Recently I've been reading a great book called "Start With Why" by Simon Sinek. This has led me to start thinking about Kindermusik and not just WHAT I do, but WHY I do it. I thought and thought about all the things that I love about music: it's fun, it makes me happy, it's a great conduit for education and then it happened...
Last week we had our first Summermusik Camp and I saw those sweet faces.
This little guy never smiles for a camera and often times doesn't want to try new things, especially when mom is away, but music gave him the confidence and joy to jump in and participate enthusiastically.
This little girl started out the week running to one corner of the room not sure of what to expect and a little shy. She was also adamant with mom that she would NOT be performing at the end of the week in front of all those people, yet she performed BEAUTIFULLY in front of the parents at the showcase.
At the end of one of the songs she yelled out in the middle of the performance, "I did it!" and kept repeating it over and over. Don't you LOVE those open mouth smiles. LOL. Music gave her a sense of pride in herself for overcoming her fear and allowed her to thrive!!
This is my favorite picture of all! This little girl speaks very little English. She struggled to understand directions at times and had a hard time keeping up with what we were doing because of her limited English. This was her smile at the end of the week!
Music is a universal language. Every child from every culture no matter their fears, insecurities, or their background can speak the language.
THIS is what I do! I don't just teach music, I teach CONFIDENCE! Every child that week was given confidence in some way or another and music was our language.
Music was what shined a light in all their hearts and their smiles shone a light in mine.
Thank you to all the parents this past week for giving me the joy of your children. I will never forget the lessons they have taught me. Also, thank you to Jessica Duncan for your amazing work with each of these lovely children! You are an amazing teacher! I'm so glad that I get to work with you! I can't wait for our next Summermusik Camp coming up August 7th-11th!
On my daughter's first and second Christmas', I remember being so excited and wanting to make it the most magical Christmas we had experienced. We went out and bought all kinds of toys, bouncy seats, and kitchen play sets. We couldn't wait for Christmas morning to watch her rip the paper off her gifts and dig into all the new toys she had received!
We quickly found out, though, that she was way more interested in ripping paper and crawling through the boxes than playing with any of the toys that we had spent a small fortune on.
Looking back, each Christmas that we've spent with our daughter has been the most magical Christmas, and not because we had lots of toys, but because we were together.
Your children are the true gifts this season! Being together and slowing down the hustle and bustle to truly engage with one another and feel gratitude for this precious time in their lives will always be the greatest gifts of our life, not just at the Holidays, but all year long.
The week of October 3rd-October 8th, we at Kindermusik with Leah Eubanks will be hosting "Bring a Friend Week" in conjunction with the organization "Keep Music Alive."
Keep Music Alive is on a MISSION to promote how valuable and important music is in all our lives: Academically, Therapeutically or just overall making us a happier society. As part of this mission, their new book "88+ Ways Music Can Change Your Life" features over 150 Inspirational music quotes, anecdotes and stories relating how music has affected the lives of people all over the world. 50% of the proceeds from all book and ebook sales are donated to non-profits that support schools and communities in need with musical instructions and education. To find out more about this great organization check out their website at www.kidsmusicday.org.
This year we will be partnering up to help promote the 1st Annual Kids Music Day on October 7th! Throughout Bring a Friend Week, we'll be celebrating all the ways that music has changed our life, starting with your's truly. :) If you haven't heard my story and how I've come to teach music then I hope that it will inspire you along your journey.
I'm so grateful to all our families who bring your children to Kindermusik each week! We do this not just because it's fun or because our children ALWAYS behave. LOL. (If you've seen my own daughter in class sometimes then you'll know I'm right there with you. :) We do this because we know it has the power to change their life for the better. As parents we dream of the adult that our child will one day become...joyful, confident, compassionate, and creative. We're all in this together.
If you would like to join us for Bring a Friend Wee just click on the link below.
RSVP to Bring a Friend Week
If you would just like to share one of your inspirational stories of how music has changed your life or a friend or family member's life, I encourage you to keep the conversation going on our Facebook page.
Comment or Like our Page
Even if you don't have a story to share, click on over, like our page, and be inspired this week and next as we celebrate music in the lives of our children.
Happy Music Making!
As a parent, some things are worth repeating - the first time you hold your baby, your child's first laugh or first few steps, watching your child make a new friend, and even a random snuggle on a rainy day. Other moments are best left in the past - your chid's first bout with croup, and ear infection or a stomach bug. And of course, we can't forget about that diaper incident that happened on a quick trip to the store! (Don't pretend like it hasn't ever happened to you! LOL!) And yes, even the 95th reading of your child's favorite book. (Good riddance Goodnight Moon. Right?)
However, from a child development standpoint, reading that same book over and over again is actually a good thing. Few things build your child's brain and open opportunities for learning more than consistent repetition of healthy activities and experiences. Every new activity your child participates in makes a new neural pathway in your child's brain. Each time that experience is repeated, the neural pathway "or learning" is strengthened. So, each week when you come to Kindermusik class we intentionally repeat some of the same activities from previous weeks and also give you the music and resources to repeat them at home. It's how your child learns best!
So this month, focus on repetition. Listen to the music from class and do the activities together at home. Then repeat, because practice may not make perfect, but it does make LEARNING!
Ready to get your child on the pathway to music and learning? START HERE.
You probably didn't realize this when your child was born, but you quickly realized that becoming a parent means becoming a teacher. You are actually your child's first and best teacher they will ever have. But you also quickly realized that becoming a parent also meant becoming a student. Our children teach us quickly how to respond to their needs. As they get older they begin teaching us through their vivid imagination. Children teach us how to move and sound like a garbage truck, an airplane zooming in the sky, popcorn popping in the microwave, or even how to spin in a circle faster than fast pretending to be a whirlpool.
This all sounds like child's play, but actually supporting your child's expressive movement helps connect the outer world of movement and sound with their inner world of feelings and observations. In class, when we dance around the room in time to the music, reach for a star in the night , or spread our robin wings and fly in search of food, your child taps into a growing imagination and experiences support from you for their early artistic expression.
Expressive movement isn't just for class. Tap into your child's imagination during bath time. After feeding all those baby birds in class, your little robin needs a bath. How would a robin (gently) splash in the the water, wash the dirt from their feathers, or even fly around the room to dry off?
Wish me luck getting this little robin to bed! Have a great day!
Before Facebook, making friends and maintaining relationships involved more than clicking yes to a "Friend Request" and commenting on the occasional status update. (Well, technically it still does.)
To be a good friend, regardless of your age, we need to share, use our "kind and polite words," take turns, show empathy, listen, practice conflict resolution -- essentially put into practice all those skills that make a good friend (or co-worker, neighbor, spouse, etc).
At Kindermusik with Leah Eubanks in Raleigh, NC, we know the first five years of your child's life present unique and lasting moments for laying the groundwork for healthy social development.
Watch as your child takes turns with a favorite instrument or rolls a ball back and forth with a friend. You see, helping your child develop social skills is only part of what we do at Kindermusik with Leah Eubanks. It's about helping your child fall in love with music and creating childhood memories of music classes you will both cherish for a lifetime.
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Plus...enjoy this Valentine's idea to try with your child. Happy Valentine's!
Do you remember when we actually used to call someone on a cell phone? Ah, those primitive years! Then texting entered the scene. Our finger muscles and fine motor skills certainly got a workout as we learned this new skill.
Children need to learn how to use and coordinate their finger, hand, and wrist muscles-not for texting-but for reaching, grasping, and more. Check out this "Ten Egg" finger play activity that you can do with your child. These skills will build the foundation your child needs for buttoning buttons, zipping zippers, tying shoes, using scissors, writing and even learning to play the piano or a recorder. Texting will come later.
With Kindermusik classes in over 70 countries, we know a thing or two about families and children around the world. We know, for instance, that every child speaks music and laughter sounds the same in any language. And, to a child, funny things can be found anywhere-mouth noises, made-up words, knock-knock jokes, chasing the dog, and even-sometimes-mommy's "angry face." (You know it's true.)
On average, children laugh about 200 times every day. Silliness is a great way to evoke laughter and foster the development of humor. So, we include a lot of it in class each week, including singing songs with silly words (guli, guli, guli), playing one-bell jingles with our feet or on our head, and even a surprise tickle during "Itsy, Bitsy Mouseykins." All that laughing encourages your child's physical, emotional, and social health. Plus, it's a lot of fun and can be a developmentally appropriate way to motivate, engage, and redirect your child during these years.
For the next 3-weeks in Wiggle & Grow (Family) Class we will be singing and moving our way through our unit "Silly All Over". We will be meeting on Saturdays from 10:00-10:45am at St. Paul's Christian Church (3331 Blue Ridge Road, Raleigh, NC 27612). To register for a FREE class click on the link below:
TRY A FREE CLASS
Everyday Connection: Bathtub Shenanigans. Turn your child's bath time into a silly time. As you bathe your child, let your little one know what you will be washing next. "I am washing your foot next" (as you reach for an arm) or "I need to wash behind your ears" (while you wash your child's belly button instead!). Your child will love laughing at your silly "mistakes" and get super clean in the process.
Do you remember your child's first few words? Maybe you're still waiting to hear their first sounds? Although Webster's Dictionary didn't include definitions for "da," "ba-ba," or "la," you knew-without a doubt-your little one said daddy, bye, and mommy. (Or, something along those lines!) When your child becomes a toddler, you may hear your child deliberately making up silly sounding words and giggling profusely. I mean, seriously, blibber-blobber, really is funny! Laughing together over nonsense words supports your child's growing sense of humor!
In Kindermusik, we know that nonsense words also support your child's early language and literacy development. While your child may laugh at the silliness of nonsense words from class like "Fiddle-dee-dee" or "fuzzy wuzzy," your child is also practicing in the development of specific oral motor skills that create vowels, consonants, or cluster sounds. Nonsense words often employ alliteration and rhyme, which fosters phonemic awareness or the understanding that words are made up of small speech sounds or phonemes. So, blibber-blubber or fiddle-dee-dee away!
Everyday Connection: Call the doctor. Dr. Seuss made a living making up nonsense words like wocket, grickle-grass, and zizzer-zazzer-zuzz. Read some Dr. Seuss this week and add some new nonsense words to your family's vocabulary.
I recently read a article on Facebook that asked parents to stop hovering over their children so much. Instead, let them go play and stop padding the world around them so they can learn to pick themselves back up again. While I see their point, there are so many varying circumstances to consider. Maybe a child lives in a dangerous neighborhood. Maybe one person's child is different from another. The real problem is not whether a parent is overattentive or too hands off. The issue is the amount of parent shaming that we women, especially, put on ourselves and on others.
Ms. Leah grew up in Asheville, NC and was exposed to music at an early age. She played violin and then grew to enjoy participating in high school and church choral and drama programs.