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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Communicate easier with your baby with sign language

ASL for Music

Signing Music

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.  When others don’t understand, it can become very frustrating for the child, leading to emotional meltdowns – no matter how hard the parent is trying to guess their meaning.

Baby Sign Language has been around for awhile in many different forms.   Indeed, for hearing babies and toddlers that have no developmental issues, sign language provides 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).

THIS is different approach from other sign language programs for babies. Through songs, toys, and loving playtime between you and your child, Kindermusik Sign & Sing demonstrates the FOUR Keys to Signing Smart.  Parents learn when and how to use and encourage sign language during important parts of the child’s daily routine.

Learn when you play. Parents do not have to memorize a list of signs.  Babies are not asked to make a specific sign when a word is called out.  This system encourages using signs that reflect the typical patterns of conversation between a parent and child.  The home materials provide more than 50 signs on flashcards and on DVD (for the adult’s reference).  But parents CHOOSE a few signs to focus on that are most likely to fit into a child’s day and interests. So playtime and everyday items around the house; ball, bubbles, mom and dad become the objects of learning in the classroom, and sign language becomes a natural, happy part of a family’s day.

Children start to understand language WAY before they have the ability to use it.  And children are multi-sensory learners.  When a word is used in combination with a sign, the child is able to hear and see what the parent is trying to communicate, enabling them to understand the meaning of the word more quickly.  If a tangible object is also available, it can provide the sense of touch as well.  For example, a parent says the word “ball”, while signing the word, then hands the child a “ball”, and plays with them joyfully for a few moments (adding a positive emotional element), it stimulates MORE areas of the brain to develop a neural pathway to connect object to the word and sign.  Although a child may not yet be able SAY the word “ball” yet, they are likely to understand it, and use sign language to initiate playing with the ball.  And they are more likely to start to say the word “ball” earlier in their development.

Hearing children who know signs learn language almost twice as fast.  Check out these statistics from this Study conducted by Dr. Michelle Anthony and Dr. Reyna Lindert, Signing Smart program founders

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.

Songs and fingerplays.  Parents already accustomed to fingerplays and rhyme-songs, such as “If You’re Happy” and “Old Macdonald”, begin to easily include American Sign Language (ASL) signs in familiar songs, improving your child’s language skills, fine motor skills, and strengthen fingers for zipping zippers and using scissors.  There are a few songs like this in Unit 1, but Unit 2 specializes in these activities !

There are Free Demo classes on   Oct. 3  at 5:30 pm. (Monday Evenings), or  Oct. 4 at 10:30 am. (Tuesday Mornings) at InTune Studios, 1037 S. Florida Ave. Suite 125 in Lakeland. 

Starting Oct. 10 – 11, we will be offering the full Sign & Sing: Unit 1 semester.  This is a 5 week program that offers initial training and opportunities to begin using American Sign Language with your child using the Four Keys to Signing Smart. 

In January, we are planning to offer Unit 2.  This follow-up session to the first introduces more signs using animals and toys as a learning theme, and delves into a deeper understanding of the Four Keys to Signing Smart introduced during Unit 1. With a special focus on helping children understand signs used in different contexts, the Home Materials include a children’s DVD called The Treasure Chest: Signs, Songs, and Rhymes, and features mini-music videos of children singing well-loved songs using the signs, as well as showing the printed word across the bottom of the screen—giving children multiple ways to learn the words, the sign, and the language.   It is important to complete Unit 1 before participating in Unit 2.

Please link to my website to enroll for the Demo classes

Or, to SAVE YOUR SPACE in class, Enroll now for the Sign and Sing Unit 1 Semester !

Do you use sign language with your baby?   If yes, what success have you experienced?    What would you recommend for families just starting the process?

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:  musiconnx@att.net  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.

Storytelling benefits children of ALL ages

Why TELL a story – without books, without pictures – to children?   Why choose to tell it face to face, instead of choosing a book, or watching a movie?    A few years ago, I attended a workshop with some of my favorite storytellers, Myra Davis and Phyllis, the Peace River Tales Tandem Storytellers ***.   I was overwhelmed with the positive benefits and became enlightened and motivated to become a more effective story teller – for my children, for my students, and for myself.  I TRULY believe that storytelling has many of the same benefits of using good story based songs.   The following is a complilation of their ideas and my experiences.

  1. Storytelling trains the ears and eyes to listen – As a child experiences storytelling, he is learning to be passively, yet fully engaged in an activity, and that as he watches and listens more closely, he gets more out of it.  This serves to increase the attention span, and lets the child know he is an important listener.  (One of the first things parents comment that they enjoy about a Kindermusik class is the increased ability of their child to listen.)
  2. Hearing stories with interesting and patterned speech helps break the code of language; the sounds of words, the rhythm of sentences, and the emotion of stories.  This is true even with the youngest of children.
  3. Telling stories helps children to articulate effectively so they can be understood.  It helps develop understanding of the parts of the story and builds sequencing skills.
  4. Positive Associations – As a child experiences an entertaining story, he/she pairs this positive emotion with storytelling, which encourages them to explore and experience it again, listening to others, perhaps even to recorded stories, and eventually telling their own.
  5. A Carrier of Knowledge – Just like a delicious casserolle can offer a wide variety of healthy foods that taste delicious all together, good stories can offer bits of history, geography,  good morals, strong values, and insights into life in a way that NO lecture ever could. 

Once the child gets older, the benefits just increase.  Storytelling:

  • provides opportunities for ALL ages to interact as both listeners and tellers.
  • develops an awareness of and sensitivity to the thoughts and feelings of listeners and tellers
  • stimulates and expands the imagination and mental visualization.  (THIS is a critical feature that visual elements of picture books and movies does NOT allow for.)
  • uses and develops oral language
  • develops confidence in tellers of all ages
  • promotes inventive thinking and problem-solving skills
  • broadens the knowledge base
  • generates innovative and creative responses
  • increases concentration and the ability to recall information
  • provides opportunities to explore diverse cultures through their folktales
  • is a springboard into reading and writing activities.

Reading and writing are, and have always been an extension of storytelling.  Stories used to live on through the tellers from generation to generation.  Books allowed stories to continue on.

It is equally important to READ BOOKS (as I have discussed in other blog postings), as it has some similar benefits, and different benefits.  GOOD audio books also have many of the same benefits as storytelling. 

But the power of storytelling face to face is ever so much more full of life and interactive, allowing language and mental imagery flourish, esp. when the child can be an active part of the process.

I love carrying on the tradition, finding the stories, and passing them on.  I LOVE finding and listening to exceptional storytellers.  I LOVE hearing my children develop their own stories.  Making our own family stories is another benefit I have TRULY embraced.  But that is a WHOLE different blog posting.

*** (TANDEM storytelling will be the topic of another posting.  These people take storytelling to a level of higher art.)

Kindermusik offers a special summer adventure camp, called TELL ME A TALE for big kids (4 ½ – 8 years old) that tunes in to some fabulous stories from around the world – expanding on them with sound effects, MUSIC, crafts, costumes, and dramatic play.   I am excited to be offering that camp this summer – in the afternoons during the week of July 19.  See more details on my website:  http://musiconnx.yourvirtuoso.com .  If you live somewhere other than Polk Co. FL, try finding an educator near you that offers this program, www.kindermusik.com

Build Connections and Peace through Music

In so many ways, music allows us to connect, within ourselves, our family, our community, and our world.  That’s why I do what I do.  See my philosophy for creating Music Connections .   My “Summer Series” blog postings will feature unique ways to connect to through music  – for everyone.  The tab at the top will link them all.

This video highlights the ability for music to make global connections, and the discussion encourages what you can do with  it to further connect with your family, and the world, through music.

A street musician in California, Roger Riddley, was just playing for change, but he played his heart out and offered music that uplifts the soul.   He didn’t know it would inspire a worldwide movement for peace through music.

This beautiful rendition of Stand By Me (by Ben E. King) was recognized for its potential to connect.  The recording of Riddley’s music was offered to musicians (see headphones)  around the world (names & countries included), and their unique voices and instruments were added to the original sound track to create a truly amazing feeling of unity.  

When you watch this video with your children, consider engaging them with some of these options:

  1.  Point out the instrument that each musician is using (including their voice).  You can even pretend to play that kind of instrument.
  2. Read the names of the musicians and where they are from.  If you have a map of the world, jot down all the countries and try to find them on the map.  Place a little piece of playdough on each country, and see how far this music connected people.
  3. Learn the words to this song and sing it along with your family.  This song can actually become a ritual in your family, and its ability to connect you to each other may be able to help through tough times.  Due to copyright laws, I cannot provide the words here, but they are online at LyricWiki.
  4. Learn about PLAYING FOR CHANGE, a “multimedia movement created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music”  This introduction, http://www.playingforchange.com/journey/introduction , shares the story, and connects you to their website so you can learn how to be a part of this amazing movement.  The video on this page explains the heart of the movement and includes one of the best versions of Bob Marley’s “One Love” (I cried because it was so heartwarming.)
  5. Watch this cute video of how baby Eli responds to the music as he is watching the Stand By Me video.

How does YOUR child respond to this music and video ?

East Polk County, Florida, is singing and dancing in 2009!

Chugging into the Zoo Station is Ally-Ally-O !    The Super Spring Semester in Winter Haven, featuring the Zoo Train Semester is HERE!    Classes started Feb. 2-3, and we had a grand time on our first day of class.  There is still room in our Monday Night class.  And we are looking to make a class work on Tuesdays at 9:30.   Late enrollments are accepted, and tuition will be prorated for just the remaining classes.

There is one last FREE Kindermusik event at the Haines City Library, Wed. Feb. 18th at 10:00 am.  Amy will be there with her wonderful wild tales, tails, and all this fun music.

Winter Haven Kindermusik Dates
Sawyer - eggs

 

See more details, on the Winter Haven Kindermusik Page 
Please register for the events at V.I.P. Kids by replying to this email, or calling Debbie at 816-8835.  See the schedule below.
 
Just come join us for the other events.  Call if you need details. 
Amy and I hope to see you soon!

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.