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#927558 - 08/12/08 04:37 AM Kindermusik
chocolatefairy99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 48
Loc: Ireland
I'm thinking about becoming a Kindermusik educator. I've never worked with children under the age of 5 so I'm a bit apprehensive about this new challenge. I'm just wondering if anyone on this forum teaches Kindermusik, and how they overcame new challenges in this "diferent" way of teaching music?

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#927559 - 08/12/08 06:05 AM Re: Kindermusik
AZNpiano Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 6962
Loc: Orange County, CA
I don't teach Kindermusik, but I have observed lessons at different music schools. It's like teaching kindergarten. LOTS of activities, playing with noise-maker toys, drums, tapping. There is a lot of demonstrating, but kids may or may not get what you're showing them. Also, lots of visuals and what we educators term "manipulatives."

I personally don't have the energy to keep up with these little ones. You have to really love kids (age 3 or 4) to pull it off.
Private Piano Teacher and MTAC Member

#927560 - 08/12/08 09:53 AM Re: Kindermusik
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15093
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I have been teaching Kindermusik for about 3 years now. I took over a program at the local music conservatory, so it wasn't something that I necessarily went out looking to do. Anyways, the program has its pros and cons.

Every family gets at-home materials which include a CD, a book, and usually some sort of instrument and/or game. This is by far the most expensive part of the program (once you get over the hump of purchasing the instruments & materials you'll need in the classes and the teacher kits). All of this was in place prior to me teaching, so it wasn't anything out of my pocket.

Another downside is that there are materials that the teacher needs in order to teach that are not included in the teacher kits. Once you get them and teach all the curricula (this takes 2 years), then there's no problem.

Lastly, there is a lot of preparation needed at first when you are learning the curricula, about 1-3 hours per class. However, once you've learned them all, then there's very little prep time needed, only a bit of review of the songs and getting the materials in order to be used. That's the down side of things.

On the bright side, you will become instrumental (no pun intended) in the development of young musicians. This program focuses completely on the process of creating and reacting to music, and not on the product. That means that as AZN observed, they may not necessarily learn how to play an instrument, but they will use music to progress cognitively, musically, linguistically, physically (coordination), and socially.

Once they are old enough for the Young Child class, that is where they actually learn how to play instruments that will set them up for private music study: glockenspiel (pre-piano), dulcimer (pre-string), and recorder (pre-woodwind). While these classes are still not performance oriented, there are opportunities for the kids to play their pieces for one another if they are comfortable, and for their parents. I have seen many children graduate from these classes with a more innate musical sense, and accustomed to "practicing" as long as the parents worked with the kids at home during the week.

I have also found this helps me deal with younger children in private lessons as well, because I understand where they are developmentally and then can adjust my lessons accordingly. If you can handle the upfront costs of materials and the initial prep-time that is needed then it's really a great program.

I would encourage you to observe a Kindermusik class if there's one in your area. The training course helps you to determine the best price for your market and all that, also how to run your own business so they do equip you beyond just training you how to teach. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask here, or you can PM me.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#927561 - 08/12/08 10:12 AM Re: Kindermusik
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15093
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
One other thing to keep in mind: The hours for teaching Kindermusik can sometimes conflict with private teaching. I have to restrict my private lessons to MWF and teach Kindermusik (I teach 5 of those) and my young voice classes (I teach 3 of those) on TR. I find that even though I finish my classes by 7 pm and I could take students afterwards, that makes for an exhausting day, and a bit too much wear and tear on my voice.

I currently teach Kindermusik Our Time (age 18 mo-3 1/2 yrs) on Tuesdays at 5:15 pm and Thursdays at 10:30 am, Imagine That! (3 1/2 yrs-5 yrs) Thursdays 12:00, and Young Child (5 yrs-7 yrs) Tuesdays 6:15 and Thursdays 4:15.

If you teach Young Child, you will have to do this in the afternoon because these kids will be in pre-school. You also may have to teach the other classes in the afternoon as well as the morning to accommodate working moms, as there needs to be an adult present for some or all of these classes.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#927562 - 08/12/08 11:10 AM Re: Kindermusik
chocolatefairy99 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/10/08
Posts: 48
Loc: Ireland
Thanks Morodiene. The closest Kindermusik educator to me is about 100k away from me but I might put in the effort to get in touch with her and try to observe a class. All I'm really worried about is that I've never really interacted with under 5's. I'd like to try it but my sister thinks I won't be able to be cheery and energetic enough to keep the children involved. She's worked with children all her life so she knows what they're like, but I think I could probably learn how to deal with children, and I also want to prove her wrong. The number one priority is to get children involved in music at a young age, and I DO think I could do that

#927563 - 08/12/08 11:52 AM Re: Kindermusik
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 15093
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Well, I never dealt with such young kids before I did Kindermusik. I have a very low-key personality. I'm not the bright cheery energetic type either. But I'm friendly, I try to make the parents feel comfortable, and the majority of the kids love to come to class. It's kind of trial by fire in a way, because the only way to get used to dealing with young children is to just jump in and make it work. Again the Kindermusik training helps a lot with this. Also, there is a forum on yahoo groups called kmloopers that is a great source for information when you run into a child that you can't seem to reach. These ladies are very understanding and helpful, so you can get lots of advice when that's needed.
private piano/voice teacher FT

#927564 - 08/12/08 02:44 PM Re: Kindermusik
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012

Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 18120
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
I did Kindermusik with both of my kids and enjoyed the curriculum a lot. The musical selections are varied in style and nationality, and we would often play the tapes at home just because we enjoyed listening to them. It's not like some of the children's music tapes that are like chomping on tinfoil for an adult. (Don't even get me started on the Wee Sing series... ) And we still have the music sticks, jingle bells, and scarves that we bought as part of the program, too. \:\)

I think to be a successful teacher of kindermusik you need to have a high tolerance for noise and chaos and genuine enthusiasm for toddlers. It's a very active curriculum, lots of dancing and clapping and banging on things. You don't want to spend much time explaining stuff; it's more of a jump in and start dancing and the kids imitate you kind of thing.

Given the target population, I'd recommend trying to schedule the classes at off-peak teaching times. Mornings would probably work better than early afternoons, when you'd run into nap time. There are still a lot of stay at home parents who want enrichment activities and would sign up for morning time slots (and are desperate for an excuse to get out of the house and interact with other adults!).

Good luck, chocolatefairy99! If you want to see whether you can stand it, stop by a Chuck E. Cheese's some weekend when there's a birthday party going on and see whether you can stay in there for 2 hours without a migraine. \:D

p.s. Do they have Chuck E. Cheese in Ireland? If not, look for some small-child oriented theme restaurant and/or activity center that hosts birthday parties to do your experimentation.
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
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