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Merry Melodies,
Debbie Mondale


NEW Program – Kindermusik Sign and Sing

You can see the brain wheels turning as older babies and toddlers try to communicate…  as they try to tell an older sibling or adult what they need or want.  You can also see the dazed look on the parent’s face as they try so hard to understand.  Amazingly, older siblings can be impressive interpreters.  But they are not always available.

Baby Sign Language has been around for awhile in many different forms.   Indeed for hearing babies and toddlers that have no developmental issues, providing an option for a peaceful way to communicate their needs and wants.

Kindermusik International teamed up with Signing Smart, who put a lot of research into the best methods for parents to use to help set up positive situations in which their child WANTS to use signs to communicate.  And they established methods for helping children.  The result is Kindermusik Sign and Sing, specifically designed for children from 6 – 36 months along with a parent or significant care provider (a grandparent, aunt, or even a nanny).

At InTune Studios, we are now offering the Sign and Sing program, which is offered on Tuesday mornings at 11:30 am.,  directly following a 10:30 Kindermusik Our Time class, both taught by Tiffany Stokes – the director of InTune Studios, a licensed Kindermusik Educator, and a sister to a sibling with hearing impairments.  

 This is a research-proven program based on methods shown to speed language development in hearing children, ease frustration, and enhance long-term learning abilities.

To attend a Free Demo Class, contact Debbie:  or check out the schedules for the Free Demo and the full semester on the Music Connections Website .

 The following video features our fellow Kindermusik educator in Orlando, Holly Lesnick, and the families in her Sign and Sing program.
Session A – Beginner
45 minute class with caregiver (mom, dad, grandparent, nanny, etc.)
This class combines songs and playful interaction to help children learn American Sign Language. The five-session class gives parents the tools to learn more than 50 American Sign Language Signs for children ages 6 months to 3 years.
Do you fit into one of these categories?  Or do you have a whole different situation?  Please share.  I’d love to know more about how families communicate.


SS materialsAt Home Materials include:
  •  one Family Activity Guide – providing plenty of ideas for activities for parents and children to learn and play with at home
    • one DVD glossary showing 60 signs – WATCH the signs being made by adults & children
    • one set of clip-on flashcards that feature both children and adults using family-friendly American Sign Language signs.

    SESSION B (Advanced)

    This session reviews the first three Keys to Signing Smart Success and provides an in-depth look at the final and fourth Key. New concepts such as in and out, up and down, big and little, tall and short will be explored with more songs and animal-themed activities.

     At Home Materials are included with both classes.

    Find out more on: Sign and Sing – Some Questions Answered :  Holly Lesnick does an excellent job of answering the questions:  Will using sign language delay the speech of normally speaking children?  Or will it enhance their language development?

    Here is a bit of research on the particular program we offer (Sign and Sing) which was developed by Signing Smart:  Compared to developmental norms, Signing Smart children have enriched language and communication skills:
    • While the average 8 month old will have no spoken words, the average Signing Smart child will have 5 signs and 1 word.
    • While the average 12 month old will have 3-5 spoken words, the average Signing Smart child will have 25 signs and 16 words
    • At 18 months, the average child will have 10-50 spoken words. In contrast, the average Signing Smart child will have 79 signs and 105 words.
    • In addition, a majority of Signing Smart children begin combining signs and words or signs and signs together to form little sentences at 11-14 months. Compare this to non-signers, who do not begin to combine words into short sentences (e.g., “Da-da car”) until 20 months old on average!

    These results indicate that ASL signs, used in combination with Signing Smart strategies, facilitate both overall communicative abilities as well as spoken language skills in hearing infants and toddlers.

How do you to communicate with your child?   Do you easily understand what your growing child wants and needs through listening to his sounds and watching his actions?  If so, congratulations, you are a very observant parent, who listens to their child without the need for words or ASL signs.  I KNOW parents like this.  I also KNOW parents who are challenged to understand the garble that their child is so intently trying to share.  AND, those who deal with major tantrums because their child is frustrated with his or her inability to communicate.

Kindermusik gets IN TUNE in Lakeland

Music Connections is moving it’s Kindermusik programs to be a little more In Tune.


 In Tune Studios is a full music studio offering private instruction in piano, guitar, and voice, as well group voice choices. See their website to get a good overview of their philosophy, professionalism, and focus.  See the website.

In Tune Studios - Front  In Tune Studios is now the new host for MOST of my Kindermusik classes.  The large room behind the narrow middle windows will be a dedicated Kindermusik space.


818 Lemon Street

This white house is on Lemon Street right behind Barnett Park near Lake Mirror. The other side of Lemon Street runs into Hwy 98 South (Bartow Hwy) where Lifestyle Gym is on the corner.

Village, Our Time, Imagine That programs will be held at this location.

A little background:   Tiffany Stokes worked with the Cleveland School of Music as a piano and voice teacher.  She also received her Kindermusik training, and taught ONE class of Our Time.  Because of this, she KNOWS how wonderful and important Kindermusik is.  Cindy Cleveland decided to close her business and be a full-time MOM – (she’s so happy to be with her boys!)  So, Tiffany started her own music studio, In Tune Studios, soon thereafter, and is actively filling her music studio with great teachers and awesome music opportunities for children.

When she walked into the front room of this location, she immediately pictured it as a beautiful Kindermusik room.  She called and offered this room as a full time home for my Kindermusik programs.  How often does THAT happen to a Kindermusik educator?

There are a LOT of benefits with this location: 

  • Centrally located – near downtown, with good parking right on the property.
  • FULL room DEDICATED just for Kindermusik 100% of the time.  ALL my materials can be in one place and not have to be moved to be set up.  So Cool!
  • The room is already carpeted, and I can decorate it and set it up just how I’d like.
  • Natural light streams in from the windows of the front wall. 
  • The air conditioner works and is controlled from inside the room, so I can adjust as needed.
  • There is a large bathroom just through the hall, and will have a changing table.
  • A water cooler is in the hall.
  • There will be two waiting rooms, one just for adults and older children.  AND there is one waiting room with quiet toys and books for younger children.
  • There is a ramp which makes the location ACCESSIBLE for wheeled units.  Although, there isn’t much space for storing strollers inside.  Luckily, since parking is so close, it’s not as needed.
  • I will have more free access to this room, and may be able to offer evening and Saturday options.
  • At this location, I may be able to hire additional teachers and offer more and different programs.  Wanna teach?
  • Tiffany has offered to work out a sibling care arrangement, while a parent is one-on-one with their child in Kindermusik.  This is in discussion phase.  Please let me know if you are interested. 

I will say that the room is a bit smaller so class size will be limited to 8 – 10 students.  Which just means families will need to enroll early in order to save their place in class.  But I think the more intimate setting will be an additional benefit.

I DO have mixed feelings about leaving Explorations V Childrens Museum.  It has been such a wonderful location for my programs for such a long time, and I really respect the people who work there and the time I have spent with them.  I know that many families see it as a benefit to stay and enjoy the museum after class.  Some families see it as a distraction and source for a potential power struggle.  Currently, I am planning on keeping my Kindermusik Saturdays for Families at the museum on the 3rd Sat. of each month. 

I really do want to do what is best for the families, so I invited some of my long time customers to a trial class to get their opinions. .   Everyone seemed to like the new studio space, and were pleasantly surprised with all the amenities, and esp. the windows and natural light !     

I brought out the balls and the parachute, even the hoops to make sure that the room could HANDLE a true Kindermusik class.  This trial class did help determine that limiting the class size was important to make sure the room size was sufficient for everyone to move freely.   There are a few little details that were brought up, which should be remedied by the time classes start.  THANKS SO MUCH to the families who participated !!! 

I would LOVE to have invited everyone, because the opinions of EACH of my families truly make a difference to me.  AND I am looking forward to hearing your opinions once the location is truly ready.