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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beethoven and a 3 year old

A friend sent me this video, and I have watched it numerous times. It is about 4 minutes and quite entertaining. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Benefits of Movement

Movement is a key component in any Kindermusik class. Children enjoy moving, in fact, it's hard to keep them still - at least until they become teenagers! Today I'm going to share some benefits of movement that I learned reading Different Learners.

Movement, especially rocking, spinning or hanging upside down, helps develop the cerebellum. The cerebellum interacts with higher, frontal levels in the brain for cognitive skills such as language, social interactions, music, and attention. The brain seeks activities during key periods of development. The cerebellum has a large growth spurt during the first 2 years of life, yet continues to grow and change into adolescence, and that would answer why your child likes to spin and you don't!!

Exploring physical spaces through movement contributes to higher cognitive skills that depend on spatial abilities, including math, sciences, the arts and memory. In the Kindermusik class that movement includes navigating without bumping others.

Exercise & movement promote a healthy lifestyle, but did you know it also builds the brain? Here are some brain benefits of exercise:

  • Patterned movement (circle left, circle right, into the center, walk back out)replenishes brain cells
  • Vigorous, fast dance routines may quicken your & your child's overall speed of information processing!
  • makes the mind alert and increases attention and motivation
  • prepares and encourages nerve cells to bond to one another which helps log new information
Get moving and build your brain!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Kindermusik delayed again

We follow the weather closings for Floyd County Schools, therefore no Kindermusik on Friday January 14.

Kindermusik will begin on Monday, January 17
even though it is Martin Luther King Day.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Still no Kindermusik, Thursday 1/13

Kindermusik of Berry College will not meet on
Thursday January 13.
This is because we follow the county schools for weather closings.

So, once again, the start of classes are delayed.

Technology vs Human Interaction, part 2

Do you have the newest iPhone? iPad? Do you text more than talk? I saw a headline that said "2010, the year we stopped talking." I don't know the effect this will have on young children, but I guarantee that they still need face time & floor time. Much of what you will read in this post I learned from the book "Different Learners" by Jane M. Healy. Dr. Healy examines hot issues that include learning disabilities, ADHD, the hazards of forced early learning, and the influences of electronic media.

Most parents seek the best for their children, we want them to have every advantage in life. Technology certainly provides many opportunities to further educate and entertain our children, but be certain that technology isn't replacing YOU. Children need face time with a verbally responsive adult. This develops the brain circuits for social and communication skills. There must be a balance of wired and spontaneous, 3 dimensional, non-virtual experiences. (p. 312)

What about that spontaneous play? Is it important? Yes, because higher thinking centers of the brain use language known as "inner-speech or self talk" - to plan, monitor their own behavior and focus attention." ( Example: This block needs to go on top - careful, don't fall over). Screen time misses this critical developmental stepping stone.

Did you know that 3/4 of young children in the United States has TV on almost all the time? Whether they are watching it or understanding it or not, it interrupts brain building effects of their play. They switch their play to glance at the screen, and it interrupts the flow of their thought and attention. (p. 301)

What can you do as a parent?
  • Lend your child your adult brain as you watch or play.
  • Use conversation to expand understanding and help your child be critical media user
Lest you think that Dr. Healy is completely opposed to media: "after age 7, any medium that causes children to stop, think, plan, reflect or evaluate may improve thinking skills." (p. 312)

Of course, Kindermusik provides plenty of face time, floor time and parent/child interaction. So, sing and play everyday!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No Kindermusik on January 11

Kindermusik classes will not be held on Tuesday, January 11 due to weather conditions. This is because we follow the county schools for weather closings.
Be safe, stay warm and stay tuned for when Kindermusik will FINALLY begin the new semester!

Monday, January 10, 2011

No Kindermusik on January 11

Due to the weather, Kindermusik classes will not meet on Tuesday, January 11.

We anticipate Wednesday classes meeting on January 12.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

No Class on Monday, January 10

With the impending snow storm, and many schools closing, Kindermusik of Berry College will not hold classes on Monday, January 10. Classes will be held on January 17, which is Martin Luther King Day. Typically we cancel classes for MLK, but due to
the weather closing on the 10th, we WILL hold classes on the 17th.

A decision on Tuesday classes (January 11), will be made by Monday evening. There is a strong possibility that these classes will also be cancelled.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Technology versus Human Interaction

Over the next several weeks I will be sharing information I gained from the book, "Different Learners." Jane M. Healy is a teacher, educational psychologist and one of my favorite authors. As an educator I appreciate her insight into the brain and how it relates to children. She makes a difficult subject easier to understand.

This post is about technology and it's affect on children & families. The book, Different Learners, covers more than just media. But Healy believes that the growing "epidemic" of children's disorders (ADHD, autism dyslexia, etc..) is the result of today's fast-paced, stressed-out culture - which includes too much screen time.

I admit to spending too much time at the computer...emailing, blogging, and reading. I am not a fan of television or video games. That being said, the TV is on at my house a lot, and we purchased our first gaming system this Christmas! I have 4 children, and the oldest is 22 years. They were VERY surprised to receive a Wii under the tree. I plan to blog about that later.

Dr. Healy seems to support my aversion to excessive screen time. Let me share some of what I learned.

"There is absolutely no way that any electronic gadget - no matter how advanced - can provide this incredibly valuable stimuli for normal brain development."(p. 71) The stimuli that she refers to is contingent response. It is a critical factor in successful development, and a key in normal interpersonal responses. Gentle, reassuring touch and love are the ideal. No manufactured item can substitute for human warmth.

I know videos, such as Baby Einstein are popular today. I have had children in Kindermusik who have watched these, and can identify instruments aurally due to these well crafted videos. I know there are definite advantages to videos and computer games. I am convinced that my older children are better at math because of computer games that had wonderful math skills. But according to Dr. Healy, "infant videos, electronic music soothing babies to sleep, beeping, flashing toys that "capture" the child's brain, but screen out human language. These technologies can't respond instinctively to a child's immediate needs." (p. 72)

Media is not bad, it's how we manage it. "The real question is how the device (anything on a screen) is being used and whether the resulting brain changes are good or bad. In a hyper-tech climate, where good research lags far behind children's media usage, you have to become judge, role model and (if necessary) enforcer of your child's media health." (p. 297)

I will have several more posts concerning technology. Let me know your thoughts, and feel free to disagree.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Kindermusik New Year

I hope you and your family have had a great holiday season, and that you are excited about the possibilities of a new year!

The new semester of Kindermusik begins on January 10, 2011. If you are still considering signing up for a class, then please note that the following classes still have openings:

Village (newborn - 18 months)
Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. (1 space remains)
Thursday at 9:30 a.m.

Our Time (18 months - 3 years)
Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.
Thursday at 10:15 a.m.
Thursday at 6:30 p.m.

Imagine That (3 1/2 - 5 years)

Young Child, semester 2 (4 1/2 - 7 years)space remains for returning or new students
Tuesday 3:40 p.m.
Thursday 5:15 p.m.

Young Child, semester 4
Tuesday 4:45 p.m. still have space for returning students

Beyond Kindermusik on Thursday afternoon still has space for returning students

Remember your space can only be reserved with a registration form & deposit of $60. You can put this in the drop box outside the Kindermusik room beginning Monday, January 3 or mail it to the address below.

Kindermusik of Berry College
P.O. Box 490001
Mt. Berry, GA 30149-0001

For a registration form go to, click on Kindermusik and then download & print the spring brochure