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.
All participants over the age of 2 are still expected to wear masks for in-person activities. 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. Please contact Amy Shinohara at email@example.com with questions.
The spring Kindermusik term starts Saturday, February 5, 2022, and ends Saturday, May 14, 2022, with May 21, 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.
Themes: Way Up High, On the Town with Bear, and Big Backyard
Class time: Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. with Amy Shinohara
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: Silly All Over, Marvelous Me, and Up in the Sky
Class time: Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. with Amy Shinohara
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: Carnival of Music, In My Garden, and Out & About
Class times: Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. with Elsa Wiese
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: Dance with Me, All Keyed Up, and Sounds Abound
Class times: Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. with Jennifer Merry OR at 10:30 a.m. with Elsa Wiese
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 OR 12:00 p.m. with with Amy Shinohara
Class time (Year 2): Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. with Amy Shinohara