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We are really excited to have received Musikgarten's "Exemplary Program Award" for the 2014-15 school year! The award recognizes our long-standing commitment to the Musikgarten philosophy. Indeed, early childhood music education has been one of our specialties since 1981! After nearly 35 years of professional expertise in this field, we've gotten pretty good at it as an institution. But the people who have really earned the Exemplary Program Award are our dedicated Musikgarten families and of course the Musikgarten teachers. A Big THANK YOU to all of you for your dedication and continued support!
Musikgarten is a carefully researched movement-and-music curriculum for young children (Babies through Age 7). In Musikgarten, your child systematically learns the building blocks of music as she progresses through a sequence of age-appropriate classes. Over time, students naturally advance from group class instruction to specialized training on the keyboard. It's an ideal preparation for private music lessons! But Musikgarten's benefits go far beyond the purely musical, nurturing the physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being of the whole child.
To celebrate our Exemplary Program Award and draw more attention to the wonderful Musikgarten curriculum, we are giving away a tuition-free Musikgarten class for Babies (newborns to 18 months). All you pay is a fee for Musikgarten class materials (CD, cloth instrument pouch with rhythm sticks, Musikgarten rattle, and a colorful scarf).
With availability for 7 students only, this class will fill in a flash. Please click on the link below to register as long as you still can.
Ask any child or young adult how music makes them feel, then sit back and wait for the floodgates of emotions to open! As a pathway for feelings we experience deeply, there is no better medium.
By definition, music creates powerful sensations that range from indescribable elation to deep despair and all that lies between. Our youth instinctively gravitate toward the freedom of expression which music not only encourages, but demands! How often do we recall a time in our lives simply by the recollection of the music that colored it?
Music as a foundation for learning has been repeatedly proven to be unsurpassed in its magnitude. By providing our children and youth with opportunities for musical expression, we give them permission to explore the depths of their feelings and send to them a clear and supportive message that their individuality matters. We open an ordered, lyrical world of possibility for them that will become the foundation for each and every adventure into learning they choose to explore. It is a well-established fact that those children and young people who have participated in musical training of any and every sort from an early age, enjoy a far richer academic experience, and transition through the stages of cognitive development with far greater ease.
Ask a child or young person how music makes them feel and what will you hear? Listen closely and you will hear adjectives of every kind….happy, sad, silly, passionate, carefree, blue, lonely, excited, relaxed, sleepy, wiggly, inspired, compassionate, alive…
Come up with your own! Embrace music as the mortar holding together the building blocks of each child’s development. It provides us with the rhythm to be ALIVE. Let the journey begin for each and every child with a loving appreciation for the wondrous world of music!
Ann Engberg, Musikgarten Instructor
It has been hard for me to believe that my first baby is actually in Kindergarten, let alone half way through her first year of elementary school. She recently brought home her first progress report and we couldn’t be more proud of the remarks from her Teacher. While we read things we already know, such as, she is independent, a more fluent reader, a great friend, empathetic and always willing to help, has great pencil grasp and penmanship, etc.--I could go on (all you Parents out there reading this can relate!--I know that these skills didn’t just develop overnight. I truly believe that the early exposure to several multi-sensory activities, preschool and its opportunity for socialization along with her innate ability have made “E” so successful and confident.
My husband and I moved to Flemington from Boston in 2005 when “E” was just 6 months old. I had stopped working prior to giving birth and decided to stay home, making us a one income family. As I searched for outlets to socialize as a new mom, I was met with tons of advice and recommendations about which activities to enroll in. Having a background in Special Education, I already had some ideas about what activities were a must, but needed to be sure they were worth our time and money. While I knew the benefits of music, it wasn’t until I sat down and researched Musikgarten that I realized this was a “must” activity.
The curriculum is developmentally based and provides age-appropriate activities. Skills like inhibitory control (very difficult for toddlers) and steady beat (aids in cutting with scissors, walking in line, bouncing a ball) are addressed in an engaging way.
While each of my children possesses different strengths, I know that early music education has helped bring them out. Again, it is not the only reason for their respective success, but I truly believe a strong contributor. I’ve had so much fun bonding with my kids and other families that I even joined the teaching staff because of it.
Neha Gohil is on the Early Childhood faculty of Hunterdon Academy of the Arts
“My child is 5 years old and is reading. I think she’s ready for
Before you rush out and buy that baby grand piano, STOP!
There are many elements that comprise readiness for private instrumental lessons. Remember, music learning is a cognitive, emotional, physical and social experience. Here are some things to consider before taking the leap:
This is why I value the Musikgarten Musik Makers sequence for ages 4 -9 years. The program encompasses all of these aspects, giving children the room to grow and hone the above skills. In my experience, pushing a child before he/she is ready will only backfire later. The consequences of a premature start may not be seen until later years when they experience frustration, a declining interest and essentially burnout. So RELAX! Take the time to ENJOY the music. In order to create a lifelong lover and learner of music, READINESS IS KEY.
Every year we ask our families to participate in a brief survey. Though we maintain
close contact with our teachers, students, and families throughout the year, this survey provides an additional forum for participants to let us know how we are doing as an institution. In our ongoing efforts to improve our programs and meet the needs of our students, we want to find out in which areas changes need to be made, and of course, we also enjoy receiving "pats on the back" and knowing where we have exceeded expectations.
The results of this year's survey are in and as in previous years, have been extremely positive. Judging by the responses, Hunterdon Academy of the Arts is on the right track in so many ways. We are extremely delighted to hear that we have provided our students and families with a music program that many respondents characterized as "far better than other music schools." This is wonderful news indeed! Below are only a few of the glowing testimonials our families shared with us:
"Being a member of HAA has opened many opportunities for us as a family to enjoy music!! Thank you for always finding innovative ways of communicating with families with all current HAA musical events and news."
"Can't think of a way to improve the school!"
"Our class is a big highlight of our week. :-) Thank you."
Musikgarten Educator Ann Engberg ("Mrs. E") is a "wonderful teacher, my child LOVES her. She has a wonderful gift and shares it so expressively!"
Musikgarten Educator Francesca Panfilo-Milza, "Mrs P, is a fabulous teacher! She is energetic and fun and it is evident that the children respond positively to her teaching methods."
Musikgarten Educator Michele Collins is "approachable....Friendly....upbeat....prepared....structured....informative"
"[Our daughter] has learned more with [violin teacher] Dr. Hoffman than with any other teacher."
"Mrs. Peare has been a pleasure throughout our Keyboard Group class years"
"We're very satisfied with Mrs. Schmidt's [piano] teaching methods. She has been flexible when needed, recommending the appropriate grade level for taking the Trinity exam, providing sufficient material for practice and continuing to make lesson and practice time enjoyable. "
"I love the Bel Cantos Program and Mrs. Nagy is an amazing director."
"Not only is [guitar teacher] Laura [Oltman] very talented, but she builds a wonderful rapport with her students. She's warm, patient, supportive, and knows when and how to push without discouraging her students. She's wonderful!"
Of course, there is always room for improvement, so there were a few honest concerns expressed by some of our parents. To find out how we are addressing them, read "'Ins and Outs' of Music Practice: Spring 2010 Survey Results (Part 2)."