Our Time FAQ
You and your child will experience many things in Our Time that will be familiar to you: Lots of singing and sound imitation to help develop her voice and to foster her language skills. Instrument exploration where with your partnership, she'll discover new textures, sounds and ways to make music. Creative movement and dancing to develop her balance, timing and her awareness of space. Fun activities that focus on attention and listening. And most importantly, the Our Time class experience still focuses on encouraging your child's unique development and honoring his/her own pace of learning and participation. In the past few years there's been such a tremendous amount of research on the issues of child development and musical learning, and Kindermusik has incorporated much of this wonderful, new knowledge in Our Time: More parent involvement and child-directed learning: For instance, Our Time will focus much more on helping you to take part in your child's playful learning both in class and at home because we recognize that you are your child's first and most important teacher. While I will model activities and serve as a guide and support, you'll have the freedom and flexibility to work with your child in directions that he/she responds to and initiates. And hopefully this sharing in class will give you both ideas for ways to share Kindermusik at home together! There are now beautiful children's books in Kindermusik! In class we'll have a Music and Movement Story Time when your child will actively participate in the story telling that incorporates words, sounds, movement and music! Kindermusik has incorporated literature into Our Time because research has shown that a child's developing reading skills are directly linked to his development of spoken language skills, his ability to use movement to express words and ideas, and his ability to make a transition from oral to printed words. So, we know that a child develops spoken language, written language and musical language skills more fully when we weave them together in one experience. In your Our Time At Home materials, you'll receive two Music and Movement books (Pete and P.J. and Watch Me!). I think you'll love them - they are professionally designed and illustrated just for Kindermusik, and they link beautifully with music on your At Home CDs and activities from your Home Activity Book. More than ever before, we know how music and movement nurture your child's whole development (cognitive, language, physical, emotional, social) and we're going to do more to share that information with you. In class and in your materials that go home, you'll see something new called Kindermusik Foundations of Learning™. These are bits of information that will tell you the "hows and whys" of the Kindermusik activities and the benefits for your child. We have incorporated these insights into the Kindermusik Village™ program, and parents have loved them. I think you'll find this new element will enhance your appreciation of the class - not only will you have fun but you'll take away information that will make your experience even more meaningful. More intentional focus on emotional development issues so important at this stage and for pre-school preparation: Your child's developing ability to feel, cope with and express all his emotions is so very important at this age. You'll see how the activities we do in Our Time address the emotional characteristics and tendencies of this stage that we sometimes call the "rubber band" stage. We'll honor your child's desire for freedom and the chance to explore and experiment while we also make sure she feels safe and supported. The activities will encourage her to be creative, to initiate her own ideas and to respond in her own ways, while your active participation will give her the security she needs. All of this focuses on natural, healthy emotional development - because her sense of confidence, curiosity, self-control as well as her ability to communicate and cooperate will be important to a positive experience in pre-school. Our Time At Home materials are wonderful - the highest quality music, art and activities yet! Kindermusik has set a new standard with the Our Time materials and, as an educator, I love them. The At Home materials include: Two CDs with more than 50 tracks of music! There are several selections sung in different languages, folk songs from around the world, calypso tunes and classical music. There are waltzes, music for circle dancing and songs that are interactive - they invite your child to listen and then to move and respond to the sounds and words he hears. You'll hear children's voices, men's and women's voices as well as instrumental arrangements - all appropriate for your child's stage of development. A Home Activity Book includes songs we sing in class, creative activities for you and your child to do at home and the Kindermusik Foundations of Learning insights I told you about that will describe to you the developmental benefits of the activity. Two Music and Movement Books with wonderful illustrations that tie directly to some of the activities that are highlighted in your Home Activity Book. And I'm happy that Kindermusik listened to the feedback of parents and included a very special instrument in the At Home materials. These Zig-Zag blocks were specially designed by Kindermusik and were created only for Our Time families. They are developmentally appropriate - your child will feel satisfaction and success exploring and making unique scraping sounds (like a guiro!) with these bright blue, textured, easy-to-hold blocks.
The Our Time At Home materials provide so much more than before - so much more to extend your child's learning beyond the classroom and so much more that he can enjoy well beyond our 15 weeks of Wiggles & Giggles. You'll notice right away how the At Home materials tie together so wonderfully and how each component includes music and activities that we share together in class. These materials ensure your child's classroom experience goes home so you're able to enjoy the fun and learning together when you wish. You'll see that the quality and content of these materials truly matches that of the children's literature, music, activities and music-making play you look for in the best educational retail outlets. This package is a wonderful value; music and books that become favorites in many Kindermusik families' homes for many years well beyond the classroom experience!
For several reasons: First, I hope you and your child will enjoy having much more music to choose from as you share Kindermusik at home. Kindermusik International made a purposeful decision to include the highest quality and most appealing diversity of music appropriate for you and your family. The decision to include two CDs was also in response to the many requests from families for more CDs. You'll notice that you would have to pay far more for CDs sold separately than you pay for these two CDs with more than 50 tracks. Most importantly, we want to offer more of the music we know children need as they begin to appreciate high-quality music. Second, because Our Time incorporates more variety and diversity than ever before, more music to broaden your child's learning experience is a natural result. Now we know that a child benefits from repetition, and we also know that they assimilate much more than we previously thought - so Kindermusik has provided twice the amount of music for you and your child to enjoy together. Children spend more and more time in our society listening to CDs. They are beginning a lifetime habit of listening. We want to reward that behavior by providing GREAT music for listening pleasure. I think you'll appreciate having a choice of MORE music rather than patiently repeating the same 30 minutes over and over again. And the diversity and whimsy of the music will keep you smiling - the selections are delightful!
There are now beautiful children's books in Kindermusik! In class we'll have a Music and Movement Story Time when your child will actively participate in the story telling that incorporates words, sounds, movement and music! Kindermusik has incorporated literature into Our Time because research has shown that a child's developing reading skills are directly linked to his development of spoken language skills, his ability to use movement to express words and ideas, and his ability to make a transition from oral to printed words. So, we know that a child develops spoken language, written language and musical language skills more fully when we weave them together in one experience. In your Our Time At Home materials, you'll receive two Music and Movement books. I think you'll love them - they are professionally designed and illustrated just for Kindermusik, and they link beautifully with music on your At Home CDs and activities from your Home Activity Book.
There's lots of active movement in Kindermusik! In fact, the Kindermusik philosophy is built on the fundamental belief that movement is a critical part of a child's musical learning experience. Your child will have many opportunities to move, dance, hop, skip, crawl and wiggle! Movement specialists contributed to the development of Our Time to ensure that your child's physical development, sense of balance, fine motor (fingerplay, playing instruments) and gross motor skills (moving with a group and moving creatively "creep like a cat", "hop like a kangaroo") are actively stimulated. You'll notice the Kindermusik Movement Chart that hangs in our classroom - it will help you and your child think of new, fun ways to move together. Many parents and caregivers have commented to me that they look at their Kindermusik class as their exercise class - and children are often ready for naps after Kindermusik! Kindermusik believes a child's optimal learning occurs when activities integrate her physical, social, cognitive, language, emotional and musical development; where the parent is an active participant in the child's learning, both in class and at home; where there is a caring, trained educator guiding the class; and where a community of families share in the experience. So while music is the very beautiful vehicle and medium we use, we are helping to develop all areas of your child's growth and individuality.