December 11, 2009

Musik Garten

Bertrand had his very first Musik Garten class today! Musik Garten is an educational program that helps infants, toddlers, and children develop a deep love of music and the ability to express it. This class is run through DDI Vantage, our county's early intervention office, so it is a class full of special needs kids under the age of 3. Just from today, I can tell that Bertrand is going to really get a lot from this class! Since he loves music, he barely fussed the entire time. (His speech therapist Meghan showed up to cheer him on.) Furthermore, the teacher Ms. Catherine is fantastic and personally familiar with seizure disorder. I think this is a recipe for success!

Just so you can see why this class would be useful to special needs kids, here is some information from the Musik Garten website:
  • Music is a language, and children are oriented toward learning language.
  • Music evokes movement, and children delight in and require movement for their development and growth.
  • Music engages the brain while stimulating neural pathways associated with such higher forms of intelligence as abstract thinking, empathy, and mathematics.
  • Music's melodic and rhythmic patterns provide exercise for the brain and help develop memory. Who among us learned the ABC's without the ABC song?
  • Music is an aural art and young children are aural learners. Since ears are fully mature before birth, infants begin learning from the sounds of their environment before birth.
  • Music is perfectly designed for training children's listening skills. Good listening skills and school achievement go hand in hand.
  • Developmentally appropriate music activities involve the whole child-the child's desire for language, the body's urge to move, the brain's attention to patterns, the ear's lead in initiating communication, the voice's response to sounds, as well as the eye-hand coordination associated with playing musical instruments.
  • Music is a creative experience which involves expression of feelings. Children often do not have the words to express themselves and need positive ways to release their emotions.
  • Music transmits culture and is an avenue by which beloved songs, rhymes, and dances can be passed down from one generation to another.
  • Music is a social activity which involves family and community participation. Children love to sing and dance at home, school, and at church.
Now, I'll admit that while I thoroughly enjoyed the class with Bertrand, it was daunting. While I am used to Bertrand being delayed around normal children, it was shocking to realize that he is the most delayed out of a group of delayed children. The kids in the class ranged the gamut of possible delays: physical, mental, behavioral, sensory, communication, etc. Not only does Bertrand encompass all of those issues, he is also the most delayed at each. Quite the distinction! I know several parents probably left that classroom thinking, "hey! things aren't so bad!" I comfort myself in knowing that we made a lot of their day, if not week! :)

1 comment :

  1. *smooch* You're always so positive! The class sound great! I am ALL for baby music programs!