Thursday, November 11, 2010

What do you hear?

This is a wonderful article posted on our Minds on Music Blog, October 15th 2010 at 2:21 pm, by Theresa Case. Theresa's Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC is among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide. I thought you would enjoy reading it.

Pitter, patter, pitter, patter… I can HEAR the rain.

Musically speaking, rain sounds are short sounds. The musical term “staccato” refers to sounds that are separated and often short. It’s the perfect word to use when playing with – and describing – rain sounds. But did you know that being able to identify a sound as “short” (staccato) or “long” (legato) actually involves some pretty high-level thinking and listening skills?

Active listening differs from simple hearing in that we must choose it as an intentional act. Analytical listening, like the kind we will do in Kindermusik class when we explore different shaker sounds and mimic and identify a variety of rain sounds, takes the development of our music listening skills to a whole new level.

Analytical listening is an absolutely vital skill, for music class and for life because it requires children to:

  • Evaluate what is heard and comprehended
  • Contemplate and reflect
  • Weigh new information against what is already known
  • Discuss by sharing thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints
As Kindermusik teachers, it is an awesome privilege for us to be able to help shape a child’s disposition and aptitude for learning music - practicing the skills that lead to competency and enjoyment and encouraging the attitude that music is fun. Music truly is a powerful tool for representing ideas and expressing individuality, especially when a child develops the ability to listen analytically.

In the Kindermusik classroom where so many of the senses are often engaged simultaneously and where imagination can soar, musical learning truly has the potential to be the strongest and most powerful.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Meet Educator Christa Sigman

Who is this amazing woman? Let me give you a hint. She’s only been teaching Kindermusik for 4 years and is already willing to take on the responsibility of being Ohio’s PKE State Representative. This woman is truly an inspiration to new and inspiring educators. At the beginning of August, she hosted the summer conference which brought in the largest donation to date for the Ruth Anderson scholarship fund. The educators got to know one another and have fun while still sharing, learning, and loving Kindermusik. She is none other than Christa Sigma. Besides just being a PKE Representative, she still finds time to be a technical wiz. She makes sure to stay in contact with her followers and friends thru her website, blogs, twitter, and Linkedln. Many thanks for all that you do and the inspiration you give!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Magical Moments with Jeannie Castillo

Some see Jeannie as a dedicated educator. Some see her as an extreme lover of music and the arts. But here at Kindermusik, we recognize her for that and so much more. She has proven her dedication by becoming the first Maestro (an honor given to only the top 1% of Kindermusik programs worldwide) in her area, and was appointed the Distributor for Kindermusik Philippines for the past two years.

Jeannie began her Kindermusik program in 2003 and opened the country’s first fully-dedicated Kindermusik studio in 2006. She has since taught hundreds of children, newborn to age 7, and been an extreme advocate for music in children’s lives in her country. Her magic has spread throughout the world-wide Kindermusik community.

We would like to congratulate Jeannie on becoming the newest PKE International Area Representative and can’t wait to see how she continues to impact the lives of children, parents, and educators in the Philippines.

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Beautiful Song from the Heart of Kindermusik Educator Carol Stringham

Not only is Carol Stringer ranked in the top 1% of Kindermusik studios worldwide (Maestro), but she is the true epitome of a dedicated music educator. She has been teaching for over 20 years in pre-schools, elementary schools, and children’s choirs. We welcomed Carol into the Kindermusik teaching family over 10 years ago, and as a Maestro, only 2 years after her program began. Her love for music goes beyond Kindermusik. She also has a degree from the University of Utah in elementary education, with a minor in fine arts, and has been a loyal member of the Utah Symphony Chorus for multiple years. Don’t miss the opportunity to catch a sneak peek into the classroom of Ms. Carol Stringer who’s own motto is, “to bring musical experience to children and their families; helping them to find the joy and power of music and hoping to put a song in their hearts that will last a lifetime!”

Click here to see Carol in action:

Friday, July 23, 2010

One Proud Papa!

On May 27, 2010, I received this letter from a proud father of a potential Kindermusik teacher. It touched my heart, and I hope it will inspire and encourage you to take the leap and join the Kindermusik community of educators that are all passionately committed to changing the lives of children through music.

To Whom It May Concern:

My daughter is a student at Full Sail University in Winter Park, FL, and is pursuing a Music/Business degree with an emphasis in management. She is a musician, plays flute and piano, and has taught in the head start program in Tulsa, OK, for several years before entering Full Sail.

I just wanted you to know how much of a positive impression your company has made on her. She first discovered Kindermusik before entering Full Sail and was looking for a pre-school for part-time work possibilities. She read about the Kindermusik school, which happens to be nearby her location, and paid a visit to learn more about it. She was so impressed by how the school uses music so much for instruction that several of her monthly projects have focused on these methods and opportunities. I think you might have a future business owner in the making.

She sent me her latest project for one of her classes. She had to post it on youtube so I could access and view it. I thought it spoke so well of your mission and her feelings about your company that I felt you might want to see it.

Thanks for caring for children in such a wonderful way.

Ed Mosier
Tulsa, OK
Katie Mosier, daughter
Full Sail University

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We're So Much More Than Music...

(written by Anna Smith for the Morpeth Herald, in Morpeth, Northumberland, United Kingdom)

TUNEFUL TOTS in Ponteland are certainly hitting the right notes with three national award nominations. The Kindermusik group, which provides musical education for newborns to five-year-olds, is listed in the What's On 4 Little Ones awards.

The group is in the categories for Best Baby Development Activity and Best Toddler Activity, while leader Suzanne Dunn has been nominated as Most Outstanding Class Leader for the second year running. "It is really wonderful," she said. "I was nominated last year and reached the semi-finals and now the parents have nominated me again."

"It is a privilege. It would be great to win or get to the final, but just to be nominated is wonderful." Mrs Dunn, who lives in the village, started classes at Ponteland Methodist Church Hall five years ago, bringing children and parents together to tap music sticks, ring bells, dance, sing, read and play. The 45-minute sessions are designed to stimulate children's cognitive, creative, social and physical development. There are also take-home packs for parents.

"The parents are brilliant," said Mrs Dunn."I'm there as class leader, but it is the parents and the children that make the classes. If they are not participating or being so enthusiastic they wouldn't be the classes that we all enjoy. I have so many great families in the group and they regularly email me about the wonderful things the children are doing at home and let me share the fun they are having."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Spend Your Summer Teaching Kindermusik

Summer camps offered by Kindermusik educators worldwide provide an opportunity to inspire a child's love of learning in only 5 lessons. They are packed with music, stories, crafts and fun, all designed to nurture a child's curiosity; one that eventually draws them toward learning new words, new numbers, and new big ideas.

There are a variety of camp themes:

Sign Language
The Ocean
Time Together as a Family
The Zoo
Your Backyard
Road Trips

Educators provide families with unique musical learning activities, paired with age appropriate instruments and music, all in one shorter session. Each research-proven, giggle approved activity is backed by Kindermusik's 30+ years experience in music and child development.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The First 3 Years Teaching Music

I was reading a very good article in the February 2010 edition of Teaching Music magazine which is a publication of the MENC organization called “Advice for the First 3 Years.” It offered suggestions for what beginning music teachers can do to “gird themselves for challenges of the profession.” I think this is true for both the private music educator and the public music teacher. With Kindermusik, the first three years are also the most challenging. During this time, new teachers are still learning the curriculum and how to make magic in the classroom. They are communicating with the children, their parents or caregivers, the Partnership of Kindermusik Educators, and the home office. They haven’t yet developed personal experience to draw from in times of difficulty. Our experience, like the article, is that if the educator can come through these first 3 years with positive feelings about the experience, their achievements, etc., they will most likely remain in the profession for a while. The veteran educators in the article had this advice:

  • Isolation is a big issue in year one for the new teacher. Hold on to the community of people that you trained with and don’t let them go. Post blogs, start a FaceBook page, make cell phone calls, whatever works best. Make intentional efforts to stay connected.
  • Classroom Management can also be a major concern. Remember, sometimes it is not the children that need the fix, but the teacher. Have someone come in and observe your classes to provide open, honest and direct feedback.
  • Be sure to be student focused. The child should be first.
  • Find out what you don’t know and go learn more; be a lifelong learner.
  • Remember who you were at your student’s ages.
  • A lot can be learned by trial and error.
  • Mentoring is extremely important. Accept help that is provided.
  • Pride should not get in the way. Be willing and comfortable to ask questions. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
  • Focus energy on making a difference where you can.
  • Be sure there is a mechanism in place to help you examine, reflect, and grow in your teaching practices that is completely separate from a formal evaluation.

With Kindermusik, we support new educators every step of the way. The experience begins with a comprehensive training program, including four practice teaching classes to gain comfort and experience before the course is even completed. During the online experience, she will learn the philosophy, pedagogy, curriculum and business aspects of establishing and running a successful Kindermusik program. The learning group consists of 15 to 20 other potential teachers from all over the world and is facilitated by a mentor who has successfully run a Kindermusik program for many years. This environment provides both peer-to-peer and mentor-to-peer learning. In fact, the mentor will partner with her as a business coach through the first teaching semester providing success steps throughout. We have an extensive library of pre-recorded webinars that will provide on-going professional development from both the masterful teaching perspective and to help build a successful program. In addition, we make marketing and enrollment easy with tools through our class scheduler and online enrollment system.

The first 3 years don't have to be difficult at all. Start today on your journey to complete your life's best work with Kindermusik.

Posted by: Terry P. Kilgo, Recruiting Manager

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Now is a great time to become an Educator

We currently have about 604 Kindermusik educators worldwide who are looking to grow and expand their programs. They are looking for quality teachers to join their teams. Training to become certified is more economical than ever now. If you are planning to work for an educator, you can get started for as little as $199. Feel free to visit our teaching opportunities board at to see who is hiring in your community.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reclaiming the Joyful Spirit in Life

I have always loved music, and have been a musician since I was a young girl. I began playing the piano at age 7, and later added voice, clarinet, and handbells to my repertoire. Music has always brought me joy when I was feeling sad, or calmed me down when I was upset. (My family can attest that I have been known to literally “pound out my frustrations” on the piano.)After completing 7th grade, I attended a music camp at a small college a few hours from where I grew up. There I had the opportunity to take a private piano lesson from the dean of the music college. I played for him a piece that I felt I had mastered, and he proceeded to point out all of my shortcomings in a way that put my fragile 13-year-old ego through the shredder. Then he told me that if I really wanted to “do” the piece, I would have to give up the other music activities that I enjoyed (accompanying the junior high chorus, playing at church, etc.) and focus completely on practicing that piece. After the lesson, I felt incompetent and utterly dejected.As high school graduation approached, I began considering a career in music. While I knew that my musical ability had improved, that horrible music camp experience was still in my mind, and I still felt that my best efforts it would always be inadequate. There would always be someone like that music professor jumping on my every mistake, and music would become a source of stress rather than an outlet. In addition, the Midwestern work ethic with which I was raised conveyed the message that your job was just a job, and you weren’t meant to enjoy it.So, I pursued my other talents, mathematics and business, and became an actuary, working for 2 different insurance companies for a total of 16 years. I endured the stress of studying for and passing a series of extremely difficult exams, working 50+ hour weeks with no end in sight, juggling career and family, and always feeling like I wasn’t doing enough. There was very little about my career that I could call fun, and I know I wasn’t much fun to be around. What was fun was making music, as I became a church and community musician and began teaching music to children.In late 2005, I left my executive-level job to take some time off and figure out “what I want to be when I grow up.” What I figured out is that life is too short to not enjoy what you do, and what I enjoy is music. In the fall of 2006, I began teaching music at local preschools and became licensed to teach Kindermusik. Shortly after that, I formed my business and chose the word brioso, which means “with vigor and spirit.” In 2007, I began teaching Kindermusik classes and private piano lessons. And I have discovered that singing and laughing with children nearly every day is a wonderful boost to the spirit. It is my hope that all of you reading this are fortunate enough to spend your lives doing work that feeds your spirit as well.

-by Kindermusik educator Julie Bosworth. Julie owns and runs Julie's Music Brioso, a Kindermusik program in Olathe, KS.