New Kindermusik classes in Steamboat offer fun, learning | SteamboatToday.com

New Kindermusik classes in Steamboat offer fun, learning

Margaret Hair

Jennifer Herzog came to Kindermusik with a love of music and knowledge of what it can do.

The Steamboat Springs resident, partial owner of Oak Creek's Select Super Market, and hobby jazz pianist and singer has seen the effects music and movement had on her daughter, 8-year-old Ashley, who has special needs.

"That experience plus my love for music is what brought me to this. I'm not a music therapist, but I have experienced music therapy and the benefits my daughter has reaped from that," Herzog said.

On Tuesday, Herzog, who goes by "Miss Jenn" during her classes, started her first semester as a Kindermusik teacher at First String Music. Kindermusik is an international program for children and their parents or caretakers that focuses on various aspects of music and movement.

Music surrounds Herzog and her students in her studio at the back of the new First String Music store and school in the Loggers Lane commercial center. Sunlight poured in the windows of the carpeted, cheerfully decorated room Thursday morning, as Herzog pulled bells, drums, tambourines, scarves, balls and percussion instruments from bins on a shelf full of toys.

Herzog offered free demo classes just before Christmas and will offer all her classes at drop-in rates until they start to fill up, she said. Drop-in classes are $16 each, and the first class for any child-caretaker pair is free. Semester rates vary by class.

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Kindermusik offers curriculum for children ages 7 and younger, and Herzog offers classes for children ages 5 and younger. The classes are designed to combine instrumental play, singing and dancing to "stimulate and strengthen the vital neural wiring taking place in your child's mind," according to the Kindermusik Web site. The program has been around for more than 30 years, according to the site.

Through music and movement, Herzog hopes to focus on musical concepts and expression in her class, making them more about the experience for young children than specifically learning what a tempo is, she said.

"We're touching on development issues, and we're having a ton of fun doing it," Herzog said. In a group setting, children can explore different sounds and textures, work on coordination, learn how to share instruments and interact with their peers, she said.

"All I want the kids to walk away with consciously is that they had a great time," Herzog said.

The program is meant for children and their parents or caretakers, so although it's teacher directed, it's not teacher dictated, Herzog said. For at-home interaction, semester tuition includes an activity book, a CD and a small musical instrument, she said.

Kindermusik training takes about a year; Herzog took an accelerated course to finish in about eight months, she said. During her training, Herzog worked with small groups and her children's school groups to practice teaching. Her daughter, Ashley, was a personal training subject and knows almost every song in the Kindermusik curriculum at this point, Herzog said.

"The training is in child development as much as it is in musical instruments. That's what it's all about at these ages," Herzog said.

After years of doing the practical thing and helping to run Super Select Market, Herzog said she was ready to pursue her dream and take up music with the enthusiasm her children have shown for it — her 14-year-old twin sons, Aaron and Andrew, are accomplished on saxophone and trumpet, respectively, and Ashley is quite the singer, she said.

"For me, it's fun. It's not like work for me — it's just fun," Herzog said.

Kindermuik

Winter 2010 schedule

■ Village, for ages birth to 18 months: Classes available from 10 to 10:45 a.m. Tuesdays starting this week; 1 to 1:45 p.m. Thursdays starting Jan. 21; and 11 to 11:45 a.m. Saturdays now in session

■ Our Time, for ages 18 months to 3 years: Classes available from 1 to 1:45 p.m. Tuesdays starting Jan. 19; 11 to 11:45 a.m. Thursdays now in session; 10 to 10:45 a.m. Saturdays starting this week

■ Imagine That, for ages 3 to 5 years: Classes available from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Tuesdays now in session; 10 to 10:45 a.m. Thursdays starting this week; and 1 to 1:45 p.m. Saturdays starting Jan. 23

Registration costs vary by age. Village classes are taught in an eight-week session for $120. Our Time classes are taught in a 15-week session for $225. Imagine That classes are taught in a 15-week session for $240.

Herzog’s Kindermusik classes are available on a drop-in basis until they start to fill up. Drop-in classes are $16 each; the first drop-in class is free.

Scholarships and payment plans are available for Kindermusik classes. Call instructor Jennifer Herzog at 819-8715, or visit the Web site at http://www.mountainsofmusik.com for more information or to register.

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