Thanks for stopping by A Family Place. I enjoy working with families, and sharing the power of music with them. Kindermusik provides this outlet for me. This blog will allow me to share thoughts and ideas that can help families in their journey.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What if..... child is sick? we are out of town? I have a doctor's appointment? You have signed up for a class, you have paid to attend and enjoy coming..what if I miss a class? Can I make it up? The short answer is yes!

My advice would be to talk with your teacher about your absence. If you know in advance that you will be out, then ask your teacher about attending a different day and time. If you are out because unexpectedly, you have a couple of options.

1. look at the schedule online and see what is available.
2. check the blog and make sure there isn't an announcement about a class being cancelled. This happens occasionally when a teacher has a conference to attend or is ill. We typically try and cover classes if a teacher is out, but sometimes that isn't possible.
3. call or email about availability of another class.

You make up the class anytime during the semester, it doesn't have to be within that week. This works fine for Village, Our Time, and Imagine That! classes, but not so well for the older classes. For children in Young Child there aren't as many options. Your teacher will be happy to get you the materials you missed at the next class.

As a side note, classes will not meet on Labor Day. Monday classes will make up this class the week of Thanksgiving. Also, no classes will meet the week of October 5 - 9. This is fall break for the city & county schools.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Kindermusik update

The first week of Kindermusik classes went smoothly - once we gained access to the elevator. Thanks to those Monday evening families that made the hike up 3 flights of stairs!

A few new classes have been added that are not on the printed schedule:
Tuesday 11:15 - noon Kindermusik for Special Needs
Tuesday 6:15 - 7 pm Family Time, begins on September 8
Thursday 9:30 am Kindermusik Village (newborns-18 months)

There are also classes that have space available, so spread the word to your friends:
Monday 6:30 - 7:15 pm Kindermusik Village
Thursday 6:30 - 7:05 pm Kindermusik Our Time (18 months-3 years)
Friday 10:15 - 11 am Kindermusik Imagine That! (ages 3.5 - 5 years)

College students have returned to campus! What can you expect?
1. more traffic, especially in the parking lot - please be careful!
2. strange looks from new students wondering why small children are invading Ford.
3. the new elevator located on the 1st floor is very nice, but I would ask you to enter 1st floor quietly.

I would like for this blog to contain pictures from your child's Kindermusik class, and I need to make sure I have permission to use them. Your teacher will have a form for you to sign.

Be sure to look at the bulletin board outside the Kindermusik room. It is a glimpse into the history of the 20 years of Kindermusik at Berry College.

My next post will answer the question - "Can I make-up a class?"

Monday, August 17, 2009

20 years of Kindermusik!

At the prodding of my college piano teacher I went to a week long training session for Kindermusik. That was the summer of 1989. I didn't know anything about the program. I went to class everyday at Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, and had homework every night. It was a life changing experience. At the time, Kindermusik only had one curricula - Young Child, for ages 4 - 7. I learned the importance of children moving to the beat of the music and singing the songs BEFORE notes are introduced. I learned that children should play instruments that encourage gross motor skills, thus the glockenspiel is used to teach melodies rather than the piano. I learned so much that week!

After that week of training with master teacher, Linda Robinson, I knew I wanted to teach Kindermusik. I returned to Berry and approached the music department chair, Darwin White. He was willing to sponsor a program. He allowed me to use a room on 3rd floor (now referred to as the Kindermusik room), that was used for several college classes and filled with desks & music stands. I purchased a smathering of essential instruments and was ready to teach. But, I needed students. This was July and I wanted a class in September.

How would I fill a class in such a short amount of time? The answer was at the Child Development Center (CDC) of Berry College. The CDC is a preschool for children ages 3 - 5. I approached Mrs. Chambers, the director of the CDC about the possibility of offering Kindermusik to students at the preschool. She liked the idea, and we formulated a plan. The CDC would transport children on Thursday mornings to the Ford complex and we would have our very first class. There were nine children that were interested in participating. On Thursday mornings, one of the teachers - Mrs. Hoge - would gather children onto the blue Berry van (the children called it the blueberry van!) and drive to Ford. Since parental participation is important in the Kindermusik program we had parents who would join our class at 11:45 for the sharing time.

It was that first year partnership with the CDC that helped the program take-off. The 2nd year I had three of the nine continue and finish the Young Child curriculum. I was able to offer a summer camp the following year and build from there. In 1989 I had one child, but had my 2nd child in 1990. It was a busy year! On a side note, the summer of 1990 I had a teen babysitter that would come to my house and keep Aaron & Alyssa. Alyssa was a nursing infant and didn't like taking a bottle. I would often leave Stephanye with a crying baby and an active toddler. Stephanye is now a seasoned mom and brings her kids to Kindermusik. It's a full circle, and I love it.
The photo here is not from the very beginning, but when we first started offering classes for toddlers. The class was called Kindermusik Beginnings! The boy in the photo, Andrew, is probably a sophomore or junior in high school!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

If Your Happy and You Know It Tell A Friend

Do you have a great experience that you want everyone to know about? Do you find yourself telling friends, and even strangers about your vacation or a sale at your favorite store? My family loves the National Parks.  I can talk for hours about the wonders of the parks.  My youngest daughter is involved in a local swim club. I am constantly telling other moms about Three Rivers Swim Club.  I tell them why I am supportive of the sport of swimming: exercise, friends, competition, discipline, and confidence builder.

I am a Kindermusik teacher, and I love it when families have had a great time in our program, and they tell their friends.  When someone calls about Kindermusik of Berry College, they usually learned about it from a friend, relative or neighbor.  There is nothing like a personal referral.  Someone you trust to give you suggestions and advice.  

So, if you are a happy Kindermusik parent I would encourage you to tell someone about the program.  Have them visit our website.   Fall classes begin the week of August 17, and we offer classes for ages newborn - age 7.  

Here are a couple of testimonials from happy families!

“The past five or six years have been a joy for us.  Often we spend money on our children/grandchildren for games, toys and other activities and don’t see fruit from our investment.  I’m thankful all the money we’ve spent on Kindermusik at Berry has been a good investment and will keep paying off even after we quit investing.”  C.J.’s Mimi, retired educator  

“Families have so many demands on their time.  I say “no” to many outside activities, but I have always found time in our family’s schedule for Kindermusik.  It is an essential part of my children’s education."     Susan, mom to 7.