Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Melodious Ways Instructor Teaches Children Joy of Music in Debut Kindermusik Program

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Melodious Ways Instructor Teaches Children Joy of Music in Debut Kindermusik Program

Article excerpt

The sound of a cooing baby or a whistling tea kettle can be a prelude to a life of music appreciation in young children.

Kindermusik instructor Sue Knutson says a love of music is inherent in all children. To enhance that instinctiveness and foster talent, one should expose children to music before they can talk or toddle, she said. "By age 9, music aptitude stabilizes, and it won't change much after that."

Knutson is a licensed Kindermusik teacher with a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in elementary education. This month, Knutson started the first Kindermusik program in St. Charles County for children aged 18 months to 7 years. The Kindermusik curriculum stimulates children to respond to music by encouraging them to explore their own worlds through listening, movement and singing.

Knutson teaches the program in her Harvester home and at the St. Peters Cultural Arts Center on Mexico Road. Children are placed in separate classes according to age, and parents participate with the younger children. Children eventually are taught music notation, to become familiarized with orchestral instruments and to compose their own music.

Compositions such as "Carnival of the Animals" by Saint-Seans become as enjoyable and familiar to them as Hickory Dickory Dock, Knutson said.

The focus, she said, is on the process rather than performance. "Children who appreciate and practice music are more self-aware, have strong self-esteem and generally do better in school."

The program also incorporates movement to music. Knutson calls movement a child's sixth sense. "Young children are very tactile and need to use their bodies to experience rhythm," she said. "They learn the dynamics of sound, getting loud then soft, and respond to drumbeats and so on. Later, when they go to read music, it means more when they've had this experience."

The program introduces children to different musical cultures and genres, including African and American Indian music, jazz, opera and German folk songs. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.