Monday, September 12, 2011

The Music Canvas

 I know a couple of you are looking for something to do with your little ones since school started. Have you heard of The Music Canvas? It's a great music program for babies to kindergartners! Oh and adults as well! Classes start this week so go register!

 Last spring the kids and I enrolled. I just want to set this up for you, Kaden was 3, Brooke was 20 months and not walking and I was 5 months preggers. That being said, we LOVED the class! The class was small enough where Mrs Brooks knew all the kids names. She invited us in and said "don't worry if the kids get up and walk around or even sit and not participate." You can tell she knew kids! Trying to control my kids in a class setting is sometimes like herding cats, impossible! I thought she was very inviting for the kids and me.

 So there is a welcome song that you sing every class. Can I just tell you that I use that baby, a year later, to grab the attention of my kids!! Yeah, I use songs when my kids are not paying attention and it just draws them in. I don't know what it is cause it sure isn't my voice! So yes, the songs are very catchy. I didn't know them at first but we caught on fast. It's so much more then just sitting down and singing. There is dancing, movement, and instruments that my kids loved.

 When the instruments were first brought out my first thought was, "oh I'm NEVER going to get that egg shaker from Brooke and there will be lots of screaming." But guess what, Mrs. Brooks had this little song and Brooke actually listened! Not only did she put the shaker back but did it without tears and high octave screaming! So I still use that little trick today. Singing puts kids in a trance I'm telling you!

 Okay so singing isn't your thing? No worries, Mrs. Brooks does MOST of the work for you! All you have to do is bring the kids and be excited about it! Remember they feed off of you. You get a CD so you can listen to it at home or in the car. The kiddos can learn all the words as well as you. The songs are catchy, I was singing or humming them at 2am diaper changes.

 These classes are also great for kids with special needs. I was curious to see how Brooke would do in the setting. She loved it! It was another therapy session for her but one that Kaden and I got to be involved. She got to work on motor development with clapping, dancing and holding instruments. There is also a social aspect because Mrs. Brooks was engaging her and the kids. I loved watching Brooke move to the music. It helped me forget about all her limitations and watch her delight in being a kid. To this day, Brooke is always dancing and singing.

 The kids saw it as a fun time to sing and dance with other kids. I know it was a fun time but also knew the importance of the stimulation that was going on in their brains. There is a lot of research out there on the importance of music to kids when they are young. This is a great article on the importance of music at a young age.

 I definitely recommend this class! They are 45 minute classes and last 10 weeks. There are several locations and times so it can fit into your schedule. Visit here to see the class schedule. Mrs. Brooks also does private lessons. If you sign up, be sure to let her know Alaska Kids sent you!!

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