Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Kindermusik’ Category

My New Location….

I am very pleased and proud to announce that I am now teaching Kindermusik at the Callanwolde Arts Center in Atlanta on Saturday mornings.  Callanwolde is located at 980 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta, Georgia 30306.  It is, without a doubt, the most unique, beautiful location I have ever had the privilege to teach in.

Callanwolde Arts Center, Atlanta, Georgia

Callanwolde is a magnificent 27,000 square foot Gothic-Tudor style mansion situated on a beautifully landscaped 12.5-acre estate, filled with sculptured lawns, formal gardens, nature trails and a rock garden.  Originally the home of the Charles Howard Candler family, it was built between 1917 and 1920 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I am teaching Village classes for the very youngest, from newborn to 18 months, as well as Our Time classes for toddlers aged 18 months to 3.5 years.   Beginning in 2010, I will also have an Imagine That class or possibly a Family Time class as well on Saturdays.  Registration for Kindermusik classes at the Callanwolde Arts Center must be done through their website.

Come join us as we “Do-Si-Do” with the babies, and “Wiggle & Giggle” with the toddlers this fall!

Read Full Post »

Smiling Sunshine

It’s that time of year again – hot, sunny days filled with giggles and laughter of children who live life right there in the moment!

Share the fun and joy with your children as we spend our Busy Days exploring the Creatures at the Ocean while we’re On the Road traveling Around the World!

* * *

For newborn through 18 months:

Busy Days

Busy Days

Set your baby’s day to classical music.  With a little more Tchaikovsky in your “Twinkle, Twinkle” repertoire, you’ll discover new ways your baby benefits from the classics as you both develop an appreciation for the world’s most respected music.  Each lesson features new activities and songs you can sing for all the places you go together – the store, the playground, the doctor, and more!

Take-Home materials include a Home CD , a baby board book (pictured above), a parent poster, and a beautiful, wooden cage bell especially for your little one.  This is a 5-class session with classes lasting 45 minutes.  For specific days and times, please check our Class Schedule.

* * *

For children 18 months to 3.5 years:

Creatures at the Ocean

CATO AH mats

“Come sailing with me” as we head for the ocean!  Sing sailor songs and make the ocean count.  “Five little seashells lying on the shore: Swish! Went the waves and then there were four.”  Make homemade kites and fish sandwiches using fish-shaped bread and P.B. and J.

Home materials include a Home CD, a pair of seashell castanets instrument, a set of 10 story cards and 5 picture folders.  This is a 5-class session with classes lasting 45 minutes.  For specific days and times, please check our Class Schedule.

* * *

For children ages 3 to 5 years old:

On the Road

Re-live your childhood, with your child. Every song is likely to revive a memory from your summers’ past. Play “Eye Spy” and find shapes in the clouds to pass the time. Take imaginary trips in a bus named “Van Go” to fun-filled vacation destinations such as the carnival, a summer cottage, and the beach.

Home Materials: On the Road book, Home CD, frog guiro instrument, and poster.   This is a 5-class session with classes lasting 45 minutes.  For specific days and times, please check our Class Schedule.On the Road Home Mats

* * *

For children ages 5 to 6 years old:

Around the World

Take an imaginary trip—explore the exotic cultures of Germany, Japan, Africa, England, and Mexico. Play the native instruments. Drape sheets over cardboard boxes and sing over the German mountain tops. Toss peanuts on the floor and bring good luck to one’s home in this Japanese custom. Send messages in Nigeria with “talking drums.”

This is a 5-class session with classes lasting 90 minutes.  For specific days and times, please check our Class Schedule.

Home Materials: include a Home CD, arts and craft materials, a set of 5 picture folders, and a travel bag just right for child-sized travelers.

Around the World homemats

* * *

NEW this year

Your summer’s filled to the brim and you just can’t squeeze in a 5-class session, but you hate for your child to miss Kindermusik.

Or maybe you’re already registered for a 5-class session and you’ve got some extra time to fill this summer to keep your little ones engaged and learning.

What can you do in either case?

PlaydateLogo

Come join us as we celebrate various themes for each age group in a one-time only Kindermusik playdate.

Village families will have four different playdates:

  • Wiggle, Waggle
  • Cowboy Baby
  • The Best of Kindermusik
  • Shake It Up, Mother Goose!

Home materials will vary from one playdate to another.   Each family attending will receive a Kindermusik CD, Board Book and/or Home Instrument.

Choose one playdate or even all four – you can create your own summer Kindermusik schedule!  Your baby will thank you with BIG hugs and grins!

Cowboy BabyOur Time families are offered four different themes as well:

  • Pat-a-Cake
  • Tub Tunes
  • The Best of Kindermusik
  • Pet and Play

Home materials will vary from one playdate to another.   Each family attending will receive a Kindermusik CD, Board Book and/or Home Instrument.  Choose one playdate or even all four – you can create your own summer Kindermusik schedule!  Your toddler will thank you with BIG hugs and giggles!

Pat-a-Cake

For our older children (Imagine That and Young Child ), we are very pleased to offer two very unique playdates.

Fairy Princess Ballerinas: on July 18th at 11:30 AM

Come join us as we celebrate all the magic of being a Fairy Princess Ballerina!  Your little girl will thank you with BIG hugs and a wave of her magic wand!

Each family will receive a Kindermusik CD and Hardcover Book.  Each girl will also receive her own very special magic wand and pink tutu.

and

World Explorers on July 25th at 11:30AM.

Come join us as we celebrate all the wonder of being a world-class explorer!  Your child will thank you with BIG hugs and maybe even take you along on an exploration!

Each family will receive a Kindermusik CD and Hardcover Book.  Each child will also receive his or her own very special explorer fanny pack filled with explorer equipment.

For registration of specific days and times, please check our Class Schedule.

* * *

This summer we have something for everyone at Masterworks Studio.   😀

Your bare feet!

Read Full Post »

I don’t honestly remember how I first found TED.com.  I guess it was a link sent by a friend or one of those days I was surfing the web, traveling from link to link, reading whatever caught my interest.  In any event,  I was so fascinated by the expansive offerings on TED that I subscribed to their newsletter.

This week’s e-newsletter shared one of the three winning TED wishes ($100K prize) this year  – that of Dr. Jose Abreu of Venezuela,  a 70-year-old retired economist, trained musician, and social reformer who founded “the system” (El Sistema) in 1975 and has built it with religious zeal, based on his belief that what poor Venezuelan kids needed was classical music.

Abreu’s wish?  To take El Sistema to other nations, including the United States.

El Sistema is all about children,  many from neighborhoods which are so poor, desperate and crime-ridden, that hope is often extinguished in children at an early age, living in areas where residents don’t walk alone day or night.  And it’s focus is about saving them – hundreds of thousands of children – through music.

According to Dr. Abreu, music is a social system that fights poverty and overcomes it by the spiritual richness that music provides, becoming a vehicle of social change.

Each day, children from some of the poorest of the poor slums in Venezuela line up for free lessons at their local branch of El Sistema.  Beginning as early as two years of age, they start learning the basics, like rhythm, and the language of music.  (Sounds like Kindermusik!)

By the time they’re four, they’re being taught how to play an instrument. By the time they’re six or seven-year-old veterans, they’re playing in orchestras.

Through hard work and the assistance of fifteen thousand trained musicians as well as gifted kids who teach other kids, the system uses classical music to instill in the kids self-esteem and confidence.

In the thirty-four years since El Sistema was first founded, over eight hundred thousand children have passed through the organization.  While the majority of them do not continue on to be professional musicians, all of them are changed.

Dr. Abreu is quoted as saying,

“Music produces an irreversible transformation in a child. This doesn’t mean he’ll end up as a professional musician. He may become a doctor, or study law, or teach literature. What music gives him remains indelibly part of who he is forever.”

When asked if he thinks the system could work in the United States, one Sistema branch manager said:

“Yeah. But I mean, kids are kids. It doesn’t matter where they come from. And if you can help a poor kid in here, you can help a poor kid everywhere. It doesn’t matter the culture, it doesn’t matter the race. I mean, it’s music. Everybody love music.”

Make sure your computer is hooked up to a good set of speakers, turn up the sound, sit back, and prepare to be completely blown away by the power and beauty of  the Teresa Carreño Youth Orchestra (Sinfónica Juvenil Teresa Carreño), the national high-school-age youth orchestra of El Sistema, directed by Gustavo Dudamel,  newly named musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and product of El Sistema himself.   The two selections are Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10, 2nd movement, and Mexican composer Arturo Márquez’ Danzón No. 2.

To learn more about Dr. Abreu, El Sistema, and making Dr. Abreu’s wish come true, please visit TED.com here.

To view the El Sistema segment by Bob Simon on 60 Minutes, please follow this link.

Read Full Post »

Three Valentine Cupids

Fun Valentine’s Day Fingerplays for your Family

Five Little Hearts

Five little hearts, all in a row

The first one said, “I love you so.”

The second one said, “Will you be my Valentine?”

The third one said, “I will, if you’ll be mine.”

The fourth one said, “I’ll always be your friend.”

The fifth one said, “We’ll all be friends until the very end.”

How Many Valentines?

Valentines, valentines,

how many do you see?

Valentines, valentines:

One for Father, (hold up thumb)

One for Mother, (hold up pointer)

One for Grandma, (middle finger)

One for Sister, (ring finger)

One for Brother, (little finger)

And here is one for you!

(make heart shape with both thumbs and pointer fingers)

Do You Know the Little Love Bug?

(to be sung to “The Muffin Man”)

Do you know the little love bug,

the little love bug, the little love bug?

Do you know the little love bug

who comes on Valentine’s Day?

He comes to give a hug and kiss,

a hug and kiss, a hug and kiss.

He comes to give a hug and kiss

To (child’s name) on Valentine’s Day!

Wedding

For Mom and Dad’s Enjoyment

“When you fall in love, I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be so painful.” (Harlen, 8 )

“To get a girl to fall in love with you… take her out to eat. Make sure it’s something she likes to eat. French fries usually works for me.” (Bart, 9)

“Love is foolish…..but I might try it sometime.” (Floyd, 9 )

“Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.” (Tom, 5)

“On the first date, most people tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.” Mike, 9

“Never kiss in front of other people. It’s embarrassing if anybody sees you. But if nobody sees you, I might be willing to try it with a handsome boy, but just for a few hours.” (Kelly, 9)

“It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need somebody to clean up after them.” (Lynette, 9)

“Love and Marriage: It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.” (Kenny, 7)

“Love; No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.” (Jan, 9)

“Falling in love is like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.” (Roger, 9)

“If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.” (Leo, 7)

“It isn’t always just how you look. Look at me. I’m handsome like anything and I haven’t got anybody to marry me yet.” (Gary, 7)

“Lovers hold hands to make sure their rings don’t fall off because they paid good money for them.” (Dave, 8 )

“Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I have been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me.” (Bobby, 8 )

“I’m not rushing into being in love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.” (Regina, 10)

Happy Valentine’s Day to all my Kindermusik Families!

Read Full Post »

I read an interesting article today about enhancing your well-being through purposeful mental training such as that done by Buddhist monks in Tibet.

Written by Brian Maffly of the Salt Lake Tribune, it is a fascinating look into current scientific research done by Communications Psychology professor Richard Davidson of Madison University, using the latest technology such as magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, to document the startling control the monks demonstrate over their emotional states.  His resulting ideas about “neuroplasticity” — the notion that we can enhance brain function through purposeful mental training — threaten to upend conventional psychoterapy, which has little scientific basis.

Davidson is quoted as saying:

“We were all taught that the brain is different from other organs in the way it changes over time.  We thought the process was one of irrevocable death,”  Davidson said.  “We now know that view is definitely wrong.  The brain is capable of generating 7,000 to 9,000 cells a day.”

Recruited by the Dalai Lama, monks who participated in this study had spent, on average, 34,000 hours in intense meditation and were considered masters of the faith.   By using scans that tracked brain function, Davidson was able to track high levels of activity in the areas of the brain associated with emotional well-being.   Further studies documented measurable changes in brain activity after two-week sessions of mental training.

The most interesting part of this article for me is directly related to music.  Davidson states,  The brain is the only organ designed to change in response to experience.   Musical training changes the structure of the brain and when it begins earlier in life the greater the influence. (emphasis mine)

Come join us in our Kindermusik classes and create some well-being of your own for you and your child.  We gladly offer pro-rated tuition when joining after the beginning of the new semester!

For our class schedule, please visit our website.


Read Full Post »

Demo Days

Due to low registrations and the extreme weather we’ve had in the past two days, the *free* Kindermusik classes that were scheduled for Saturday, January 17th, have been cancelled.  We will re-schedule them at a later date in the next few weeks.

Please visit our website for the class schedule for our new Kindermusik semester starting next week.  It’s not too late to register! 🙂

Read Full Post »

I love hearing what parents have to say about Kindermusik!  After all, I’m biased – I know that it’s the very best early childhood music and movement curriculum there is!  And I know that it’s *so* much more than just music.

But to hear what a parent has to say – well, that’s a glimpse into the other side of the equation in the Kindermusik classroom – the parent and their participation in class, too.

This article by Beth Britton in Clarkesville Online shares all this, but also points out another big plus for Kindermusik parents – the Kindermusik community of other parents that are right there with you in the classroom.

beth-britton

Read what this mom from Clarkesville, Tennessee had to say about Kindermusik and the eye-opening insight she received about her own daughter while in the classroom.   Where would we be without the free thinkers of this world?  Your child *just* might be one of them!

It’s not too late to register for our upcoming Kindermusik semester which begins *next* Saturday, January 24th.    We’ll be singing Mother Goose rhymes, walking along with a dog named Rover, visiting “Cities – Busy Places, Friendly Faces” as well as playing the “Rhythms of the Land”.  Come join us!

Read Full Post »

A colleague of mine, Jenn Horak-Hulk of Waukee, Iowa, recently posted a video of Kindermusik parents who explained why they chose Kindermusik for their children.  Each one has a different perspective to offer that is well worth hearing.  And the kids are just darn cute!  Enjoy!
This highly qualified parent (Early Childhood PhD) explains why she chose Kindermusik for her own children.
Our new semester begins in just two weeks!  Home materials are being ordered today.  Have you registered your child yet?

Read Full Post »

Demo Days

Join us Saturday, January 17th for free 30-minute classes for two different age-groupings: 1) ages newborn to 3.5 years,  and 2) 3.5 – 6 years.

Classes are listed below.  In order to insure adequate class space, class sizes are limited, and we ask that you register your child for these free classes.  Choose the one that best fits your child’s age, and click on the link to register.  If you have more than one child, choose the class that more closely overlaps the age ranges of your children.  These are absolutely free!

Newborn – 3.5 years

Saturday, January 17th – 10AM


3.5  – 6 years


Not sure where we’re located?    All classes are held at Avondale First Baptist Church, 47 Covington Road, in Avondale Estates.  A map and directions are available here.

Come join us as we share some of the fun and learning you will find in our Kindermusik classroom!

Read Full Post »

I really, really love the holiday season, with all of its joys and wonders.

I enjoy the anticipation of seeing a loved one’s face when they open a gift and find something they had deeply desired but did not expect to receive due to the high cost or time-expenditure involved in obtaining it.

As a musician, I love being a part of the holiday build-up, participating in so many Christmas programs – as a musician, a director, and an educator.   Providing holiday music to willing listeners who enjoy and praise your efforts is always a joy and pleasure.

I even enjoy shopping to an extent – when I am able to get out *early* in the morning around 7:30 or 8 AM before the mall’s parking lots begin to fill with the crazies who cruise up and down the lanes, looking for that one spot closest to the door when they could easily have parked their car five or six slots further down the hill and walked up, saving time *and* gas.

I love remembering Christmases past and sharing family stories with my children, now old enough to appreciate those of  family members no longer with us and to enjoy hearing their own versions of those they shared in as very young children.

However, this Christmas season we had a new experience that I could just as soon done without.

The day after my previous post, my mother-in-law’s home, located nearby, was broken into and ransacked.   There wasn’t really anything of monetary value in her home to steal – only sentimental and precious items that drew their value from their previous owners – all family who are no longer living.

According to DeKalb County police, the intruders are suspected as being juveniles looking for game systems, flatscreen televisions, laptops, etc. that they can easily turn around and sell for $50 or less in a couple of hours.

When the burglars couldn’t put their hands quickly on anything like that in her home, they weren’t satisfied until they had basically taken every drawer out and dumped it, pulled everything out of every closet and off every shelf in the process, leaving behind a complete and total mess all over the house.

We were advised that we would be contacted by a DP detective who would handle our case, but seeing as there wasn’t a great deal stolen and no apparent clues left behind, there’s not a great deal of hope for recovering what was lost.  If we saw anything or anyone suspicious in our neighborhood, we should contact the DCPD immediately and let them know.

So, this year, we weren’t worried about whether or not we’d get all our shopping done in time or all the packages wrapped before running out of scotch tape.  We didn’t really think about whether or not the UPS tracking number was messed up, saying only, “Shipper info received” for three days with no change in location *anywhere*.

Instead it was whether or not it was even safe to leave our own home unattended for a few hours to go visit other family members and share Christmas with them.

We were finally able to relax yesterday and enjoy a pleasant Christmas Day with our children and extended family, sharing a good meal and relishing the chaos of gift-giving and package-demolition that a family with nine members creates.

Then today – another reminder that there really are individuals out there whose sole intent is to take what doesn’t belong to them only because they’re too lazy to work for it like the rest of us.

We had a young couple, male and female, come to our door this afternoon, clipboard in hand, wearing name badges with an AT&T logo in the lower right-hand corner,  saying that they were with AT&T, going door-to-door, checking with AT&T customers about their bills and whether or not they had received a reduction in monthly fees as had been reported.  (their words)

According to them, there had been a number of complaints in our area from AT&T customers that the reduction had not come through in their bills and this couple’s job was to check on the status of our satisfaction with AT &T.

One of their first questions was whether or not we have only phone service or phone and internet service.  (Shouldn’t this information already be in their system?)

When I asked if they had any identification, they both pointed to their name badges (which, coincidentally, did not have an individual picture on them – more on that later), and the young woman laughed, saying, “No, really, we’re here to help you eat up some of the leftovers from all that food you had yesterday.”

When I replied, “Well, you’re out of luck – there’s not much left”, her response was “No biggy.”  (Is this really a professional reply from a professional marketing surveyor?)

At this point, my personal radar is screaming – WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

When they finally got to the point of asking about our billing, I used the convenient tool I always use when asked something by a marketing individual that I don’t want to answer:

“My husband handles all that.  He’s gone to the store right now (which did happen to be true), and he’ll be back in 30 minutes.”

The young woman replied, “Well, we’ll be going down the street and looping around.  We’ll be coming back by here in a little while.  If we see him, we’ll stop back by.”

When I asked where they were parked, they both gestured down the street and vaguely replied “Down there.”  (which I did look in that direction – no car was to be seen.)

As soon as they left, walking down the street, I ran inside and called my husband on his cell, telling him the story as quickly as I could.  He had been heading for the store to pick up a prescription for our son, but immediately turned around to come back and look for these people.

My daughters and I watched as the couple continued down the street and back up the other side, literally going door to door, finding very few people at home today.  (I suspect some of our neighbors were out at Stonecrest, scooping up after-Christmas bargains.)

I tried repeatedly to call 3-1-1 – the non-emergency number for DeKalb PD, but had no luck reaching anyone.  Frustrated by this, I decided to go ahead and call 9-1-1 even though it really wasn’t an emergency situation as I think of an emergency.

The 911 operator was very helpful, taking down my information and reassuring me that they’d have someone out there soon, which, amazingly enough, happened within 5 minutes or so.

In the meantime, my husband had come back and stopped this couple, standing literally in his mother’s carport at her door, and had asked for their supervisor’s name and phone number.

He was given a single name – Bruno – and a 1-866 number that our daughters googled and found to be an ATT customer service number with the full menu of options to select from that drives *all* of us crazy.

He also asked for their names – Jamie and Rusty, which they wrote down – but couldn’t really verify this with their badges as he could not see them that well outside the van.

By the time the police arrived, “Jamie” and “Rusty” had continued on up the road and around the corner on the next side street.  My husband had continued to ride around the neighborhood, keeping an eye on them, talking with AT&T on his cell, asking about ID as well, but the police somehow missed them when they left our home after speaking with me in our yard.

It became very obvious to me that not only was I unnerved by this, but our daughters and next-door neighbor as well.   All of us were on edge, wondering if these people were legit or not.

My oldest daughter had called AT&T while this was all taking place and asked them if they could tell us if they knew of anyone from their company in our area going door to door.

She was advised that if the couple was legitimately representing AT&T, they would be wearing picture  ID’s – not just name badges.  Not only that – they would not come inside the home or ask to; they are prohibited from doing that.

Other information we found out was that any representative should have a letter of authorization as well as a number to call to verify their identity business.

When David had asked for their supervisor’s name and phone number, he was given the previously mentioned name and number written on the back of a poorly photocopied sheet of various monthly plans with an ATT logo at the bottom.  No letter of authorization of any kind was shown.

In the process of riding through the neighborhood, David found a car parked on the side of the road on another side street just above our home.

As he drove by the BMW after writing down the tag number, he saw the young woman, “Jamie”,  walking up the hill to the car.  She waved and flagged him down, asking if he was following them around.

When he told her that he was just keeping an eye on the neighborhood, she told him that he’d better be careful – the police might pick him up because she had called them, telling them that a man was following them around. (The police later told us that no such call had been received.)

My sweet, gentle husband informed her that that was fine with him, and she might want to be careful, too, because we had called the police about them.

Bottom line?

We still don’t know for sure if the couple was really asking for information as representatives of AT&T or on a fishing expedition of the neighborhood homes.   By the time a second unit of the DeKalb PD came back by and talked with us, the car and couple was gone.

The police officer that spoke with us then said that he had been involved in a similar call recently in the area that did turn out to be a legitimate follow-up by a different media company.   It also involved a couple, male and female, that, because of the physical appearance of one of them, caused questions to be raised in the minds of the homeowners who were approached at the door.

He also advised us that sharing the information with our neighbors (which we did and continue to do) is the very best thing we could do to protect ourselves and our neighborhood.

In his words, “You’re out here (in the area) all the time.  We’re only here 10% of the time.   You know who belongs here and who doesn’t.  Stay alert and continue to watch out for anything or anyone suspicious and report them.  That helps us out to protect you.”

So I’m left wondering if I panicked over nothing, or did I possibly give a potential burglar cause to stop and say, “Nah, I don’t think I’ll mess with this neighborhood.  Too many busybodies.”

Was I overly sensitive to a woman who struck me as very unprofessional in her demeanor, or was she, in my husband’s words, possibly just a college student out to make a few bucks between semesters?

Was I possibly judgmental to someone who apparently has not had the benefits of education and socio-economic upbringing that I had?

I don’t know;  I cringe at the thought of that kind of bigotry.

But I do know this – I’m not going to go through another Christmas, looking over my shoulder, wondering if someone’s watching our house, plotting to break in.

My New Year’s resolution that is actually *not* for New Year’s but today, December 26th, 2008 is this – I’m going to be more proactive – notifying our neighborhood watch that successfully got the speedbreakers installed on our street not to let down their guard, but to keep eyes and ears open.

We are a community of families that just happen to reside in nearby homes who need to look out for each other just as neighbors did when I was a child.

No longer can we be content to just stay in our homes, contacting only family members and immediate friends via phone, mail, and email.  We have to reach out to those we recognize by sight here in our neighborhoods, even when we don’t know their names.   Our family’s peace of mind may depend on it.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »