Do kids really get anything out of music at such a young age?
In short, yes! Music awakens and stimulates neural pathways in the brain that are associated with higher forms of intelligence, such as abstract thinking, empathy, mathematics and science. Music's melodic and rhythmic patterns provide exercise for the brain and help develop memory (remember singing the alphabet song to learn your ABC's?). Studying music helps children establish good listening habits, which are essential for achievement in school. There is not a single element of a child's development that is not touched by music. Music immerses the child in language, evokes movement and fosters physical coordination, stimulates the brain, and engages the emotions, all in a group setting that builds community and belonging. Music develops the whole child.
But above and beyond this, music is a worthwhile endeavor in and of itself. “The fact that children can make beautiful music is less significant than the fact that music can make beautiful children.” ~ Cheryl Lavender
What does is mean when you say Musikgarten has a developmental plan for my child?
Should I attend and participate in the classes?
- In our family classes, parents & adults are an integral part of class in the younger years, and we need you to participate. You are your child's first and best teacher and role model, so when you participate, your child really gets the most out of class. Outside of class, include active music making in your child’s life. Sing along with the CD. Play echo games, making up patterns, as we do in class. Put the picture cards or notation games on your refrigerator and play identification games with them as you get ready for dinner. It's fun and it's a great way to extend learning!
- As children get older, parents & adults join us for the last 15 minutes. This sharing time is important for the children as we like to show off what we've been doing... and adults will appreciate seeing how we are growing musically.
- We also offer child care center classes at select locations. This is a convenient option for working families whose busy schedules might not otherwise allow for music classes. Although we understand that you might not be able to join your child at these classes because of work or other obligations during the day, you are always welcome to come and join us at the child care center if your schedule permits.
What about "at-home materials" or the "family packet"? Are we supposed to practice at home?
Children and parents can have so much fun at home and in the car with Musikgarten songs and dances. In class you learn the songs, but at home is where you really have fun with the songs and dances. It's a great family bonding activity, and we do really encourage you to make music with your child outside of class, not just in class. (Try it and you won't have to ask this question ever again!) We provide class materials to families you with no mark-up; Itty Bitty Musik does not profit from the sales of at-home materials.
Do you have a class that would allow me to bring my children of different ages to at the same time?
Yes! Musikgarten has mixed-age (all-age) classes called "All Together Now!" which allow families with children under five years to be in one class at the same time. The program is based on adapting nursery rhymes to a music and movement format, offering something for all ages! Though these classes are especially convenient for families with siblings and foster children, you certainly don't have to have multiple children to enroll for a mixed-age class. Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers very often enjoy watching and interacting with one another, and there's an element of a "family dynamic" even when the children aren't related. (It's a little like getting together with a bunch of cousins for music time!)
As my child gets older, there are more and more activities available to children, and we can only sign up for a certain number of things! I want my children to have a variety of experiences, so why should I stick with music classes?
After being in the program for a while, you can see the benefits your child is getting from class. We truly believe that music is the best activity for your child's whole development--physical, emotional, intellectual, and social--all in a group setting that builds community. This includes large motor, small motor, coordination, balance, pattern recognition and sequencing, creativity, language stimulation, independence, cooperation, and so much more. Every aspect of a child's growth is impacted by music and this is why we are so passionate about it!