What do you think about Kindermusik? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I like trying new things, and I think DS (20 months) is ready for something new. Is Kindermusik a good experience for a toddler? Is it a structured format, or flexible to accomodate all types of kids?
I searched for Kindermusik and didn't come up with any posts just about the classes, I could have sworn I saw some months ago - must have been deleted.
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#2 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 10:31 PM
 
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Hi Sahara--

I recently had the opportunity to take my nephew (2 1/2 yrs. old) to his kindermusik class. My sister started taking her daughter when she was an infant and has stuck it out with her son even though he's not as interested. It was structured, though not suffocating. The kids sat in moms' laps in a circle and sang (or didn't sing) and played instruments (or didn't) and danced around the room (or not), depending on the leader and her choice of song. My nephew didn't. With almost everything. And it didn't matter. I danced with him in my arms and he enjoyed the movement. There was a very quick transition into every activity. The children stayed with their moms at all times, except to choose instruments. My sister has enjoyed making friends with the other moms, in her area all *very* mainstream. Oh--one thing that bothered me was that the classes were all for one age. IOW, you simply don't bring siblings.

Hope this helps a little.

Missy
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#3 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 11:16 PM
 
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we are just finishing up a semester of kindermusik. we are choosing not to do another - at least not now. although we've had a pretty good time; it wasn't quite $170 worth.

i'm taking what i would've spent on another semester and buying some montessori materials, etc. i also plan on doing some musical activities at home with ds. i think my ds would more enjoy unstructured play time around other kids (various ages) at this point.

i'm not trying to make km out to be a negative experience. ds just isn't enjoying it enough to warrant spending that amount of money on another class.
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#4 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 11:23 PM
 
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Didn't like it--LOVE Music Together though. The Kindermusik instructor was so rigid--big turn off to me. In Music Together, kids of all ages were together, very cool songs and activities, not structured, very go-with-the-flow encouraging freedom of movement and self-expression . And the instructor we had was so great.
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#5 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 11:23 PM
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Okay, honestly, I really disliked Kindermusik. I've heard much better stuff about Music Together although I haven't tried it, but I absolutely loved Music for Aardvarks. Kindermusik just seemed so dumbed down, so silly, and so not fun for the parents. Dd didn't like it either. Now we might have just had a bad teacher or bad fellow participants, but I do have to say that I dropped out of the last few classes because it just wasn't worth it, even if I lost the money. :
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#6 of 26 Old 12-04-2002, 11:41 PM
 
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We absolutely love Music Together-mixed ages, loose structure lots of movement. The only "requirement" for the kids is that they do not run around (and risk hurting younger ones or themselves). Even in the opeoning and closing circle, sitting with the parent is encouraged, but optional for the kids (sometimes they sit with someone else's parent for fun!). But as with anything, I think the teacher makes or breaks the class and we were lucky to find a wonderful one!!!
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#7 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 12:46 AM
 
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What is Music together? Do they have a website?
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#8 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 12:50 AM
 
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We LOVE Music Togther here at our house too. My son spent the first 3 weeks hiding behind me and now at the end of the first session he is so into the instructor that if they are dancing or walking or something and the instructor stops short, my ds runs into him because he is following so closely behind. LOL. He has turned into the only child in the class who could care less where hsi mother is and I LOVE that he is so interested. He has blossomed so much in this class, I will do it again and again and again. I have taken other music classes and I really just like the "feel" of the Music Together philsophy. And yes, I think they do have a website.

PS Ds is 28 months, and we have to play the CD daily and he has every song memorized, and likes to pretend to be in "music class" and asks every night for his instructor.
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#9 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 01:28 AM
 
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Here-I'll save ya'll some typing:

http://www.musictogether.com/

They're so cool!
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#10 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 02:19 AM
 
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we did kindermusic when dd was 18 mo. we disliked it enough that we only attended half of what we paid for. it was too structured for dd. the teacher was a stressball. the majority of activities required dd to be mellow and sit still: . there was a transition about every 3 minutes, which drove dd nuts- just as she was getting into something, it was over. i prefer more open ended stuff for kids this age, and more appreciation for what my child does naturally, not what i convince her do.

i am going to look into music together, because halei has such love for song and dance.
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#11 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 02:26 AM
 
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Thanks Lee! I guess I should have figured that out, but it seemed too simple HA HA!

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#12 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 02:53 AM
 
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My ds and I did KM at about 4 or 5 months old. He loved it then, but we were also with several other friends, he loves music, and loved the instruments/toys used. It was a little too structured, but meant more for teaching parent ideas for babes. I was lucky that it was basically free since the instructor was new and needed participants. The price was rather high for what was taught, of course, I also know that she wasn't breaking even, so KM license fees must be steep. My ds loves the KM CD, it is magic when in the car. But would agree, have heard great things about Music Together, and would try if available locally.
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#13 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 02:19 PM
 
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I wish we had a Music Together instructor in our area.

We are participating in a Kindermusik program right now. My son is 16 months old, and loves to be out and about. The Kindermusik activities are things that we would do on our own at home anyway.

I'm not crazy about the format. The transitions are too rushed for my son to enjoy the activities. I don't know if this is Kindermusik or the instructor.

It also drives me NUTS that our instructor doesn't know the songs or sing on key.
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#14 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 04:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much!! I found one Music Together teacher in our areaa, and just emailed her to find out about her classes. I also found one Kindermusik teacher, and emailed her, too. I'm definately not interested in anything too structured, so maybe Music Together will work out for us.
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#15 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 04:43 PM
 
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I just had to chip in- I went to a Kindermusik trial class n disliked it. The teacher had to refer to a guide book all the time, and she was not exactly nice with all the kids. I felt it was too structured. Nope, don't like it!!! I know of other mums with older kids who enjoyed it though. Maybe it's a matter of age. And of coz, the teacher.
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#16 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 05:14 PM
 
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I don't mean to 'thread-nap' but I have never been to either Kindermusik or MT.

Isaiah is almost 2 now and is very attached to me still and gets a little stressed out around other kids because he's not used to all the 'chaos'

When we visit at SIL's house and 4 cousins...he doesn't really play and if the kids get too close or scream, he cries for me. I would love to take him to MT (I found one in my area) but I'm a bit nervous about taking him somewhere new when he's not accustomed to being and participating in a large group.

I'm also a little shy and don't want to look like the mom with the whiney baby. : Maybe I'm thinking about it too much. I should just go.

Lisa

Lisa ~ Homeschooling mama to 9yo ds and 7yo dd both born at home and expecting #3 in November!
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#17 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey Lisa, my DS is the same way, and I think it's just fine! He's clingier than a lot of the kids I see at playgroup or gymnastics, but shoot he's only 20 months old. It took him about a month to warm up to the gymnastics class, although recently it has gotten out of hand and we are not going anymore. Too overwhelming for him and me
If it's not too much of an investment, you could try the Music Together class for a few weeks and see if he warms up to it.
I'm sure some people disagree, but at 2 I think kids are just starting to get a few social skills, we shouldn't pressure them too much. JMO!
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#18 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 09:20 PM
 
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Lisa, I think MT is ideal for toddlers--it makes room for them being who they are. And for the mothers to be who they are as well . I liken MT to a good yoga class--non-competitive, non-judgmental.
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#19 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 10:52 PM
 
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Hi Lisa,

My toddler is the same way. I asked the teacher when her smallest class was meeting and we signed up for that one (it had only 5 children in it instead of the 12). It was a less popular time, but definetly worth it for us.
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#20 of 26 Old 12-05-2002, 11:52 PM
 
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Wow....I am just shocked by what everyone is saying about Kindermusik.....we must have a really great teacher. My son absolutly loves his classes. He adores the teacher and she takes him for almost half the class and plays with him. We use a ton of different instuments and ALL of the babies in the class seem to really enjoy it. We both really enjoy the Cd's and play them all the time. My son often signs for his kindermusik cd when we are listening to music. I agree that it is structured but if my son doesn't want to participate in a couple of the songs he is free to do his own thing and the instructor doesn't mind at all.
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#21 of 26 Old 12-06-2002, 03:37 AM
 
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Definitely shop around for a teacher. It makes a huge difference.

I like Music Together for the younger ones because it is less-structured and free, Kindermusik when they are a little older (3-4) and want a little more.

My dd #2, who is almost 4 does Suzuki Violin (I am her teacher), and participates in group classes. One of the group classes is a movement class. The teacher has a strong background in Kindermusik, and other methods as well. She is like the pied-piper. The kids are enchanted with her from the 1st minute to the last.

If you have a University near by, they sometimes have a music/movement class that might use a variety of methods and prove to be just what you need.

LeAnn
www.TaylorMadeTreasures.com
Baby Sling Carriers & Doll Slings
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#22 of 26 Old 12-06-2002, 04:52 AM
 
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Another plug for KM here. I think it does depend mostly on the teacher. I did it for one semester with a teacher who really wasn't very good -- but then my niece started teaching a class close enough that I could join her class and she is wonderful! While she always has a list of songs/activities that we do (and it does transition pretty fast) it is not at all structured in the sense that all the kids have to be doing all the same things at the same times. The kids run around and be kids, join in on some things, do their own things on others. Very relaxed. And the CDs are awesome. I love the way they mix traditional "kids music" with classical and jazz and blues and songs from other countries. My dd won't let me play any other music while she's around!

So I would say, forget about whether the program happens to be named KM or MT, go with whichever teacher you think is better.
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#23 of 26 Old 12-06-2002, 10:44 AM
 
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I disliked KM, too. This whole time, though, I thought it was just b/c of the teacher since I had only ever heard good things about KM!

It seems like a good experience for babies under 6 months. But I took my 12 month old, and there were 3 others the same age, and none of them could handle all the calming, laying down for massages stuff. They just wanted to move, and were fussy about it. Then when we finally did move, it wasn't the way the kids <i>wanted<i> to move or for long enough, so they were still fussy. I also found the instructor rigid, disconnected and she sang terribly. I dropped out and lost a ton of money, but I couldn't bear it anymore.
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#24 of 26 Old 12-06-2002, 04:27 PM
 
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it was very structured. my baby is more the type to walk around and play with toys--and they lean more towards a child that will sit quietly in front of the mother and listen to music and be more calm/docile.

if your baby LOVES slow calm music, massage, swaying, rocking, then your baby might like it. my baby likes to run and scream--it wasn't the best fit for us.

the moms were kind of snobby too. (but im sure that is nothing to do with "kindermuzik" itself.

i think there are better alternatives.
see my link below

http://www.patnc.org/findaprogram.asp

The above link is FREE playgroup and mothergroup, they are nation wide! My son likes this much much more.
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#25 of 26 Old 12-06-2002, 06:59 PM
 
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My dd took it from the time she was 18mos till 5 yo.


she loved it, though I wonder if she would have really liked any music program as she loves music anyway she can take it.


She did not finish the last year as we didn't want to overschedule her and believe in letting her choose-she chose dance instead.:


She has an amazing ear for music. We wonder if it was KM or just that I have always had music on and am always singing(you know, stupid little tunes to sing about what I doing... )


Km was way out of our price range...financially, it was ridiculous that we invested that much(she BETTER continue to do well at math!: )


We did have a good teacher who verbally encouraged children to be who they wanted to be..and for parents to not push their kids..she always said to just play the music everyday and they would absorb everything.(duh!)


We saved all KM materials, and we do music play at home now with ds who is 17 mos...but no WAY would I put out that kind of money again to do what i can do at home and take ds to park or free playgroup to have interactions.

IMHO however, under 2yo is too little to have a whole lot of success wityh social interactions!!


BTW...you can order KM materials w/o being a KM student.


My tiny input,
mamapoppins
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#26 of 26 Old 12-08-2002, 01:29 AM
 
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I teach at a community school for the arts, and we have an early childhood music program, although it is not Kindermusik. I'd just like to echo other posts - you MUST shop around for a teacher. Depending upon the umbrella organization, they will have different standards for hiring someone to do KM. We do classes that combine approaches. If you have an active little one and see a music class offering Dalcroze methodology, that is a good match. If you see something about Orff methodology and have a little one who is interested in musical instruments, that would be perfect. We combine Orff, Dalcroze, and Kodaly approaches (singing lots of folk songs, etc) and just call it "Early Childhood Music." We also charge WAY less than what I'm reading here... although it might be the area.

Anyhow, look around for different options. Look for communtiy schools of the arts, look for university or conservatory settings, etc. They will have the best hiring practices - certainly better than your average stand-alone organization... they have alumnae to keep happy!

Good luck, all - and don't forget to sing to your child! That's the best introduction to music you could ever give.
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