Sunday, April 30, 2006

Another Rainy Day

Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby. ~Langston Hughes

Saturday, April 29, 2006


I am so excited to be offering a late summer weekly Kindermusik experience! We are offering the newest programs from Kindermusik. SIGN and SING - is a sign language class that incorporates music, signs, and creative play as you and your child explores this new interactive way of communicating. This class is desinged for children 6 months to 3 years.

Family Time, and the beautiful Village program called Peek A Boo - I Love You, will also keep your summer full of music, movement, instrument play and special memories!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Seeing Words makes a difference

The last two weeks in Imagine That we have been making lists of our favorite colored balloon. In the past we made a list of our favorite toys. Even though the children who are 3 and 4 are not readers it is important for them to have a rich print environment right from the start. They love seeing me write their name and their idea next to it. It always interests me how engaging of an activity this really is! Below is a part of an article from Scholastic that addresses this very subject.

Conversation's Deep Link to Print
Most of our daily conversations draw from a vocabulary bank of no more than 3,000 words, yet the average adult knows upwards of 20,000. That richness comes from print. Therefore, it is critical that children are exposed to print early on — right from birth! Young children are naturally drawn to books, perhaps sensing intuitively that they contain images and ideas that are all about their world. When you read aloud to your child, you are not only helping to prepare her to learn to read, you are also exposing her to rich language she otherwise might not hear. Reading will help her become familiar with new words and a different language structure, as the form and feel of written language is quite different from spoken language.

To read the entire article click HERE.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


I's official. I have space and dates set for our NEW NEW NEW summer offerings! Here they are:
FAMILY TIME, Peek A Boo, and SIGN and SING
  • Lakeville, Mondays July 17 - August 1
  • Savage, Tuesdays July 18 - August 2
Give me until this Tuesday to have all this new information on the website. In the meantime - I have newsletters and information going out in all classes this coming week. I am excited about these new classes and excited to have a weekly format for summer. I am hoping it will facilitate some musical growth over the summer for those of you who don't like the everyday kind of schedule.

For those of you who still do prefer a "SUMMER CAMPY" kind of thing - we still have room for you pretty much any time in June. Those schedules are already on the website. Be sure to e-mail or call me with any questions.

Choices, choices - isn't it great!?!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

One World One Kid

This is Skylar Pia. He is a special little boy who made a CD to cheer up his friend who had cancer. Skylar's friend sadly lost his battle, but his CD, "One World, One Kid" continue to give. All proceeds going to the Make a Wish Foundation.

I highly recommend ordering one or two of these CDs. Skylar teaches the listener something about each song and the country it is from. Did you know children learn best from other children?

click HERE to learn more about Skylar and his sweet voice.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Tune In!

Kindermusik International puts out a quarterly e-newsletter that is not just good - it is an award winner! Tune In is a finalist in the Association of Educational Publishers Award. Which is the educational writer's equivalent to the Pulitzer. Checkout the latest issue of Tune In - it is easy to subscribe and you will get LOTS of great ideas for using music and movement at home between your Kindermusik classes.

Click here to see the latest Tune In.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

There is A LOT going on at Kindermusik Camp!

Wondering what the real benefit from taking an Adventures class is for your child? Read on, you may be suprised to see all the work we are accomplishing within the creative, joyful, beautiful kindermusik classroom.
      • Children practice sharing and cooperation
      • Singing games teach social patterns in a positive way
      • Practice communicating effectively
      • Develop emotional intelligence by interacting with other children
      • Recognize and managment unique feelings developing empathy
      • Develop body control during movement activities - like balancing
      • Practice of fine motor skills in instrument play and art projects
      • Learning to solve problems constructively
      • Develop listening skills that focus attention
      • Invitations to be expressive, increasing creativity
      • Expand listening repertoire to lots of musical styles
      • Explore and play different instruments
      • Basic element of music - tempo, dynamics, tone, color, melody
      • Learn to value reading through story time
      • Enhanced language and speech skills through songs, chants and rhymes

Friday, April 21, 2006

Sign up for Kindermusik Adventures TODAY!

What do you have planned for your child's growth and development over the summer? Here are a few reasons NOT to let the summer pass without some Kndermusik.
  • All Kindermusik Adventures camps have original music that you will LOVE
  • Something new for 5-7 year olds - TELL ME A TALE! will introduceyour child to folk tales from far off lands, connecting them to theoral traditions and the world
  • Toddlers and Zoo animals are a natural match - ZOO TRAIN is a springboard for new vocabulary through song, movement and expereince
  • Pre school imagination will BURST while we are ON THE ROAD.
  • Just 5 classes will provide plenty of home extension activities and music to enjoy all summer long
  • Just 5 classes - invite a friend to join you, a perfect time to try Kindermusik with short time commitment
  • Just 5 classes can introduce your child to a new educator, leaving them more comfortable in their new classes this fall
There is still room for you to join our summer adventure! I can't wait to hear from you

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Did you see all the Rainbows today? All together I saw SIX rainbows today! What a gift. It was a great day to be from Minnesota.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jump for Joy!

In a recent study, 4 to 6 year olds in a music and movement program showed more growth in motor skills than those in a standard physical education program. ... [Researchers] placed 50 children in an experimental music and movement program, and 42 in a traditional physical education program. After 8 weeks, the experimental group had improved significantly in both jumping and dynamic balance skills when compared to their peers in the traditional program.”
Early Childhood Research Quarterly (Vol. 19, Issue #4, 2004).

I have had many parents ask me how Kindermusik compares to Gymboree or Little Gym, now I can honestly say (as I suspected) - movement + music (Kindermusik) really is better!
(Thanks to Molly McGinn for bringing this study to my attention)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The puddle

I hope you haven't given up on me updating my blog. What with the larngytis, the holiday, the SPRING FEVER!! - I haven't been hard at it for quite sometime.

Happily, my cousin Peter sent me this picture of his son Ethan discovering a puddle which got me to thinking.

What would it be like to walk through a puddle for the first time? Not notice it coming up and then just hear the rhythm of your walk change from a tap tap tap to splish, splash . . . Look down, notice you are in water. See it, consider it, feel it. What an adventure of the senses. Peter was so lucky to see this happen right before his eyes, his son discovered something new - it has sound, it has feeling, it is shiney, if he stomps it moves. Peter also gave Ethan the gift of that discovery. By letting him walk through the puddle, millions - maybe billions of sensory connections were made, thought patterns, optical pathways, auditory stimulation, and now Ethan's experience of the world is ever altered.

Embrace what a difference you make for your children by taking those walks that last a long long time and cover very little ground. Remember, every stone, pinecone, ant, bird, leaf and puddle holds a world of discovery. Don't miss it, the shoes will dry and the pants can be cleaned, the work of the child is to experience something new daily, to learn and grow.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter

I have spent the better part of the last three days with no voice at all. Not even a whisper. I thought this condition would leave me ultra productive, getting lots of things done on my website, catching up on office work, doing tons of laundry. Unfortunately I found I was not only without voice but without energy.

I have learned I have one of those temperaments where my energy swirls when around people, activity and sound. When I am alone and quiet, not so much can get done. On a normal day when my energy is flagging, I pick up the phone, have a conversation and become refreshed for more work. With no hope for conversation via phone or neighbor I got nothing accomplished.

I guess it could also have been that I have just been feeling kind of miserable as well. Today - I have a husky voice that is fun to have, like playing cards on bicylce wheel spokes, or a bad muffler for one day it is fun. And voila' I am cleaning house, making apple pie, going shopping. It is as if my mouth is actually connected to my feet some how.

I so happy to get my voice back for Easter for I will need to sing, sing, sing, sing and celebrate our risen Lord of Love.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

aaah, not really

A quick answer to the previous question: Can a person lead a musical storytime with no voice at all? Not really. We did have a good time at the Wescott Library but it didn't hold together as I would have liked. The highlight was the story What A Wonderful World by George David Weiss, as sung buy Eva Cassidy , while I sat quietly and showed the dazzlingly bright pictures of this wonderful world.

Mums the word?

Hmmm, I lost my voice. The flu bug took not only my weekend but the last vestiges of my voice went by the wayside this afternoon. My poor vocal chords put up a valient effort, singing their way through 5 classes and now . . . nothing. Not even the fun of a different voice for a few days. Which I kind of like, but this is a bit extreme!

Anyway, I am going to try something fun tonight. There are 35 kids and parents coming to have music time with me at the library tonight. Can one really MIME a music/story class? I will let you know.

I learned about a natural remedy today - this condition in an invitation for advice, so if you have any I'll take it! Anyway try slippery elm, which was given to me today by my friend Chrsity, and it gave me a voice for the one hour that I needed.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

It snuck up on me. I had a little tickle in my throat and one hour later WHAM! My head is pounding, my lungs are crackling and my body is aching - the flu bug bit me.

Life goes on though, new carpet is still installed (Thanks Sam!) 5 girls from the drumline are downstairs painting their fingernails, and Tucker is at an umpire clinic.

I lie in bed and wonder, how do people move around so easily?

Friday, April 07, 2006

This beautiful girl is Olivia. Olivia has been a student at Kindermusik of the Valley since she was just a toddler. She is now enrolled in Young Child Level 4 - which is our "Graduate" class. Just look at the concentration, the perfect pincer grip finger position, - it would make Carl Orff himself proud (as am I).

If your child is in Village, Our Time, Imagine That, or Young Child level 2 - our hope is that you are all looking forward to the next adventure! Kindermusik is a 7 year continum. Staying on board makes the most of your investment and gives your family the maximum benefit from this unique learning environment.

In Village your child is finding music is a fun, comfortable, loving, cuddling, exciting kind of thing. Something that makes everyone around her happy! He is going to love Our Time, where he will observe older children and be challenged

In Our Time your child is playing instruments along to music in a steady beat, hearing contrasts in music and is able to match movements to the cues in the music, is starting to sing along, is sharing, taking turns, retrieving and returning instruments. She will love the independence, contributing ideas and using her voice in Imagine That!

In Imagine That your child's amazing creativity is put to work, he is sharing his ideas with the class, stretching his body and intellect by beginning ensemble play, acting in little dramas, singing full out, and noticing patterns and symbols, she is ready for deeper connections to the world in Kindermusik for the Young Child.

I can't put into words what it is like for me as an educator to watch a child grow, change and become over the course of years. From a timid toddler to an independent preschooler, to a school age child with wiggly teeth. I have been so blessed to hear thousands of children find their voices for singing, story telling, for creating and living large.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Can't wait for summer!

Okay, Okay, You all know that I like to take the summer off to enjoy whatever may come. (For instance here I am at the Minneapolis Torchlight parade with Charline, Tucker and my sister Elizabeth) I love the sun, the warm weather, I like to sleep in, pudder in the garden and play with my kids. But two things have happened this year to make me rethink my leisurly plans.

First of all, my kids don't like to play with me that much any more. Go figure! Teenagers sleep a lot, go to camp a lot, and ride their bikes pretty much anywhere they want to go.

Second of all - I just can't stay away from the new currirulum from Kindermusik this year. I have been working on Family Time as a consultant and it is SO MUCH FUN that I just HAD to get it on the schedule and share it with you some how.
Many of you have told me June is full, full, full and although you would like to participate in the current camps you just can't fit it in. Well, this is a chance for you to do some Kindermusik less intensively and later in the summer. I am still waiting for the final okay from the buildings but here is what I am thinking,

Once a week for 5 weeks:
July 17 - August 14 at Hosanna! in Lakeville
July 18 - August 15 at Bridgewood in Savage

We will be offering FAMILY TIME, SIGN and SING, and PEEK A BOO! Just click each name to get a class description. Let me know if these dates are appealing to the end of your summer. Just drop me a line.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Learning behind the laughter

Yesterday in our morning Young Child 4 class my little friend Megan told me about some variations on the Itsby Bitsy Spider which include the HAPPY and the GRUMPY spider. The one we really liked was the HAPPY spider. It is the original version with laughter following each line. Well, the make up of children, the first beautiful day in spring and everyone's general good mood took our laughter to a higher place.

We, all 9 of us, laughed so hard that our cheeks were red and eyes full of tears, big, broad, bright, missing teeth smiles, full of heavy guffaws and waves of giggles. We sang and laughed so hard that our cheeks hurt.

Today my friend Molly posted a blog about laughter and learning, I love things like this. If you want to read it and see Molly surf over by clicking HERE

I am going to type a quote from her blog here in case you have no time to go visit Molly just now.

"Laughter increases white blood cell activity and changes the chemical balance of the blood. This is believed to boost the body's production of chmicals needed for alertness and memory. Laughter reduces stress, and low stress enhances the brain's receptivity to learning. According to researchers, laughing also boosts the body's immune system for THREE days - the day of the fun and the next two." Start Smart!: Building Brain Power in the Early Years by Pam Schiller

For more, check out this issue of Tune In on how music develops humor.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Our Kindermusik Adventure is Waiting For You!

It is that time of year again when we start to see this sweet ADVENTURES HOT AIR BALLOON. It is the one that is full of songs, games, stories and crafts to use all summer long.

Registration is now open for Kindermusik Camps which start as early as June 5th this year. So . . take a ride on the ZOO TRAIN, hike the wide open spaces with ON THE ROAD or journey through folk tales to distant lands in TELL ME A TALE. Be sure to give me a call (952-895-9006) if you have any questions. You can see the complete schedule and register on line by clicking HERE

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Don't wait.

Many things we need can wait. The child cannot. Now is the time his bones are being formed, her blood is being constituted, his brain is being developed. To her we cannot say tomorrow. His name is today.

Nobel Laureate Gabriela Mistral