It took me a while to write this post — partly because June was quite the busy month, and also because I get emotional just thinking about it. We’ve reached another milestone in Sam’s childhood — the end of Kindermusik. sniff!
It has been seven years after all (give or take a few months!). Seven years, three wonderful teachers in three different parts of the globe. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone with kids seven and below, no matter where in the world you are.
Prior to that I’d never heard of Kindermusik — I was a Gymboree / Little Gym kind of parent (which I see now is very different from what Kindermusik offers). To this day though, I am so so SO glad I came across it in my endless search for mom-child programs for my infant. And I’m even more thankful we landed in Rebecca’s little home. It’s where we made our first set of friends, who are still friends to this very day. It’s where Sam and Elie first became friends too! 🙂
We owe a lot to Rebecca, as she set the bar high for the wonderful and highly educational experience we had over the years. I’ve said it time and again, Rebecca is a wonderful maestro of music, and she absolutely loves the kids and their families. I learned a lot about music, parenting, child development and even a little bit about teaching from Rebecca! I remember asking her every sort of question, from the purpose of each type of song or stage, to the perfect age for piano lessons (If you want to know what she said, ask me! I’ll never forget that piece of advice she gave).
When we moved to Manila, I sought out Teacher Jeannie (upon Rebecca’s recommendation).
She and her staff of teachers (Teacher Maya in particular!) were also another set of wonderful teachers for the girls. Little did we know that Kindermusik with Teacher Jeannie was in the top 1% of the total Kindermusik program in the world. But the wonderful experience continued for both myself and Sam, and she continued to look forward to Kindermusik every week.
Because of the volume of Teacher Jeannie’s enrollment in the country, at the end of every Kindermusik year, she’d hold a Kindermusik Festival, the highlight of which would be the Young Child students’ performance and graduation.
It’s one event Sam misses and talks about with so much gusto, until this day. Sam joined last year’s performance and was looking forward to graduating on Teacher Jeannie’s stage, except we’d moved to California.
And so, Sam finished her last year in Young Child 3 and 4 in Kelly Meyers’ studio.
Ms. Kelly, as we fondly call her, held a little graduation ceremony for all the parents and friends in her Young Child class and the kids performed several numbers together. Each one did a solo too on the instrument of their choice.
At the onset, Kindermusik may seem like any other music program, with song and dance, instruments and games, but across our transcontinental encounters of it, I was very impressed with the consistency of its program and curriculum. We picked up exactly where we had left off. And at the end of it all, Sam had so much fun learning the different musical concepts, composers and terms, and remember them all to this day. She (and Jamie, who has been in Kindermusik since she was in my tummy) can tell you the difference between piano and forte, crescendo and decrescendo, staccato and legato among other things. They both already know the different instrument families, as well as facts about Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, and their respective work. All of these things, I learned when I was in high school, and most of it was because I took the time to learn it myself as well!
In my opinion, what sets Kindermusik apart from all other music programs is its Young Child curriculum. Young Child is a 4-semester course for 5-7 year olds that is run over a period of two years. At the end of it all, the child learns how to read through the entire C scale, and play simple tunes on three different instruments. Sam knows about flats, and sharps, and she can read the notes and their respective rhythms. She can write her own beat and tune, and find where it is (on her own) on a keyboard, on a dulcimer, a glockenspiel and a recorder!
Each week’s session has a different song, story or theme, but it is readily applied to what they’re learning, and it progressively builds on each other. Everything has a purpose, and it becomes much clearer as the lessons go by.
I am a true believer in the Kindermusik program. I grew up knowing that music has many benefits to a child’s development, and I can see how Kindermusik has shaped that into the fun and interesting curriculum it has today. I can’t imagine the childhood of my girls without it!
My girls love music because of Kindermusik. The teachers, the program and all of our experiences have shaped Sam’s musicality into what it is today and I will forever be grateful. I’m so glad Jamie has 2 more years left!