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Archive for August, 2008

As adults, we all know (or should know) that there will always be times in our lives that things happen, situations arise, that we have absolutely no control over – the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, even our child’s first day of preschool or first grade when it is suddenly brought home to us that those early years have passed all too quickly.

Some children breeze through the “first-day-of-school” milestone with little or no difficulty whatsoever. 

Others struggle – where is this place that’s called “school”?  Will I like it?  Will I have friends there?  How long before mom and/or dad pick me up? 

Anxiety often results simply from fears of the unknown, and, while we, as adults, know that our children will probably be just fine in school, these are very real unknown concerns for many children.  With life getting busier and his world expanding exponentially, a child may feel overwhelmed by all the new expectations and requirements that come his way.

If this is your child, how can you help him or her adjust to that kind of change in their world?

Consistency.

With all the changes in his/her life, staying in Kindermusik provides a badly needed consistency required to make the transition easier.  In our Kindermusik classes, children learn to recognize the structure and routine of our class flow.  It makes for a comfortable, secure time in their weekly schedule where they know what to expect for themselves, and come to learn what is expected of themselves, as well. 

With life getting busier, and your child’s activities more independent in nature, Kindermusik is one place where the two of you can still spend precious time focused on each other.

 

See our Class Schedule for a day and time that works for your family.

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Tonight I received an interesting article that I thought I’d share, entitled, ” ‘Mozart effect’ or not, music is beneficial” by Mike Saelee of the UCLA Daily Bruin. 

Saelee writes about research being done at  UCLA Semel Institute’s Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), to study brain activity while people listen to or create music.  The hope is that by applying the use of fMRI and music to study emotion processing in the brains of children with autism, a developmental disorder of the brain, researchers may learn more about the possible use of music as a tool to help autistic children with social engagement and communication, noted key areas of the disorder. 

“The study will examine how the brain processes emotion in children with autism by measuring blood flow while listening to pleasant and unpleasant music,” said Istvan Molnar-Szakacs, a neuroscientist at the UCLA Semel Institute’s Tennenbaum Center for the Biology of Creativity. 

The positive therapeutic effects of music are also being harnessed and used in hospitals and other types of health institutions, such as rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes.   Vanya Green, a music therapist at UCLA, is quoted as saying, “Music enables an emotional level to be reached that may not be done in other modalities.”   The type of music therapy used depends upon the assessment of the client’s specific needs  derived by the music therapist. 

The simple process of remembering and producing a familiar tune such as “Here comes the Bride” occurs because the centers of the brain that process music and sound evolved from processing sounds of danger and/or threat to human life.  Due to the importance of understanding and comprehending sounds for survival, sounds have a direct route to the limbic system, which is a set of brain structures involved in emotion processing and to areas important for processing reward.  This also explains why so many of us actively turn to music we enjoy, that gives us pleasure. 

Molnar-Szakacs of UCLA is quoted as saying, “These pathways are now used for processing all sounds, from a lion’s roar to a Beethoven symphony, allowing us to listen to music and feel incredibly moved.  There is music at the mall, music at the gym, music in the car, and music on our phone. We pretty much live with a permanent soundtrack.”

I don’t know about you, but I think my “permanent soundtrack” sometimes needs a good “shuffle” in it!  🙂

 

To read this article in its entirety, please visit the UCLA Daily Bruin here.

Thanks goes to Remy Moore, Media Projects Assistant at Simply Music.com, for providing this article to us.  Thanks, Remy!

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I was fortunate three years ago to attend the Kindermusik national convention held in Nashville, Tennessee.  I went, not really knowing many people, but content to sit and learn and absorb as much as possible of the Kindermusik experience.  What I didn’t realize was that it would be something totally new and different there that would shift my musical “paradigm” in ways I never could have anticipated.

I first met Lynn Frank and Karen Gibson, both Kindermusik educators, through our online KM Loop, made up of licensed Kindermusik educators.  When a question was posed on the loop about beginning piano methods, they both brought up Simply Music – a piano method that I had never heard of.  Having taught piano now for over 35 years, I’ve pretty much heard of most of them.  This was something new.

Developed by Australian-born Neil Moore and based in Sacramento, California, it was something that they raved about – as teachers, as musicians, as pianists.  They both mentioned how it freed not only their students from the written page, but also themselves.  Intrigued, I began to look into it and attended their information workshop in Nashville.

I was so impressed with not only what I saw, but also heard there, that I began checking into Simply Music more closely via the internet, spending hours pouring over the website, viewing their videos, and following links to licensed Simply Music instructors.  I also emailed these instructors, asking further questions about their decision to teach this method.  After a week of investigation, emails and conversations, I took the plunge and signed up for training.  I’ve never regretted it.

Simply Music is a revolutionary, Australian-developed piano and keyboard method that presents a breakthrough in music education.  Students of all ages are playing great-sounding blues, contemporary, classical and accompaniment pieces – immediately – from their very first lessons.  And they’re enjoying themselves tremendously in the process!

Simply Music sets a new standard in music education, and explores learning piano, playing piano, and teaching piano from a completely different perspective.  It presents the possibility of a new era in music education, learning, and self-expression. 

It is not the Suzuki method.  It is not rote memorization.  It is not a reading-based, traditional approach.  It is simply – music – taught in such a way that even teachers, long trained in traditional piano methods, find themselves transformed not only in how they teach piano, but also in playing and composing piano pieces for themselves. 

For your enjoyment, I present one of my beginning piano students, Alex, who is eight years old.  He has been studying piano with me since mid-March of 2008, just five (5) months ago, using Simply Music.  He has not had any previous formal piano or music study of any kind.  The piece he is playing is called “Alma Mater Blues” and is the final piece of the Level I Foundation book of Simply Music.  Enjoy! 🙂

There will be a *FREE* Information Session about Simply Music on Tuesday, August 26th, at Zion Baptist Church in Covington, Georgia, beginning at 7PM.  Interested in learning more about Simply Music and playing the piano?  Come join us!  Questions?  Email us at info at masterworks studio dot com or call 404-395-5247.

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Top Ten

Top 10 Reasons to Enroll in

KM Logo - big

10. My child will be learning while having a lot of fun!

9. I will learn more about my child’s developmental abilities.

8. We will both make new friends that will last a lifetime.

7. It will allow my child to use his/her creativity and Imagination.

6. Kindermusik improves my child’s physical coordination.

5. It improves my child’s listening and language skills.

4. Kindermusik prepares my child for future private music studies.

3. It provides wonderful bonding time for me and my child that lasts all week when we use the included home materials (CDs, Books, instruments, and more) which are ours to keep.

2. Kindermusik Fosters joyful music making using quality instruments and recordings.

1. Kindermusik is the best choice for my child!

To enroll NOW, visit Masterworks Studio or call 404-395-5247.

Classes begin August 30th for children birth – 7.

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In a Kindermusik class, miming and singing “Wheels on the Bus” may seem like child’s play, but it’s actually helping a child develop better coordination and language skills.

In a Kindermusik class, parents and their children—ages newborn to 7 years old—sing, dance and make music together to develop better learning skills for the child. Parents also learn more about the developmental process and benefits by activities in class.

Studies continue to show that music has a positive impact on a child’s ability to learn. Not only in terms of preschool readiness, but making and responding to music can help a child use scissors, kick a ball, as well as have a positive impact on a child’s sense of self-esteem and self-expression.

“For a child, being ready for preschool is about feeling comfortable with yourself,” says Carol Penney, Kindermusik International’s Director of Education . “Then they have the confidence to leave mom and dad at home and get involved with what’s going on in preschool.”

Kindermusik classes are designed by music and early childhood educators. Activities are based on new and proven research that music making music can stimulate every area in the child’s development:

  • Stimulate a love of diverse styles of music—varied musical exposure leads to language proficiency and spatial-temporal reasoning, which is the foundation for engineering and science.
  • Foster creativity using music, dance, drama—children use creative thinking skills in pretend play, enhancing their ability to think in different ways.
  • Teaches parents about child development—parents are the child’s first teacher. Kindermusik classes help parents understand the child development process by explaining developmental benefits of each class activity and offering activities they can do together at home.

Our Fall Semester begins soon – have you registered your child for class yet? 

Check out our Class Schedule for the day and time that best fits your family’s needs.

Not sure how you can afford Kindermusik?  We can make it happen here!  😀

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After viewing the women’s gymnastics portion of the Olympics Games (my favorite of them all), I have developed a grudging respect for the Chinese gymnastics even while totally disbelieving the supposed totally reliable documentation of their ages.  (I’m the mother of three girls.  I know the timetable of when little girls’ bodies develop, and these girls are just that – girls – and definitely not 16-year-olds, despite what the powers-that-be may claim. And, yes, I do know what over-exercising can do to the female cycle.)

So, while I have watched the gymnastics competition with interest, it has not been with the fascination that I find watching this video of the Chinese State Circus.  I thought, at first, it was a newly choreographed version of Swan Lake, only to realize with a jolt, that it is a combination of ballet and gymnastics that I’ve never seen before.  An arabesque atop the male lead’s arm – no, his shoulder – no, his hand – no!  His head!

Enjoy! 😀

h/t to Tabby and Jeanne

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 That’s what I’ve been hearing lately from folks wondering if I’ve dropped off the face of the earth.  I have to say that, in some ways, that actually might have been preferable!

I’ve been swamped, preparing for a music conference this coming weekend where I am responsible for three sessions (YIKES!) while caring for our soon-to-be 18-year-old daughter who has had her wisdom teeth removed and is coping with mega-sized chipmunk-style cheeks.  Again – YIKES!

On top of all that, we’ve had two funerals this week to deal with – one, the father-in-law of a very dear friend, and the other, a gentleman who was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest soul I think I’ve ever known.  The last ten days or so have been tough in many ways.

I’ll be back this Saturday evening with a *LOT* of good things to share – about this fall, our Kindermusik schedule, and our studio events.  I might be out of sight, but the blog is *definitely* not out of mind! 🙂

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