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Twentynine Palms

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center

Twentynine Palms, California
Kindermusik teaches children about music, developmental skills

By Lance Cpl. Monica C. Erickson | | October 3, 2007

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Kindermusik is a program that offers infants to six-year-old children the opportunity to be introduced into music, movement and children’s development to the body and mind.

Heather Harris, Kindermusik educator, teaches classes in Yucca Valley and aboard the Combat Center. She has eight classes with approximately 10 children per class between the two destinations.

The classes aboard the Combat Center are held every Wednesday at the Community Center.

At the base, Harris splits the children into groups: 18 months to three-year-olds meet for the first class at 11:30 a.m., and four to six-year-olds meet for a second class at 12:45 p.m.

Parents are required to attend part of each class to encourage their children and participate in music and dancing. The younger children require a parent to stay through the entire class.

“The parents are the child’s first and foremost educator,” said Harris. “I give the parents workbooks so they can continue to work with their children at home.”

Following the Kindermusik’s theme, “A Good Beginning Never Ends,” the children are able to have fun, dance and exercise while developing their social, emotional and cognitive skills.

They work on their large and fine motor skills, while learning to share and take turns with other children.

Harris and the parents help their children recognize colors by regularly naming the colors of objects in the room.

Harris and the parents perform specially designed massages and exercises on the infants, which can be as simple as touching a left hand to a right foot, that help brain development causing growth in neurons.

“We pull out the colored scarves, and it helps strengthen their eyes when they follow it,” said Harris.

According to Harris’ Web site, Kindermusik gives the child and parent a take-home kit with a book, CD, instrument and activity book to give parents their own ideas for a fun activity that stimulates the child’s physical and mental growth.

The older children are introduced to pre-keyboard, reading music and incorporating simple Spanish into their songs.

“What they learn here translates into the real world,” Harris explained. “When they go to school, or play a sport it shows in their ability to work well with others.”

For more information about Kindermusik, please contact Heather at 830-3380 or visit her Web site athttp://kindermusikwithheatherskids.kindermusik.net


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