Kindermusik

Many children are first introduced to music at Northwestern in lively Kindermusik classes, where they explore music through moving, singing, and playing instruments. The focus is on whole-child development, not on musical entertainment or performance. A rich variety of activities promotes music and language development, symbolic thinking, coordination, and social interaction. Age-appropriate sequential classes are offered for children from birth through age seven.

COVID-19 Update

We are thrilled to be back in-person for our fall classes! In accordance with CDC guidelines, all participants over the age of 2 will be required to wear masks. Each family will have their own bag of instruments to use throughout the semester to eliminate incidental contact through shared instrument use.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible our classes will need to shift back to our online Zoom format at some point. If that happens, we will notify all families. Please contact Amy Shinohara at kindermusik@northwestern.edu with questions.

Fall 2021 Classes

The fall Kindermusik term starts September 25, 2021, and ends January 22, 2022, with January 29, 2022 reserved as a make-up week.

Level 1 (12-24 months with parent/caregiver)

Get ready to sing, play, and move with your little one in this high-energy music class designed to be just right for very young children. This 45-minute class focuses on your child’s beginning movement, helping to build the muscles your young toddler needs to walk, run, and climb; and on vocal development, helping to nurture your child’s speaking and singing voice. With a mix of both parent-child joint activities and child-focused activities, you’ll be able to join right in on all the singing and dancing while also getting the chance to observe how your young toddler learns on his or her own. Embark on Kindermusik's fun experience of singing, swaying, laughing, and playing through this just-right mix of early-childhood vocal play and language development, together time, and music and movement activities!

Each semester includes digital materials that contain all the songs and stories used in class, plus fun activities to keep the learning happening all week. You'll also receive instruments and books to begin building your child's collections of these items.

Big Red Bard, Playtime, Yum

Themes: Big Red Bard, Playtime, Yum
Class time: Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. with Amy Shinohara
Price: $300
Register Online


Level 2 (2-3 years with parent/caregiver)

This music-filled class celebrates the unique joys of your growing child. Each week your child will love singing, dancing, and playing instruments with you and her new friends and you’ll love helping her practice a wide variety of abilities such as gross and fine motor skills, turn-taking, social skills, and active listening. In class, we’ll also share tips and ideas for using music throughout the week. Plus, the fun (and learning!) continue with the Kindermusik at Home digital home materials, including music from class, musical activities, and each month’s story. You'll also receive instruments and books to add to your child's collections of these items.

Themes: Colors & Shapes on the Farm, Family & Friends, Time for Lunch
Class time: Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. with Amy Shinohara
Price: $300
Register Online


Level 3 (3-4 years with parent/caregiver)

Each week in class we combine your preschooler’s natural love of music, storytelling, and imaginative play with age-appropriate activities that introduce early music concepts and foster independence, social and emotional skills, language growth, and self-control. We also connect you with other parents who share in the wonder of parenting a preschooler. The Kindermusik at Home digital home materials bring the music, activities, and each month’s story everywhere you go. The repetition enhances the learning—and the fun! You'll also receive instruments and books to add to your child's collections of these items.

Themes: Around the Farm, Home Sweet Home, Outside my Window
Class times: Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. with Elsa Wiese OR at 11:00 a.m. with Amy Shinohara
Price: $310
Register Online


Level 4 (4-5 years with parent/caregiver)

From the moment you became a parent, you wanted the best for your child. In class, we engage your child in music and movement activities that also promote language, social and emotional skills, early math and early literacy, physical coordination, creativity, and more. Plus, your child will learn basic music vocabulary and notation—all setting the stage for future school success and formal music lessons. The Kindermusik at Home digital home materials extend the benefits all week long with music from class, activities for the whole family, and each month’s story. You'll also receive instruments and books to add to your child's collections of these items.

Themes: Jazz Kitchen, Under the Rainbow, Join the Parade
Class times: Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. with Jennifer Merry OR at 10:30 a.m. with Elsa Wiese
Price: $310
Register Online


Level 5 (ages 5-6 years with parent/caregiver)

Young Child prepares the young child who is eager for first experiences with musical symbols and instrument discovery but is not yet ready for formal lessons and traditional music reading with an instrument. This is a 4-semester curriculum taught over 2 years. Each class is 60 minutes.

What a Parent and Child Will Experience in Class

  • Singing and vocal development — It may sound like a foreign language when a child sings “ta” and “ti-ti,” but this is the language of professional musicians and composers and getting young children ready to read and write simple rhythm patterns.
  • Movement — See children dance expressively to music, giving them the practice they need to coordinate their body movements to the sound of music. This kind of musical play not only improves musicianship, but physical coordination as well.
  • Reading and writing — Young children will learn melodic notation and identify pitches such as the C, A, and D notes on the treble clef, plus rhythmic notation. Eventually even composing their own music.
  • Focused listening — Children will learn to identify a range of orchestra instruments and their sound qualities, while also gaining an early awareness and knowledge of composers and masterworks in Western arts tradition.
  • Exploring and playing musical instruments — Authentic percussion, string, pre-keyboard, and woodwind instruments expose children to the many choices for future musical study, and at the same time provide them with the opportunity to musically succeed before taking on more formal instruction.

Class time (Year 1): Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. with Jennifer Merry
Class time (Year 2): Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. with Amy Shinohara
Price: $355
Register Online


 

Kindermusik Fall Faculty

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Amy Shinohara

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kindermusik@northwestern.edu
847-467-4739

Amy Shinohara has been an educator for more than 20 years. A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in communication, she is also an accomplished classical pianist. Amy began teaching Kindermusik classes in Connecticut as a way to combine her passions for education and music. Her studio grew rapidly and was quickly recognized as a Kindermusik Maestro studio. She received her master’s degree from Erikson Institute in Early Childhood Education, specializing in children with special needs. She continues to teach preschool to children with special needs and is thrilled to be teaching Kindermusik at Northwestern University.

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Jennifer Merry

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Jennifer Merry has been on the faculty of the Music Academy since 1989. She holds two master's degrees from Northwestern; one in piano performance and pedagogy, and one in music education. She also received an undergraduate degree from Eastern Washington University in piano performance. Ms. Merry has been involved with early childhood music for many years. From 1992 to 2006, she coordinated the pre-piano program in the Music Academy and taught a number of classes for 5 and 6 year old beginners. She was also the founder and director for six years of Music Together of Glenview, a family music program for children ages 0 to 4 and their parents or caregivers. Most recently, she taught general music and chorus for five years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Glenview. In addition to her teaching, Ms. Merry sings alto in the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and also enjoys playing the recorder and ukulele!

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Jia-Yee Tang

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Jia-Yee Tang received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in Piano Performance from the University of California, San Diego. Her previous teachers include Virginia Weckstrom, Marcia Bosits, Elizabeth Buccheri, and Stefani Walens. She is the recipient of the Dr. Milton H Saier, Sr. Memorial Award from UCSD and the MTNA Student Achievement Recognition Award from NU. Past musical activities include attending the Aspen Music Festival and giving a recital featuring the works of contemporary composer George Crumb. She is a member of MTNA and will serve as a board member for 2008-2009. She has been on faculty at the Academy since 2006 and also teaches at the Highland Park campus of the Music Institute of Chicago. In addition to teaching, she remains an active accompanist in the Chicago area, primarily working in collaboration with musicians from Northwestern University.

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Elsa Wiese

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Elsa is excited to be joining the team at the Music Academy this year. She is in her final year of study in the Masters of Music Education program at Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in vocal performance from Moody Bible Institute. She worked as the music ministry coordinator and handbell director at The Moody Church beginning in 2013 and has been working with The Moody Church Children's Chorus since 2008, becoming the director in 2014. When her studies are finished, Elsa hopes to teach general or vocal music and to return to her love of singing in musicals. 

Amy Shinohara

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kindermusik@northwestern.edu
847-467-4739

Amy Shinohara has been an educator for more than 20 years. A graduate of Cornell University with a degree in communication, she is also an accomplished classical pianist. Amy began teaching Kindermusik classes in Connecticut as a way to combine her passions for education and music. Her studio grew rapidly and was quickly recognized as a Kindermusik Maestro studio. She received her master’s degree from Erikson Institute in Early Childhood Education, specializing in children with special needs. She continues to teach preschool to children with special needs and is thrilled to be teaching Kindermusik at Northwestern University.

Jennifer Merry

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Jennifer Merry has been on the faculty of the Music Academy since 1989. She holds two master's degrees from Northwestern; one in piano performance and pedagogy, and one in music education. She also received an undergraduate degree from Eastern Washington University in piano performance. Ms. Merry has been involved with early childhood music for many years. From 1992 to 2006, she coordinated the pre-piano program in the Music Academy and taught a number of classes for 5 and 6 year old beginners. She was also the founder and director for six years of Music Together of Glenview, a family music program for children ages 0 to 4 and their parents or caregivers. Most recently, she taught general music and chorus for five years at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Glenview. In addition to her teaching, Ms. Merry sings alto in the Apollo Chorus of Chicago, and also enjoys playing the recorder and ukulele!

Jia-Yee Tang

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Jia-Yee Tang received her Master of Music degree in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and her Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in Piano Performance from the University of California, San Diego. Her previous teachers include Virginia Weckstrom, Marcia Bosits, Elizabeth Buccheri, and Stefani Walens. She is the recipient of the Dr. Milton H Saier, Sr. Memorial Award from UCSD and the MTNA Student Achievement Recognition Award from NU. Past musical activities include attending the Aspen Music Festival and giving a recital featuring the works of contemporary composer George Crumb. She is a member of MTNA and will serve as a board member for 2008-2009. She has been on faculty at the Academy since 2006 and also teaches at the Highland Park campus of the Music Institute of Chicago. In addition to teaching, she remains an active accompanist in the Chicago area, primarily working in collaboration with musicians from Northwestern University.

Elsa Wiese

Close

Elsa is excited to be joining the team at the Music Academy this year. She is in her final year of study in the Masters of Music Education program at Northwestern University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music with an emphasis in vocal performance from Moody Bible Institute. She worked as the music ministry coordinator and handbell director at The Moody Church beginning in 2013 and has been working with The Moody Church Children's Chorus since 2008, becoming the director in 2014. When her studies are finished, Elsa hopes to teach general or vocal music and to return to her love of singing in musicals. 


2021-2022 Kindermusik Calendar

Fall Calendar

Week Number
Date
Week 1
Sept. 25
Week 2
Oct. 2
Week 3
Oct. 9
Week 4
Oct. 16
Week 5
Oct. 23
Week 6
Oct. 30
Week 7
Nov. 6
Week 8
Nov. 13
Week 9
Nov. 20
Week 10
Dec. 4
Week 11
Dec. 11
Week 12
Dec. 18
Week 13
Jan. 8
Week 14
Jan. 15
Week 15
Jan. 22
Make-up Week
Jan. 29