Kindermusik popular thanks to fun, learning and parental involvement

Nichole Griffith

Nichole Griffith

Studies have shown that listening to music can have strong benefits for children and adults. One early childhood music program in particular has been growing in popularity.

Kindermusik is an age appropriate music and development program for newborns through children age 8.

“Kindermusik also incorporates the latest developmental research that shows parental involvement and active participation in a music program stimulates a child’s total development,” Sue Winters, co-director of Kindermusik at the University of Sioux Falls said.

Winters also said that another advantage of Kindermusik is that helps build social, emotional, cognitive and long-term musical skills.

Kindermusik is taught in four levels. The first level is for newborns to 18 month toddlers. Here, parents help with almost all aspects of the class.

From 18 months to three years, children are able to follow simple directions and pretend play is incorporated into the curriculum.

“Imagine That” is the level for children ages 3 to 5. Here, the children come up with ideas as to what concepts should be covered in class.

The Young Child program is for children ages 5 to 7. By now, children are reading music and some begin to play instruments.

“As the children grow older, they also take some of the music and ideas from class home with them to share with the rest of the family,” Winters said.

She also added that each lesson envelopes all concepts being taught.

“For example, if we are reading a story about trains, and the train begins to move fast or slow, we will move our instruments fast or slow to coordinate with the train movements,” Winters said.

A benefit for parents is the strong bonding time that Kindermusik provides. Benefits for children include being ready to follow directions, self-control and preschool ideas, such as motor skills and counting.

Gretchen Starnes has been teaching Kindermusik for seven years.

“I like Kindermusik because it provides a quality music experience early in life,” Starnes said.

Starnes became involved in Kindermusik when another teacher moved away and she took over. Starnes, who has a music background, is also a stay at home mom and wanted to get her children involved in Kindermusik.

“Kindermusik is great because the musical concepts are presented in a play, rather than performance experience,” Starnes said.

Like Starnes, Winters loves teaching Kindermusik.

“It is fun to teach Kindermusik because the curriculum is age appropriate and that helps quite a bit,” Winters said.