Baumhaus Talk Series: Teacher Bea and Teaching Babies
The first Kindermusik class I ever taught, was Cuddle and Bounce. Now called Foundations, this class is for babies, from 0-12 months. I remember how nervous I was when I entered the classroom. There were 4 babies, ready to learn, and here I was, fresh from my Kindermusik training, and unsure of myself as a Kindermusik Educator.
It went very well. Being with babies and speaking and singing to them is the most natural thing in the world! We have a certain instinct that caters to babies, and allows us to interact with them freely, and naturally. But what is beautiful about a Kindermusik Babies Class, is you are able to see just how music can help these little ones grow and develop, and how much impact the class has on the child’s physical, socio-emotional and cognitive development.
Foundations stress the interactive nature of the total development of the whole child in body, mind, and spirit by naming and claiming these benefits with music for both babies and parents. It helps to provide a warm introduction to music, to involve family in music making, to encourage participation in a music-making community. And of course it helps strengthen the bond between grown up and baby. One of the main goals of his curriculum is to gently educate the parent about the benefits of music on their baby’s total development.
Teaching Foundations is quite enjoyable, and in fact, it gives you a unique sense of fulfilment because you see the children grow right in front of you! You are witness to them discovering different things, be that tapping an instrument, bouncing on their own, or the start of talking and singing— all this, once you witness are quite magical, and really extraordinary. Being part of a baby’s growth is rewarding and fulfilling and it is one of the best feelings, ever.
One of the challenges you face as a Kindermusik Educator is knowing when your student is ready to move to the next curriculum. Usually for babies, the most common indicator is if the babies become more mobile. Once they start cruising and walking, this is a clear sign that it is time to move up! Teaching babies is also challenging because of the importance of letting the children lead your class. Kindermusik is a child-led activity, and sometimes this may be repetitive or slow to an adult. As a teacher, it is your responsibility to explain this to the other grown ups, alongside following the pace of each baby in your class.
My favourite theme in Foundations has always been “Mama Goose”. I feel that this theme is the most well rounded, tackling all the components of class from listening, to circle dance, to sensory play, to bonding activities, vocalization, movement and many more. Mama Goose has this circle dance that I really love doing in class. It is called “A-Tisket, A-Tasket” and dancing it with the grown ups carrying their babies, is not only a lot of fun, but it allows the children to learn, react and really interact with one another.
Foundations will always be special to me, and will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only was it the foundation of my learning and training as a Kindermusik Educator, but it is also the class where I feel that the parents are most engaged, and caring. And the class where the room is most filled with wonder, awe and amazement. :)