How music helps a teacher and children in Monaco live happily ever after

Munchkins Club Monoco 2Once upon a time, an educator who loved music moved from Milan, Italy, to bring the joy of learning English through music to children in a land faraway. Around the same time, an enchanting place called Monte Carlo Munchkins Club opened its doors to welcome children during their most formative years. As in any great fairytale, the two were destined to meet.

On the way to happily ever after

And, so begins the magical journey of Kindermusik educator Alina Botezatu, who explains in her own words how teaching children is changing her life and theirs!

“I love Kindermusik and seeing how the little curious minds assimilate information like sponges. It took some time to win the children’s trust, but now, as soon as they see me, they hug me and are excited about joining the class. This is such a wonderful feeling for a teacher. 

teaching ELL students“I’ve only been living in Monte Carlo and teaching Kindermusik at the Munchkins Club for a few months but I can already see the children’s progress in so many ways, including:

  • They learn new English words faster.
  • They sing many of the songs with me.
  • They dance and move their bodies in a more balanced way.
  • They know the stories we read together.
  • They have better concentration and listening abilities.
  • They are happy to take turns sharing instruments and helping each other and me during the class.

“It is always a lot of fun to sing and dance together. I’d like to thank my mentor, Laura D’Abbondanza Berryman, for all her invaluable support and my cute friends—the puppets—that make the children laugh and have fun during the lessons!”

Inauguration Monte-Carlo Munchkins Club 2013Of course, what fairytale is complete without a princess? Alina’s story includes Princess Charlene of Monaco, who visited the Munchkins Club to show her support for early childhood education.

We love happy endings. And, with Kindermusik, it is a good beginning with a happy ending that never ends!

Learn more about bringing Kindermusik’s ABC English & Me to your Language School, Nursery School, or Children’s Centre.

4 Reasons Why the Creative Arts Matter in Early Childhood Education

4 reasons why Creative Arts Matter in Early Childhood EducationYoung children love music, dancing, painting, playing, and other creative ways to express themselves and make sense of the world around them. However, as if those reasons weren’t enough to include things like art and music in early childhood education, research indicates that the arts, including music education for kids, significantly impacts cognitive development, increases self-esteem, and actively engages everyone in learning—children, parents, and teachers!

We believe that music is the best vehicle for early childhood learning. We want to empower our Educators, parents, and teachers to instill a lifelong love of music and learning in their children.

4 Reasons to Include the Arts in Early Childhood Education

  1. The creative arts engage children through multi-sensory learning.

    Multisensory Learning - Creative Arts in Early Childhood EducationChildren thrive on (and naturally respond to!) multi-sensory learning opportunities, such as music and the visual arts. Each of our five senses (sight, smell, sound, touch, taste) activates specific neurons in the brain. For young children, multi-sensory activities provide more learning opportunities than single-sensory activities because more of the brain becomes involved in the lesson. For example in a music class, children experience multi-sensory learning when they listen to and imitate animal sounds vocally or with an instrument, see the animals in the story, and then move around like them. Art activities can bring in the sense of smell and taste through edible art works, such as creating rainbows out of colored cereal or even using edible finger paints for the youngest learners. Plus, experiences that integrate several senses simultaneously are responsible for lasting impressions and greater retention.

  2. Musical activities stimulate development in every area of the brain.

    While multi-sensory learning engages children and provides greater retention, music education for children—in particular—provides research-proven cognitive benefits. Incorporating music and movement into a child’s learning routine stimulates all areas of the brain, including: vision, balance, hearing, speech, behavior, sensation, cognition, movement, and emotion. Take a look at the mental benefits of playing music: 

  3. Art and music classes teach children to love learning and school.

    Teachers and parents agree. We all want children to love learning and school. After all, it makes those early morning wake-up calls and afternoon lunch slumps a little bit easier. When asked: “What was your favorite thing about school today,” art and music consistently rank high on the list for young children. Why? It’s fun! As children grow beyond the early years, they carry that love of learning and school into the upper elementary years and beyond. Plus, the lessons learned in music classes can be applied throughout the day. Children who actively participate in playing music together learn teamwork, sharing, listening to and incorporating the ideas of others–and in turn learning the value of their own ideas, too! Plus, musical activities can help children learn self-regulation, the ability to regulate thoughts, feelings, and actions. All together, these skills translate into being ready to learn and success in school.

  4. Grown-ups love the arts, too.

    While we spend much time thinking about children in early childhood education (of course!), the grown-ups remain equally important. After all, children can tell when educators enjoy teaching. When teachers laugh and smile during the lesson, they model for students that learning is fun…and it is! For parents, the arts provide an easy way to support children’s education and get actively involved. Kindermusik Educators have fun in their early childhood programsThis could mean listening intently as a child explains the colors of the rainbow on a painting brought home from school and then finding the perfect spot on the refrigerator to hang it. Or it can mean singing and dancing to the songs from music class or pretending to be favorite characters in the book from circle time.

Music In the Classroom

In our Preschool curriculum (ABC Music & Me supplemental curriculum for ages birth to early elementary), children and teachers sing and play instruments, participate in dance and creative movement activities, engage in vocal and pretend play, and receive all of the benefits of the creative arts.

KindermusikPresents_ABCMusicAndMe_AGlobalEarlyChildhoodCurriculum[1]Plus, teachers and parents love Kindermusik. It’s easy to use with minimal planning and intentionally provides a method for teachers to participate, notice, and observe the class. Teachers can just pop in the hosted audio and a trained Kindermusik educator comes alive in their classroom through the guided activities.

ABC Music & Me brings the learning home with materials that provide a peek into the classroom with “teachable moment” extensions and favorite songs, stories, and activities from class.

Want to Learn More? Request a Demo: abcinfo@kindermusik.com

Contributed by Lisa Camino Rowell, a freelance writer living in Atlanta, Georgia.

Instrument Play that Helps Children Hit All the Right Notes

A music class really wouldn’t be a music class without instruments, but the benefits of instrument play extend far beyond the obvious musical benefits.  Here are a few surprising ways in which instrument play supports six core strengths that are essential for all children to develop.Instrument Play Helps Children Hit All the RIght Notes

Download the PDF Here.

Find out more about Kindermusik at www.Kindermusik.com.

Music Video Brings in the Clowns to Develop Kids’ Gross Motor Skills

I am a clown video

When you send in the clowns, you can also introduce a whole lot of fun practicing all kinds of ways to move, jump, listen, focus, and even stop.  At first glance, it might seem like an activity such as “I Am a Clown” is just about moving and dancing.  But watch a little more closely, and you’ll see that there are a whole lot more benefits than just developing gross motor skills.

Linking language and movement – With each new verse, there’s a new movement… and a new movement word for labeling that movement.  This is how children expand their vocabulary and their repertoire of moves.

Inhibitory control – This is that all-important skill of learning self-control, both externally and internally.  Having to stop their movements helps children learn how to be better in control of not just their bodies, but also their emotions and their interactions with others.

Active listening – “I Am a Clown” is a fun way for children to practice listening and responding to those aural cues.  Active listening is a learned skill, and one that will serve a child well even into adulthood.

Following directions – Bringing together several different ways of moving into the different verses of the same song helps children with the all-important excecutive function skill of following directions.

Social-emotional development – There’s nothing much more powerful than bonding together through music and movement activities, whether that’s parent-child together time or whether it’s enjoying the company and inspiration of friends in a music activity.

Kindermusik is where music and learning playWith all of these great benefits from a simple music and movement activity, enjoy a little “clowning around” with your own child (or with your whole class if you’re a teacher!) for a sneak peek into how the Kindermusik curriculum works through music and movement.

Why Music is One of the Best Things for Early Language Development

iStock_000006570426Large toddler dancing - language development through music and movement activitiesJust google it: “children’s language development.”  Over 35 million hits will appear almost instantaneously.  From tips for parents to academic dissertations, there’s a flood of information and opinion out there.  And while we haven’t checked all 35 million hits, we can guarantee that one of the common threads woven into the fabric of early language development is music.

That’s because we learn music and language in a similar progression.  First we are steeped in it. Gradually we detect and then imitate its sounds and patterns in babbling.  Eventually, our desire to communicate and the experience of our ears, brain and muscles converge and we speak our first  words – or sing our first notes!

So, how exactly can a music and movement class affect language development?

Vocal play encourages children to imitate, practice, and repeat words, phrases, rhythms,  accents, synchronization and tempo – all integral parts of communication.

Focused listening heightens sound discrimination, helping children isolate, identify, and imitate specific sounds.

Rhymes and chants develop rhythmic awareness, which aids speech fluency and an awareness of the rhythmic structure of language.

Pretend play provides rich opportunities for communication and self-expression as children share ideas and interact cooperatively with each other.

Moving and labeling those movements aids in language acquisition in the early years and expand vocabulary in the toddler and preschooler years.

Singing directly exposes children to patterns of language, including rhythm, speech sounds, syntax and rhyme.  Pattern awareness is crucial to learning, memory, and language development.

Expressive and receptive language activities give children practice and experience with both speaking and understanding, two very different but essential parts of language development.

Find out more about Kindermusik and the benefits of music at www.Kindermusik.com.