15 pm  – Sem. 1

  In this 2 year music education program, students gain a strong foundation for basic music theory, instilling a passion for learning music and preparing them for success in formal music studies.  Knowledge and skill development includes read/writing rhythms and notation, ensemble development, playing 3 instruments (the glockenspiel, dulcimer, and recorder), learning the instruments of the orchestra and introduction to several composers, learning about cultural music from around the world, and so much more.  Please contact Debbie for more detailed information.

————-  Second Saturdays ———–

9:30 am.   Babies:  1 – 24 months.

10:30 am.  Families:  1 – 5 yrs (this is flexible)

Fabulous one-time events based on seasonal and child friendly themes.  Scheduled for the 2nd Sat. of every month, starting in Sept.

Sept. 10 –   Babies:  Mister Sun (sunshiny goodness)   Families:  Tub Tunes

Oct. 8 –       Annual Pumpkin Party

Nov. 12 –   Winter Wonderland

Dec. 10  –   Bake, Build, and Sing:  Gingerbread HOUSES !

Family Time Logo———— Families ———-

                    (1 – 5 yrs) 

    If interested, contact Debbie for a survey to determine the most desired time.

  Make Way for Music  Theme:  Learn about and experience music concepts through song and movement.  Listen and learn about instruments of the orchestra. 

We also may be creating some new options for families.  If one of the above  doesn’t work for your family, but you want to see something that does, PLEASE talk to me !   If there is enough interest in a particular program at a particular time, we will do our best to accomodate !

 Enrollment can be completed on my website, http://musiconnx.yourvirtuoso.com , and/or contact Debbie at musiconnx@att.net or 816-8835.  If you have questions, please leave a phone number so we can speak personally.  I’d really like to meet the needs of your family.

Pay in full for the entire semester by the first day of class, and get the chance to choose a prize out of the DRUM !   May include Free CD, Free Download Card, instruments, scarves, Discount Card for Tuition, etc.

To clarify Enrollment Discounts, Payment Plans, and my perspective on providing options for ALL families, see my Blog Page about Payments.

2011 Winter Calendar for Families

2011 Jan / Feb   Important Dates for Families 

  For more details on Kindermusik Events,

Check the Music Connections Website

 

Saturday, Jan. 8  – Saturday Family Events    (1-7 yrs. old)

9:30 – NEW Family Time Semester – Each 2nd Sat. for 5 months 

                      “Here, There, & Everywhere”  

 

10:45 –  Family Event:  1x only for new families                  

                       “Kitchen Commotion”

             

  

Jan. 7 – 16    Annual Buffalo Pow Wow  @ Auburndale Marketworld  

                      Native American music, dancing, art, etc.

                     (Ms. Debbie says “This is a MUST SEE local event !”)

                   

  

———— Free Demo Days at InTune Studios ——– 

Jan. 18 – 19   Art and Literacy  –  Demo Class   “Snow Daze”

                                    with Carolyn Espina     Call: 937-7782

Tues.       9:30 am – Little Van Goghs  (1 – 3 yrs)

 Wed.       2:30 pm – PeeWee Picassos (3 – 5 yrs)

 

Jan. 18    Baby Sign Language – Demo class

                                    with Tiffany Stokes    Call: 937-7782

Tues.      11:00 am.  Kindermusik Sign & Sing   (6 – 36 months)

 

Jan. 19 – 20       Kindermusik Demo Classes

                                    with Debbie Mondale     Call: 816-8835

 Wed .     9:30 am.  Village    (infants to 18 mths)

                  11:30 am   Our Time  (1 1/2 – 3 1/2 yrs)

                   1:30 pm   Imagine That  (3 – 5 yrs)

 

Thurs.   11:30 am  Imagine That (3 – 5 yrs)

                   12:30 pm  Village (infants to 18 mths) 

 

If your child seems ready, try out the next level program,

OR, bring a FRIEND to share free class.

 Register for the Demo class on my website.

 

Jan. 20  –  Group Vocal Class Demo

                                     with Tiffany Stokes    Call: 937-7782

Thurs. 4:30 pm.   Young Voices    (5 – 12 yrs)

 

 

————– Kindermusik Spring Semester ————–

 

  

Feb. 5-6     SPRING Kindermusik Semester Starts

                                   Enroll & pay early to save your place !!!

                                   Some classes already FULL !  See Website.

                                   Or contact Debbie:  musiconnx@att.net  

                      

Feb. 6        ISO “Cookie Concert”    early afternoon     

                                     @ Youkey Theatre – Lakeland Center

                      (Ms. Debbie says “This is a MUST SEE local event !”)

 

If you know of other events you believe should be on this calendar, please let me know.  Thanks !

Exploring bird sounds with children

“What does a bird say?”  A lot more than tweet, or chirp.   Most children only consider one sound, but an observant child with more experience in bird sounds might ask, “What kind of bird?” 

bird singingFun vocal play with different bird sounds can open up the world of birds, and sounds, with your child, and can have so many wonderful developmental benefits.    

These are just a few: 

  •  Active Listening is practiced as they focus just on the sound of the bird – listening well enough to imitate it effectively.  This helps them practice “shutting out” other background noises from their attention. 
  • Trying to imitate the sounds helps them explore how units of sound (phonemes) are put together in unique ways, which leads to better articulation and eventually better reading skills  See an excellent article:  On The Path to Reading
  • Watching real birds, or using pictures of birds, and talking about them in detail during the vocal play helps them to make connections cognitively.  Discussions might include questions that will help them discover the characteristics that are similar to all birds, as well as discussing the characteristics that make them different.  Listening and imitating the different sounds they make is an important part of that process. 
  • Children with these experiences are often more observant when watching birds.  And these focused observing skills can easy generalize to many other areas of life.
With children just starting to make sounds, many parents are already helping their child differentiate between a song bird and a duck, and maybe even an owl.  Three choices are perfect for the early learners, and these can often be found in nature, and in pictures or small toys.   Just be sure to verbally discuss the characteristics that make them all belong to the bird family.  Make sure they make the correct connections with just ONE sound, then PLAY around with these sounds, ie:
 
Song BirdTweet – tweedle-eet , tweet-eet-eet-eet-eet – tweedle-eedle-eet (remember the 50s song “Rocking Robin”), toooo-weet, toodle-oodle-oodle…
Duck
Quaaaaack – Quack like mama duck, a daddy, a baby (peep)
OwlWho-Whoot, Too-hoot, Whoo-whoo-oo-whoooooo, Too whooooo, or even a SHRIEK

Once they have made this cognitive connection, and can easily imitate these birds, it is time to add to their birding vocabulary – new birds, and new sounds.  Depending on their interest, add only 1 – 2 birds at a time until they become comfortable with them.   In the following paragraphs, I introduce some of the ways we explore birds in age specific ways during our Kindermusik classes.   You can glean a lot from these ideas and use them at home.   And to get the full experience, join us for a class! 

 
With our Babies in the Kindermusik Village FEATHERS semester, we have fun making bird sounds while moving the babies in a way that complements that particular bird sound.   Adding movement is another excellent way to help solidify the learning that occurs, at any age.  Here are two examples:
Cuckoo bird

Cuckoo bird

 
 
Cuckoo:   Cu – ckoo  (high to low sounds)  SO, we move up and down along with the pitch
ChickadeeChick-a-dee-dee-dee  (high -med-low-low-low).   In this case, we move side to side in time with the rhythm of the sound.
 
With the Toddlers in the Our Time and Adventures programs, we do a LOT of echo play, as this an excellent method for developing language skills and vocabulary.   There are several birds that are great at echo play, like the parrot or the cockatiel, or even the Mockingbird  that we have around here.   It is fun to let the child act like a parrot or use a parrot puppet to copy words or simple phrases, or original parrot sounds, or sounds that a parrot might hear.
  
Parrot:  Squawk – Pretty Bird – Polly wants a cracker – Hello – meow   (parrots also whistle, but age-wise, children are not ready for that until sometime after they are 4 or 5 years old.) 
 
If you want to watch an amazing bird who has an enormous vocabulary, check out the video I included in the following blog posting:  Amazing Bird encourages Vocal Play.
 
With the Preschoolers in the Kindermusik Imagine That!  SEE WHAT I SAW semester, the students are introduced to pictures and recorded sounds of 4 different birds, and we discuss how they look different, and how they sound different from each other, and imitate the sounds of 4 different song birds.  We further explore birds through songs and movement activities.  Every year, their favorite bird to imitate is the Pigeon, as we have a fun song and game with counting Pigeons “Three Blue Pigeons”.
 
Pigeons:  Coooo, Cooo   and make a warbling sound with your tongue while saying it.
 
With the Elementary students in Kindermusik for the Young Child, we also actively listen, and imitate – but then we transfer the bird sounds into rhythms that we learn to write.  For example: 
 
Cu-ckoo can be rhythmically written as   “ta-ta-sh-sh”  or 2 quarter notes and 2 rests.
 
Robin:  Cheerio  – written as “ti-ti ta”  or 2 eighth notes & a quarter note.
 
Isn’t it fascinating how exploring birds and their sounds with your child can lead to so many learning experiences – and it doesn’t cost a THING ! 
 
Just yesterday at the BIRTHDAY BASH at Explorations V Children’s Museum here in Lakeland, they introduced their  BORN LEARNING TRAIL…”an activity trail turning everyday moments into learning opportunities!”
 
I had the privilege of drawing attention to the Talk, Listen, and Sing exhibit on the trail, and had a wonderful time exploring 10 different bird sounds with children of all ages.   If you get a chance, check out that exhibit – I am donating a “FEATHERS” book (from the Village program) that shows pictures of many different birds, including word art with the sounds they make.   A few you might not think of:
Kookaburra:  “HA – ha-ha-ha-ha”  With accent on first sound.
Bluebird:  “Tru-ly,  Tru-ly”  rising to a high pitch on ‘ly”
 
Have fun talking about the birds, listening to and imitating the bird sounds, and singing any songs you might know about birds. 
 
What songs do YOU know about birds ?  
What book would you recommend that can help explore different birds with their sounds!
What websites are appropriate for children to listen to and learn about birds? 

Can I Play a Song Now?

The students were so eager to play their songs, when I asked “Who’s next?”, about 5 – 8 hands went up, every time.   How do I choose?  Actually, the girl who led off the Annual Young Child Music Festival is one of my first year students.  

Jillian n Katharine

We Love our Glockenspiels

This girl is extremely shy, and I usually have to ASK her questions to get her to talk.  In class, she preferred to play the songs for me before or after class.  But, there she was, eager to be the first to play in front of total strangers.  When called upon, her first question was “Can I play ALL of my songs?”  WOW!  She did!  Even one she hadn’t played for me before.  And she kept wanting to play throughout the festival.  Most all of the children did.

At my Music Festival, all of my current students from the Kindermusik for the Young Child program, as well as past graduates are invited to my house to share our talents.  My favorite part of  regular Folk Music Festivals is after all the performances are over, and folks gather round in circles with their instrument and take turns leading songs.  So THAT is what we do at our Festival each year. 

ANT position

ANT position

I simply love watching the students get so enthusiastic to share their talents, either by themselves, with a friend, or with a whole group.  This year we had a previous graduate (now 13 years old) play some fabulous classical works on the piano – fully impressing everyone!  And when a graduate from last year’s class played a song from the YC curriculum, then ALL the girls wanted to play the class songs on the piano.  “Just show me where C is.”   Even some siblings got caught up in the enthusiasm, and they volunteered to play. 

Mother - daughter duet

Mother - daughter duet

One of the students and her mother played a duet on violins, showing us a new way to play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”.   And then her mom shared her incredible talent by playing some fun upbeat music, and allowing the students to play percussion instruments and dance along.  The violin isn’t an instrument we learn in the YC program, but her mother and father play with the Orlando Symphony, and this girl is a natural.  Her parents also appreciate the full musical experience that the YC program offers in the areas of music theory and music history.   

The students would have stayed all night, well, at least longer than the parents were prepared to stay.   Well, that’s happens at the Folk Music Festivals when I go.  I esp. like the Will McLean Festival in March.  It is very family oriented, and there is good music played day and night.  They are all quite talented.

So are my Young Child students and graduates, and parents!  Thanks for a wonderful time !

What gets your child enthusiastic to play their instruments for and with others?