Thursday, June 30, 2005

Sign & Sing

"Eases frustration." "Soothes trantrums." That's what the studies about sign language for children say, yes. Great. I find myself a little more startled, really, you could say dumb-founded, when I see a child use sign language. Suddenly I'm thinking they're smarter than me. When they tap their hands together and ask for more juice, I'm like, well, golly. Okay. More juice it is. You can't even hold a sippee cup yet without dropping it, but you can tell me what you need, and for that, I'm amazed and I'll submit. I'll say that's easing some frustration, yes.

Teaching sign language in your Kindermusik studio can ease some frustration for you, too. Read how, here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

This is me

Hi. Just starting this blog as a bit of an experiment, as a way to see how Kindermusik Educators can use blogs as a newsletter to stay in touch with families, keep up on the latest child development research, and the latest goings-on. We're a very entertaining, interesting crowd, you know.

Pictured here is me, Molly McGinn, when I was 5 years old. Today I'm a senior writer here at KI, and this is my blog.

So what does "i am kindermusik." mean? The idea came when I was riding my skateboard down the street, singing with the radio, watching traffic, listening to traffic (Greensboro drivers don't have a lot of experience with pedestrians) and pumping my foot in rhythm to the music: When I'm using more than one skill ... when I think, reason, create, move and express all at once ... I'm having a Kindermusik moment.

As a Kindermusik Educator I help children use more than one learning skill at once. As a writer what I do for Educators is to help you use more than one skill at once--in teaching, running your business, and riding a skateboard, if that's what you want to do.

Things children are not doing when watching TV

FYI, this isn't a PSA on unplugging the tv. I would never deny any child the squealing delight that comes from watching Nemo. I've never seen anything so compelling be so dulling at the same time. And to a child's brain, which is developing at a high speed, watching television is like being stuck in a traffic jam. It only moves forward at a very slow pace. Only two learning senses are work. Want to know what else isn't working?

Things Children are NOT Doing When Watching TV
1. looking left to right, strengthening reading skills
2. practicing motor skills, such as running, jumping, or using scissors
3. practicing eye-hand coordination
4. using more than 2 senses
5. asking questions
6. exploring
7. exercising innovation & motivation
8. being challenged
9. solving problems
10. thinking analytically
11. exercising imagination
12. practicing communication skills
13. being either creative or constructive

Thanks to Kindermusik Educator and Do-Re-Me & You! Consultant Jeanne Lippincott in Oxford Mississipi for providing this list.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Mechanical marvels

This article on the mechanical musical marvels on display at the Morris Museum is worth a look and listen. Sound clips and mini-movies show close-ups of these "mechanical banjo-hand pickers" inside a grandfather clock case, porcelain dolls playing and singing music, and mechanical mime-looking frenchman playing magic tricks.

Here's what the Web site says about this ring that pictures a music lesson: "The scene depicts a music session in an elegant drawing room, replete with a hanging oil lamp, a bird sitting on a three-legged music stand, and a pet dog. When set into motion, the seated woman hand-cranks a 'serinette'—an organ used to train birds to sing melodies—and the man conducts the tempo with his violin bow."

This made me think of all the great, home-made instruments we make in Kindermusik classes. Why not create your own "museum of great instruments" in your Imagine That! class and ask the kids to talk each.

Parents really do teach rhythm

New study in Canada proves that a parent passes on rhythm to her child when they dance together.