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Baby beats

Kindermusik Program works to enhance children’s listening and language skills
Thursday, April 1, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:10 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

A flowing blue scarf was spread out on the floor for the children and their teacher to sit on. When a captain was chosen, they finally were ready to take a trip in their big blue boat.

While singing and moving to the rhythm, the children saw sharks and fish on their voyage.

Teaching steady beat, pitch, imagination and discovery to young children in a fun and educational way is at the heart of Kindermusik.

The Palen Music Center, 3906 Peachtree Drive, offers three Kindermusik classes taught by Melissa Robinson. Robinson, who is in her last semester as a music education major at MU, was trained through the National Kindermusik Program and teaches from the program’s curriculum.

She is also a piano teacher and said the children who have spent time in the Kindermusik Program pick up the music significantly faster than other children.

“They also have better listening skills,” Robinson said.

The program has been shown to enhance language development, critical thinking skills, social skills and emotional wellness.

Kristina Williams has two sons enrolled in Kindermusik, each in a different class.

“When music comes on at home he listens more intently,” Williams said of her 11-month-old son, Jess.

Fun for the whole family

Williams said she loves the one-on-one bonding time she gets to spend with her baby during class because it is time away from her other demanding daily routines.

Her other son, 4-year-old Massey, started Kindermusik when he was 15 months old. “We have been really pleased with the program,” Williams said.

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Angela Brownsfield and daughter Grace Brownsfield, 2, practice walking their rhythm sticks to the steady beat played on a CD.

Parents are required to purchase an at-home kit, which range from $35-55, at the beginning of registration. This educates parents and allows them to follow along with the curriculum the children are learning. The kit also offers ideas for activities that can be done at home, encouraging family interaction.

Robinson said that Kindermusik is not simply for the child, it is also for the family.


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