Saturday, January 22, 2011

                              Kindermusik for Every Child

Kindermusik is for EVERY child: special needs in the Kindermusik classroom

Written and compiled by Theresa Case, whose Maestro Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs world-wide.


At Kindermusik, we’ve known for a long time that our program is wonderful for children with special needs. The 2010 Kindermusik Educator of the Year, Ally Trotter, believes this so strongly that she is leading the way with an exciting new initiative called Kindermusik for Every Child.  Her vision is that Kindermusik for Every Child will be a collaborative compilation of resources for educators specifically geared toward reaching children with special needs and their families in the Kindermusik classroom.
 Ally’s inspiration for this project is rooted in the fact that one of the many strengths of Kindermusik is its focus on the different developmental needs of each stage of childhood. Each Kindermusik class level is designed to give every child the most appropriate and stimulating environment to nurture their developmental needs.  In fact, it is Kindermusik’s musical and developmental basis that makes the program such a natural and effective way to augment occupational, physical, or speech therapy.
Each child has his or her own developmental patterns of growth, and the special needs child is no exception.  Instead of rushing ahead, Kindermusik celebrates and explores each stage, fostering joy and creativity and respecting a child’s unique pattern and pace of growth.  As a result, Kindermusik classes provide a unique place where the child with special needs can actively participate with peers of all abilities without pressure to perform in any way.
Dr. Melissa Johnson, a pediatric psychologist and advisor to Kindermusik International, says that Kindermusik can be an effective part of the educational and therapeutic plan for young children with developmental challenges. She points out three reasons she sees Kindermusik as a wonderful resource for children with any variety of special needs.
1. It facilitates inclusion. Beyond just mainstreaming these children, Kindermusik offers them full involvement in community activities, while giving them the support necessary to succeed. For example, children with motor disabilities such as cerebral palsy or spinal bifida may not be able to participate in children’s activities that focus on developing excellence in motor skills. But Kindermusik activities are accessible or readily adaptable to these children’s capabilities.
2. It is based on a multimodal, multisensory design. Kindermusik curricula are enriched with stories, pictures, creative movement and a wide variety of interesting objects as part of activities that pull children into the interaction no matter what their preferred learning style and mode might be.
3. It nurtures the individual child’s emotional and social development. The emphasis on the joy and pleasure of music, on the sharing of this joy with one’s caregiver and peers, and the support of the child’s self-esteem make it particularly appropriate for children and families who face psychosocial stresses and difficulties.
There is one pediatric occupational therapist in particular who agrees. We recently came across her blog entry where she describes first-hand the amazing effects Kindermusik can have, and she has become a vocal advocate of the program.  “I have had many OT (occupational therapy) clients who weren’t learning to talk with just speech therapy or developmental services, but did learn to speak after attending Kindermusik classes! Now, it is not designed just for the special needs child yet these children potentially can benefit greatly.”  To read her blog post in its entirety, including a powerful testimonial about the way one little boy benefitted from Kindermusik, click here.
Children ages newborn to 7 years around the world love and benefit from their Kindermusik classes every day.  But don’t just take our word for it… try it out for yourself!  Click here to sign up for a free preview class.  We’d love to meet you!
Written and compiled by Theresa Case, whose Maestro Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, SC is proudly among the top 1% of Kindermusik programs world-wide.

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