Musikgarten is the leader in early childhood music education - for children and teachers. We offer a program that helps infants, toddlers, and children develop a deep love of music and the ability to express it.
A centuries-old tradition of community singing and dancing has returned. It’s the European way of immersing a child and the family in music. Music should be taught as a second language – hearing it, singing it, becoming totally immersed in it, with the final step of reading it as musical notes on the page. It’s an aural and kinesthetic approach to music lessons, with the ear and the body being important components of the process.
Musikgarten was founded in 1994 by the same person who started Kindermusik in 1974, Lorna Heyge. Originally from Germany, Heyge drew from Montessori and from the ear specialist , Dr. Alfred Tomatis for essential concepts and her instructional approach. She added solfège training to the curriculum (do, re, mi, fa, sol, la, ti do). We, Edwin Gordon method of teaching rhythm, attaching easy-to-say syllables to the note values e.g. the beat. This curriculum introduces these methods around age 2 when the children begin to imitate what they hear.
“Tonal and rhythm patterns are the building blocks of music, just as words are the building blocks of language,” says director Susan Fonger. “After a child learns these patterns, reading music comes easily to them at about age 6.” Fonger believes that all children are born with musical ability. However, research has shown that there is a specific window of opportunity for this ability to be developed, and that is between birth and age 9. If a child receives music instruction early enough, he/she can learn to sing on pitch and the ear can be trained. However, if music instruction is neglected, those same neural pathways in the brain that are used for music are then allocated to other disciplines after age 8 or 9.
Musikgarten classes offer a path to music literacy from birth through beginning piano. Students learn melody, rhythm and music dynamics through traditional, content-rich folk songs - singing, dancing, listening, and playing simple instruments.
Through Musikgarten, children receive fun instruction that lays the foundation for singing, rhythm, musicality, and personal growth. The program is cumulative in its teaching approach; however, any portion can “stand alone.” It is age-appropriate to benefit any child.
Music is not learned as an isolated skill; we take a holistic (the whole child) approach to music. The primary goals are singing, movement, and ultimately playing an instrument. We have wonderful CDs of the songs sung in class, age-appropriate instruments, and parent guidebooks. These home materials reinforce lessons and involve the whole family in the fun.
Weekly classes range from 30 to 45 minutes, and usually, caregivers participate in these classes with their child.
Musikgarten’s founder, Dr. Lorna Heyge, comments: “While educational leaders turn to early childhood music because it promotes brain development, they will stay with music because of the joy and stimulation experienced in actual music-making.
Music learning requires total involvement – that is why it appeals so much to young children!”