OBU Launches Fall Kindermusik Classes

Oklahoma Baptist University Music Preparatory Department is launching its fall semester classes of Kindermusik, the world's leading music and movement program for children from birth to seven years of age. Children in Shawnee and surrounding areas are invited to join the program.

Kindermusik fosters the total development of young children through a combination of music and movement. Parents with newborns, toddlers and 3- through 6-year-old children can participate in Kindermusik activities - jingling bells, pounding drums, floating scarves, "hooting" owl sounds and little feet moving in time to music - for a valuable learning experience for both the child and the parent or caregiver.

Conchita Hansford, director of the OBU Preparatory Department and licensed Kindermusik educator, strongly believes Kindermusik provides a powerful learning experience for a child.

"The many songs and activities in Kindermusik class enhance a child's total development by strengthening physical, emotional, social and cognitive skills at a very early age," Hansford said. "Teaching children through Kindermusik has allowed me to experience the joy of watching children learn and grow through music. Kindermusik creates a warm, creative learning environment for both parents and children."

The fall semester begins Aug. 28. Classes being offered this session are Village for newborns to 18 months; Our Time for 18 months to 3 years; and Imagine That! for 3- to 6-year-olds.

Fulfilling a baby's endless potential is an exciting opportunity for newborns to 18 months with a parent or caregiver. In Kindermusik Village, the parent learns how to stimulate the child's learning through vocal play, object exploration and creative movement. The teacher provides the tools to continue the enrichment at home through the use of the Home Materials that includes a CD with more than 25 specially selected recordings from class. All those airplane sounds one makes with a spoon during feeding time actually help baby learn language. In this first Kindermusik class, one learns how sounds such as this can develop physical, social, cognitive and emotional skills as well. The class meets on Mondays at 10 a.m.

Kindermusik Our Time (ages 18 months to 3 years) introduces mom and child to a musical world filled with singing, imitating sounds, rhyming, sound identification, instrument exploration and creative movement. A double-CD set of 50 songs, sounds and recordings of favorite activities from class is available to be used at home with parental help. The class meets on Mondays at 11 a.m. or Thursdays at 10 a.m.

Kindermusik Imagine That! (ages 3 to 6 years) pairs music with expressive language, storytelling, peer interaction, movement, and pretend play. With all this interaction the child will further expand his cognitive and literacy skills as well as creativity and individuality. The classes meet on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. for the 3-year-old group, and on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. for the 4- to 6-year-old group. Conchita Hansford teaches the morning classes. Hillary Anderson teaches a Thursday 5:15 p.m. class for the 3- to 6-year-old group. A Saturday morning class taught by Debbie Beeson is available at 10 a.m. Hansford, Anderson and Beeson are licensed Kindermusik instructors.

Kindermusik participants are encouraged to purchase a set of Home Materials. Each includes a book, CD's, age-appropriate instrument, and activity book or journal. Parents have commented that the CD's have actually replaced the need for DVD cartoons and movies in the car on family trips.

Research supports that music helps prepare the mind for specific disciplines of learning; skills learned through music carry over into study skills, communications skills, cognitive skills and abstract reasoning skills useful to all parts of life, according to a 1997 article in Neurological Research.

Kindermusik curricula are designed to be developmentally appropriate - each child is encouraged to learn at his or her own pace. The most current research on child development indicates that a child's fundamental learning takes place between birth and 7 years. The Kindermusik philosophy is founded upon rigorous research and the fundamental beliefs that: every child is musical; every parent is the child's most important teacher; the home is the most important learning environment; music nurtures a child's cognitive, emotional, social, language and physical development; and every child should experience the fun and learning that music brings to life.

For more information and registration, please contact Conchita Hansford, Director, OBU Music Preparatory Department, (405) 878-2319 (office) or (405) 273-2273 (home), or e-mail Conchita.hansford@okbu.edu.

To register online or view the web site, please visit musicprep.okbu.edu.