G has attended Kindermusik classes for three semesters now, starting in Spring 2015. (Warning: That link has an auto-play sound. Don’t be startled!) She’s been in the “Imagine That” class for the whole time and has one more year of that class before being able to move up to “Kindermusik for the Young Child,” where she will learn how to read music and play a recorder. I know some parents hate the sound of a recorder, but I loved playing it when I was younger and I’m psyched for G to learn to read music at such a young age. I didn’t learn to read music until 4th grade, which is when I started playing the viola.
Anyway, I thought it would be nice to highlight some of the fun stuff she’s done at Kindermusik class over the past year-and-a-half! (I did discuss it briefly during my A to Z Challenge last April.)
Kindermusik was one of the first activities we joined here in Basel. There were a couple of reasons that we were excited about this class. First, it was offered in English, so we knew there wouldn’t be a language barrier. Second, and more importantly, G had been doing ABC Music & Me classes at her daycare back in Peoria; that program is curated by Kindermusik. We were familiar with the quality of education and supplementary materials we’d be receiving, which also made the tuition a bit easier to swallow. (I don’t think it’s expensive at all for the number of classes and quality of instruction.)
Each class, the parents sing the hello song and are then invited to go next door for coffee. Some parents actually drink coffee; most of us spend some time scrolling through our phones; there’s usually a bit of discussion as well. An unfortunate amount of that time has been spent discussing US politics, something which I have become absolutely incapable of explaining at this point. Luckily everyone is nice about that! Then at the end, we go back in the classroom to sing the goodbye song all together.
The kids spend class time playing simple instruments, singing, and doing their best to drive Miss Susan, their teacher, absolutely crazy. She’s a saint, especially as the enrollment in G’s class has skewed more and more heavily towards more boys and fewer girls. (It was pretty evenly split her first class, then there were 2 girls and 6 boys in the second class, and G was the only girl in her most recent class.)
Full disclosure: I think G manages to be one of the craziest kids in her class, despite being in the minority. My rambunctious little girl!
We also have various homework assignments from time to time, whether it’s making something that has to do with the narrative of the class or something musical.
I totally cheated for the bird assignment. G wore the red hoodie I’d embellished for her red goose Halloween costume. Then I just made a beak out of a modified toilet paper roll that I painted orange.
The most recent class G was in had the theme of “Toys I Make; Trips I Take,” so one week all the kids had to make a boat of some kind. G and Andy had a blast making this pink pirate ship. It also still lives in G’s room.
G's map of where she would like to go on the train. From Basel on the left: Mexico (taco & sombrero) -> Arizona (desert with cactus) -> Peoria (our white house and Chick-Fil-A 😂) -> the North Pole -> Disneyland Paris -> the Moon -> a zoo where they use dump trucks to make mountains and parks (?) -> Australia with nice sharks that don't go in the water (?) -> back to Basel. Drawings by @avizzee, details by yours truly. #lavieve #kindermusik
The homework assignments are sometimes more directly related to actual music. One week the kids needed to make a shaker instrument. G loved this assignment and we ended up making four shakers in two different types of plastic bottles and some toilet paper rolls with construction paper on the ends. Each of the four had different fillings to make different kinds of sounds.
And this may surprise you, but two of those shakers are still living in G’s bedroom. (She doesn’t like to get rid of anything.)
This past semester, she also got to design whatever kind of instrument she wanted. She chose to make a guitar, which we accomplished with a Kleenex box, some paper towel rolls, and rubber bands. Somehow, I don’t have a picture of this creation. Total mom fail on that one.
There’s a little graduation ceremony at the end of each semester where the kids get a folder of pictures from the class and their certificate of completion.
Even more important than the fun she has each week are the friends she’s made at Kindermusik. G has had a couple of playdates with one of the kids from her class and a few of her friends from class came to her birthday party as well!
If you live in or around Basel and are looking for a weekly activity for your child, I can’t recommend Kindermusik to you highly enough!
What activities do you have your children enrolled in?