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Music Makers at Home

4 1/2 years to 6 years

Music Makers at Home is part one of the two year sequential program leading to music literacy and Keyboard.  Although Music Makers is a wonderful preparation for future private music lessons, students need not be planning to take music privately to enjoy the academic benefits of class.  Rudimentary music skills such a pitch matching, beat competenty ensemble development, and music notation are death with using themes taken from the child's home environment and natural surroundings.  These themes include:  My Home, Cattail March, The Woodlands, and The Meadow.  
Children ages 4 1/2 - 6 years will begin to learn how to write music patterns through making music.  An hour of sings, dances, and expanded instrument exploration (use of resonator bars, glockenspiels and xylophones) will give the child a solid music foundation in the language of music.  We continue with active  listening and learning about instruments of the orchestra.  Names are give to tonal patterns (do-mi-sol) and rhythmic patterns (du du-de du); then we begin to "read" these patterns through card games.  Stories, poetry and signing games enhance the child's development language, vocabulary, and comprehension.  
This is a wonderful, well-founded holistic program that meets all the needs of the young child, while taking him/her on the path to music literacy!  
  One of the hallmarks of the Musikgarten program is that we are preparing children to be lifelong, joyful musicians.  Our curriculum and teachers support music making that fosters a dynamic, playful and creative relationship to music making.  Instilling a passion for music is key.  This is the enduring motivation of children to spend the time to learn an instrument and to put in the hours to refine their technique and their musical ear.  Children learn to love to make and express music, not just to play the piano and to simply follow the song sheet.  

You and your child have enjoyed the singing, moving, rhythmic and tonal activities that are hallmarks of a Musikgarten class. in the next level we keep all of these great elements, plus offer musical discoveries that meet the developmental needs of your child as he or she enters a new phase of independence.  So how do we teach all these important musical skills AND have so much fun?
We sing songs with opportunities for individual responses and a broader range for vocal development.  
We practice moving with more complexity.  
We continue to practice rhythm and steady beat.
We tell stories with movement and music, inviting the children to bring them alive.

We offer many different opportunities for children to verbalize their ideas and suggestions.
We continue to practice patterns with accuracy, using tonal and rhythmic names that we later connect to notation.
We emphasize making connections between symbols and sound first with accuracy, using tonal and rhythmic names that we later connect to notation.  
We emphasize making connections between symbols and sound first with  graphic notation and then with note reading familiar patterns.  Later, these are found in the notation of favorite songs.
We develop ensembles, building skills on large motor instruments.   
Sometimes parents ask us:  When should I start my child on an instrument?   Success on an instrument starts with preparation.  The Music Makers at Home and Around the World curricula lay the foundation for tonal a accuracy,  beat competency, motor readiness, and note reading.  We teach young children to audiate, that is, to hear the notation in their heads. In this way we teach music, not only operating the piano.  At around age 6, when fine motor skills are starting to develop, the children can bring this wealth of musical experience to their instrument with confidence.  Most importantly, learning in a way that engages with the natural motivation of your child fosters a love and passion for music making.  What a powerful gift!
Did you know that, in addition to musical skills, your child will be practicing key areas of development for this age?   The musical activities your child enjoys also help to build impulse control, inner speech, self soothing strategies, pre-reading skills, pre-writing skills, balance, and motor skills.  The important rhythmic and movement activities actually prepare the brain to learn; all while experiencing the joy of making music with friends.  
What does this look like in class?
In class, we sing songs that delve imaginatively into the thematic materials for the session, whether exploring various natural habitats for the first year or diverse world cultures for the second year.  We tell stories based in the theme often with responses and movement from the children.  Listening examples introduce instruments from the orchestra and we, in turn, explore the instruments we use in class as well.  Step by step we build ensembles, inviting the children to make their own music. Through this process we introduce graphic notation and eventually traditional notation patterns.  The children delight in the games that we play with the notation cards, identifying, matching, and composing whitely gain the confidence that they are reading music!  
The activities in class and at home are supported by the beautiful materials for each session including a CD, poster/folder with game pieces and notation cards.  Parents join for the last 15 minutes and are encouraged to continue the joyful music making at home. 

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