By Patty Etherton
Hello everybody, this is Patty from Suwanee Academy of the Arts. I often get asked about our Kindermusik program, what it’s all about, what are the benefits and why it’s important. I have two really awesome stories I’d like to relay to you.
One of which I recently heard at a conference for studio owners. This dance instructor was commenting on when she started teaching at this particular school, she was astonished a how musical the children were. At first, she thought they were related somehow, a genetic pool of people that were unbelievably talented. But soon she discovered that they were all Kindermusik educated. These kids coming out of kindermusik we’re far superior in understanding music: musicality, rhythm, phrasing, and dynamics, more sensitive to the music and the counts of the music and it was as if they had been taking music forever and ever and these were like five-year-old children these were not older children. That was really exciting for me to hear from a dance teacher’s perspective, how the kindermusik program can really affect those children even in the other avenues. So we’ve made Kindermusik a Foundation of what we teach at Suwanee Academy, it’s the starting level you can start at newborn and getting that infiltration of that deep rich appreciation of the Arts that helps so much…
My other interesting story is really my biggest regret. (I’ve never really had a lot of regrets in life. I just slide through and learn lessons along the way). But my biggest regret was that I didn’t put my daughter and Kindermusik when I could back in the 1990’s I had an opportunity. Kindermusik was out in full bloom in the Nashville area that’s where I was living and I had asked some friends of mine whose child was in kindermusik what do you do in kindermusik class? and she said, “Well we sing and we dance, we move around and we play with rhythm sticks and instruments and things like that.” And I thought well I can sing and dance and play around with my child. I don’t need kindermusik to do that with her. Being a music education major and thinking I knew it all about parenting I opted out. Years later… we own this studio and I had to make a decision on what to do about music curriculum and choosing the right curriculum for the Academy.
So I started investigating and I looked through many music programs and by far barn none the absolute best program was Kindermusik what I loved about the Kindermusik curriculum that it was designed by Educators and it is phenomenal because they understand how the child learns and how to implement just learning the structure and there are so much more rich curriculum and Foundation material for the development of the child that’s far beyond any other curriculum out there. We said bar none it’s going to be Kindermusik.
So years later I had been teaching Kindermusik and I was having a discussion with my daughter’s piano teacher, my daughter at that time was 12 years old. We had this conversation about how Elise was really struggling with her sight-reading. She had always been a very talented girl; we would even sing Harmony, three-part harmony, when she was 4 years old since her dad and I are both musicians. She picked up playing the piano beautifully but she was always doing it by ear. She had a tremendous ear and was able to just play without really reading the music. So at about 12 years old all of her ability to memorize quickly and to play by ear had started to diminish. She had to learn how to read, and learn fast, to catch up to her skill level. I apologize to her. I actually sat her down and told her “I am so sorry I should have put you in Kindermusik” Now that I know, as an educator, the value of the program -that was the biggest disappointment. I can’t go back. I brought my daughter into the Kindermusik room, I laid out the ropes on the floor and we started doing Kindermusik’s kinetic lessons and we had a ball playing kindermusik games when she was 12! But if I had given her that earlier on… what a difference she would have had in her experience in those formative Foundation years, when she was learning how to play. I knew she was musical coming out of the womb, I knew she was going to be a singer, and I knew she was going to be able to apply her musical talents. I just didn’t teach her the language. Her music teachers couldn’t teach her the language of how to read music and that was such a disappointment for me as a mom and I wish I could go back but I can’t. She is still a beautiful musician and she still struggles and she laughs that I regret that I didn’t give her Kindermusik.
But I want you as a parent to understand that you might not see it now. Kindermusik looks like it is just singing and playing but in reality, you are building so many skills, not just to be able to read music, you’re also teaching all those fundamental things that are going to tie into together to learn to move to the beat, and it helps your child develop so much.
Kindermusik will help you develop your child physically, emotionally, ecologically, cognitively, and musically all at the same time. Every class is enriched with all of that development and wow it does amazing things to the brain. We get smarter, brighter, more confident kids and i’m watching them dancing as they leave classes and am just amazed at how quickly this curriculum helps these children. So if you’re thinking about it or you’re questioning it, and if you want to know from an old mom who’s disappointed that she didn’t try it…. get your kid in it, and keep them in it. There are so many studies about it’s amazing curriculum and it will do amazing things for your child and you! Yes, I suggest it! Don’t make my same mistake.