Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Meet My New Assistant

Meet my new office assitant and darling daughter Lorelei Peterson. Lorelei is 15, a Kindermusik graduate, accomplished pianist and percussionist. She also possesses some amazing organizational skills - which she did not necessarily acquire from her parents and some great communications skills - which she may have acquired from her parents - in both cases we are so proud.

I am so happy that instead of getting a summer job around greasy fast food or fertilizer at the local nursery she wanted to get a job in an office. We decided together this was the perfect place to hone those skills.

So if you call Kindermusik of the Valley this summer, rest assured you are in good hands with Lorelei. Count on her to give you the information you need or get me the message.

By the way - Lorelei is also learning how to drive this summer and will be starting High School in the fall. It seems just a season ago, that together we were welcoming children and their parents into our own family room for Kindermusik classes - but it wasn't a season ago, it was 1991. tick, tock, tick tock.

Counting Puppies

Thank you to Darcie Brown of The Little Brown Music Studio for posting this great counting game. Your kids will love it. It's not just for counting, talk about what is going on in the pictures, why is it a funny or not funny, what are the colors, what could those dogs be thinking? Have fun by clicking HERE to play.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Autism Everyday

I have been seen a steady rise of children that have been diagnosed with Autism or an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I wonder why we are seeing such a steep rise of this syndrom among children.

Ginger Bennet my dear friends, Kindermusik Educators and Music Therapist forwarded to me this video about Autism. She says it is the best 13 minutes you will ever invest in a journey through Autism. I also ran this video by Kindermusik parent and mom of an Autistic child. She said this video was really important and worth sharing with whoever would be interested in viewing it.

I hope that you each gain a bit of insight into Autism and what it is like to parent a special child like this.

Click HERE to view the video.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Memorial Day

With the tears a Land hath shed
Their graves should ever be green.

~Thomas Bailey Aldrich

The Little Prince

"Grown-ups never understand anything for themselves. And it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them."

Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Happy Day! Wonderful, Amazing, Talented, Beautiful, World Class Musicians! These children are Kindermusik of the Valley's "Yellow Folder" classes. (Also known as Level 4). The paparazzi were flashing many cameras which is why we are all looking in different directions. Still, you are looking at some amazing people here. There medals and diplomas acknowledge many many weeks of attending Kindermusik classes and making music with their friends.

Some of these children have been attending Kindermusik classes for all 6 or 7 of their years. (That is more than 100 Kindermusik classes!!) I will miss making music with these fine musicians. I am sure we will be hearing great things about them in the coming years. I have visions of band and choir concerts, piano recitals, Chess championships, Math and Quiz Bowls of all sorts. Short stories written and published, spelling bees and more. There is no telling where they will go!

It has been an honor and a true delight each moment I have spent with these remarkable friends.

Happy Birthday Margaret Wise Brown

We know Margaret Wise Brown for one book she wrote, and that was Goodnight Moon (1947), which includes the lines "Goodnight room / Goodnight moon / Goodnight cow jumping over the moon ... Goodnight stars / Goodnight air / Goodnight noises everywhere."

The New York Public Library gave it a terrible review, and it didn't sell as well as some of Brown's other books in its first year. But parents were amazed at the book's almost hypnotic effect on children, its ability to calm them down before bed. Brown thought the book was successful because it helped children let go of the world around them piece by piece, just before turning out the light and falling asleep.

Parents recommended the book to each other, and it slowly became a word-of-mouth best-seller. It sold about 1,500 copies in 1953, 4,000 in 1955, 8,000 in 1960, 20,000 in 1970; and by 1990 the total number of copies sold had reached more than four million. (from the Writers Almanac May 23, 2006)

There is nothing like a good book.

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Website "Check it out"

You are going to want to check out this terrific Website by Jan Brett. She is the author of wonderful children's books like; The Hat, The Mitten, The Umbrella, and The Trouble with Trolls (my favorite). There are many more - always populated with animal characters that are beautifully illustrated like this Quetzal.

The site has games, crafts, downloadable stationary, coloring pages and masks. Imagine That families might like to try on a few new masks for their animal dances at home!

Click HERE to take a look around.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Einstein plays the violin

Tucker and I took a quick trip to Washington DC a few years ago and like thousands of other tourists I made him sit in Albert's lap for a picture.

Albert Einstein's schoolteachers told his parents that he was "stupid" and simply couldn't learn. They urged his parents to take him out of school.

What did his parents do instead? They bought him a violin. It was a turning point.

In later years, Einstein would turn to his violin while trying to work out his scientific formulae.

When asked about his theory of relativity, Einstein explained that, "It occurred to me by intuition, and music was the driving force behind that intuition. My discovery was the result of musical perception." (found in that great web site mentioned earlier the MUSEUM OF MUSIC

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Day Off School

First of all - enlarge the picture to the right, it is one of the most beautiful water colors I have seen. It made me want to look at it all day. It is called Day Off School and is by Douglas Hunt. The reason I found it is because for the last two days Lorelei came home from school and said, "Hi Mom, how was your day off?" I don't know where she got the idea.

True, I have not been in the classroom for the last two days of this week, but, oh, I have been working . . . I am excitedly learning about Tell Me A Tale, which is just hot off the presses and very impressive. I am spreading the word about Family Time - because that is really just the best thing ever. I am writing, phoning, mailing, communicating - oh yes, and blogging.

So if you wanted to call, with some questions about summer or fall classes call me, I am not taking the day off but am standing by. Missing you all and looking forward to the start of Adventures Camp!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


I heard you. You said, there is so much going on in June. A Kindermusik program in late July or August would be great. You said 5 days of class in a row is too intense for us. A weekly class would be great. Well, here you go!

MONDAYS July 17- August 14

Call me for the details - 952-895-9006

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Kindermusik I-Tunes!

How would you like to make a CD of your favorite Kindermusik tunes for nap time, a car trip or a friend? Well now you can!

Just click here
to surf KI-Tunes now downloadable individually for just .99 cents!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Children Are

Children Are . . .
AMAZING, acknowledge them. BELIEVABLE, trust them. CHILD LIKE, allow them
DIVINE, honor them. ENERGETIC, nourish them. FALLIBLE, embrace them.
GIFTS, treasure them. HERE NOW, be with them. INNOCENT, delight with them.
JOYFUL, appreciate them. KINDHEARTED, learn from them. LOVEABLE, cherish them.
MAGICAL, fly with them. NOBLE, esteem them. OPEN MINDED, respect them.
PRECIOUS, value them. QUESTIONERS, encourage them. RESOURCEFUL, support them.
SPONTANEOUS, enjoy them. TALENTED, believe in them. UNIQUE, affirm them.
VULNERABLE, protect them. WHOLE, recognize them. X-TRASPECIAL, celebrate them.
YEARNING, notice them. ZANEY, laugh with them.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


I ran across this website by and for moms. What caught my eye was the Mothers Day proclimation as spoken by Julia Ward Howe. This is what Mombo has to say:

The roots of Mother’s Day come from Julia Ward Howe [who gave] a Mother’s Day proclamation for peace in a church in 1870. It was a cry for mothers to stand up and say, We will no longer send our sons and husbands to be killed, and we will stand with mothers across the world against war. It still gives me a chill. It’s a very political holiday.

To read the entire proclimation click HERE

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Your whole family will love to see this! Don't wait Click HERE

Monday, May 08, 2006

Listen to Learn

This is my friend Leif. I have know him since he was a new born baby. Leif and I learn the same way. We are both listeners. What kind of a learner a child is, is often easy to discern. In Kindermusik we enjoy Active Listening. (this is opposed to passive listening or "hearing" - as in background sound) - Active Listening is intentional, it is engaging, it asks the listener to take the auditory sound and recall a picture or experience from their past. Some children like Leif - embrace the active listening. Just look how his hand is poised, helping the ear to hear better, his eyes are expectant - having engaged the memory seeking brain.

Some children are visual learners, they will get more information from looking at a good photograph of a boat or train than hearing one - A kinestetic learner will like to hold something in their hand while being asked to listen or watch - both senses will work better if they do.

How I love to catch the child being so truely themselves. How I love to notice what they need and provide it. Then watch the eyes sparkle and the mouth turn up in the smile of knowing, of succeeding, of pride.

(Many thank to Gil Martinez for catching this image of Leif - see more of his beautiful work by clicking HERE)

Saturday, May 06, 2006

What about fall?

What with all the excitement about our new summer Adventure camps and then the addition of terrific weekly Family Time music camp - our fall class schedule has taken the back seat for a few weeks. But as I said in the newsletter - I am already excited and thinking about fall.

Starting this Monday the Kindermusik of the Valley fall schedule will be out. Register this week and receive 2 egg shakers. Register for both a summer and fall class and receive 2 egg shakers AND a CD!!! - wow! What a deal.

Don't forget about earning free classes for fall by putting a KINDERMUSIK sign up for your garage sale day!! The signs have arrived so just let me know how many you need :]

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Happy Birthday to the Piano

It's the birthday of the man credited with inventing the piano, Bartolomeo Cristofori, born in Padua, Italy (1655). He had replaced the string-plucking mechanism of the harpsichord with hammers, which allowed the player to adjust its volume by applying different degrees of force to the keys. He called his invention, "the harpsichord that plays soft and loud." As the instrument grew more popular, the name was shortened to "soft-loud" and finally to "soft." In Italian, the word for "soft" is "piano." (from the Writers Almanac May 4, 2006)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Thai Elephant Orchestra

Where can you learn about instruments made especially for elephants? Check out the MUSEUM OF MUSIC!

This is a fabulous site where you will learn all kinds of things about music. Thanks to my friend Molly for showing it to me!

Click HERE
and find the NOW PLAYING section on the right of the page to hear the Elephant Orchestra. I recommend you browse around in this museum for a while you might run across a little gem like this:

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -Plato

Monday, May 01, 2006

Rainy Day Play -

There is nothing like a few rainy days to help us slow down. Catch up. Relax. I have also noticed the children are maybe a bit antsy, needing to stretch and challenge those growing bones and muscles.

It is always fun to go for a rainy walk with an umbrella and boots! Make a stick or aluminum foil boat and float it down the gutters along the sidewalk. Stop and listen to the rhythm of the rain. Feel it fall, drumming all around you.

Once back at home, notice how your child might be incorporating the rainy walk into their play. Something so simple and out of the ordinary. Lev Vygotsky (1896-1934) a Russian educator and psychologist said that:

"Play, is the preeminent educational activity of early childhood. - (I love this part) - In play the child behaves beyond his age, above his daily behavior - it is as though he were a head taller than himself. -- Isn't that something to watch for on these rainy days when we can stay so close to each other?