Young Child FAQ
The earlier one begins music and movement the better. Research shows that even infants are learning when in a musical environment and of course, they are finding pleasure in the experience as well! The only semester that tyically is difficult to accept 'new' students into is the final year of Young Child (semester 3/4). The children that have taken Young Child - semesters 1/2 have learned to read and write music, and have developed skills to practice and play their glockenspiel. By semester 3/4, the dulcimer and then the recorder are added to the childrens' practice load, as well as the glockenspiel. Depending on the situation, of course, I would recommend children begin Kindermusik classes prior to the final semesters.
Village infants and toddlers explore and begin to learn about steady beat through percussion instruments and props (eg. scarves, balls, curlers). Our Time & Imagine That children continue to work on steady beat with percussion instruments. A wind instrument, harmonica, is introduced in the 'Away We Go' OUR TIME theme, and a slide whistle in the 'See What I Saw' IMAGINE THAT theme. Children in the Young Child two-year program work on a melody/keyboard instrument (glockenspiel for semester 1-4), string instrument (dulcimer for semester 3-4), and a wind instrument (recorder for semester 4).
Music must be fun and meaningful for learning to be most beneficial. 'Practicing' is not always 'fun' but we can find fun ways to get over the difficulties that we are faced with. Children need to be exposed to a variety of music and movement activities on a daily basis ... try a Quiet Time at least once a day, or create a silly song with a familiar tune as your driving for an errand. This is where your 'practicing' can be fun and meaningful, concrete yet creative. Children in the Young Child two-year program are required to practice their instrument(s) and concepts daily ... often 5-15 minutes is sufficient if done correctly and under parental support & guidance. Have fun and make the practice times meaningful at this age as well ... try a calendar chart to track the consistency of practicing in a week, or take time to have a Sharing Time with another member of your family once the child has succeeded at their task, game, new concept, etc. Practice makes perfect .... well, probably not perfect, but it is always fun to work towards an achievable goal!
Children that are between 3 and 7 years of age can develop wonderful habits and therefore a more responsible behaviour when given responsibilities they can manage. I believe that my roll as a Kindermusik teacher is to encourage children to take care of their 'Music School bag' and instruments; this should also be encouraged at home.