The Kindermusik classroom is anything but a traditional classroom. There is so much noise, laughter, singing, dancing, jumping, and silliness that it’s hard to imagine anything is being taught or learned! (Come see for yourself) But rest assured, behind all of this joy is a whole lot of research, planning, and preparation. From the 35+ years of curriculum designing, planning, and tweaking, to the training that every educator goes through in order to become a licensed Kindermusik educator, you can bet there is a philosophy or two guiding this “controlled chaos”! One of these philosophies is that of cyclical learning.
In a nutshell, cyclical learning means circling back year after year and revisiting the same concepts but in greater and greater depth each time. To illustrate what this means in terms of the Kindermusik classroom, here’s an example that might seem familiar to anyone who’s ever participated in a class with their child.
High and low.
As infants in our Cuddle & Bounce class, babies experience high and low mainly through listening to their caregivers voices and being moved up and down. “Hickory, dickory, dock. The mouse ran uuuuuUUP! the clock! The clock struck one, the mouse ran DOOOooown. Hickory, dickory, dock!” Then as toddlers in Sing & Play and Wiggle & Grow, you will see them moving scarves way up high and then swishing them down low on the floor, all while their grown-ups model making high and low sounds with their voices. Some of the toddlers will even make their own high and low sounds! Once these children get to be preschoolers and are in our Laugh & Learn class, their little singing voices are really starting to come out and they are able to sing high and low, play their egg shakers high and low, and identify which instruments are making high sounds and which are making low sounds. And finally, the children reach the final step in their Kindermusik journey: Kindermusik for the Young Child. In this class, they continue to move and sing high and low, and to listen to high and low instruments and voices, but it’s all becoming a bit more specific. On their first day of reading real music, they sing “high-low-high-low” on the pitches c’ and a’. Then those same notes are transferred over to their glockenspiels and voila! Kindermusik kids are singing, reading, and playing music all at the same time.
When this theory of cyclical learning is applied in the Kindermusik classroom, it creates a painless way for young children to learn. It makes the music an innate part of the body, mind, and heart. But most importantly, it puts joy into the learning process which helps turn children into life-long learners.