"Almost all children respond to music. Music is an open-sesame, and if you can use it carefully and appropriately, you can reach into that child's potential for development." Dr. Clive Robbins

Friday, July 30, 2010

Open House-next week

I just want to make sure you remember about the Preschool Open House next week, Aug 4th from 6-8 pm.
We will be giving out preschool calendars for the year, doing a fun take-home craft, playing a game, and answering any of your questions about the up-coming year.
Please invite your friends and family who may be interested in signing up for preschool.  I will be starting a referral program in Aug.  For every child you refer to my preschool and signs up, you will receive a $10 discount on your first month tuition.  If you would like a flyer to give to friends and neighbors that you would like to refer please click here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Suzuki Method

Since music is such a huge part of my life.  I thought I would explain a little about the method I learned when I was little and have chosen my children to learn.  Have you heard of the Suzuki Method for teaching music?  The idea came from Dr. Shinichi Suzuki from Japan. He was a violinist himself and studied extensively about how children learn.  He realized that all Japanese children speak Japanese!  What an amazing skill.  Japanese is a very hard language to learn but these three year old children speaking very well and then learning to read after they speak fluently.  How do they learn this?  It because their mother's have taught them.  Not only that but they hear it all the time around them.  They also get much praise and attention for saying even the tiniest of sounds and words.   He then used this idea to teach very small children how to play the violin.  It became very popular and he started teaching all over his method which is often referred to as the mother tongue approach.  Not only can children learn how to play violin but they can learn Piano, Guitar, Flute, Cello and many many other instruments in this way.
My mother (Geri Titensor) was introduced to the Suzuki Piano Method when I was about three years old and so my brother and I were her guinea pigs.  Some of my fondest memories of my home is playing the piano with my mom.  We did it every day.  We had classical music playing in the home constantly.  It truly influenced my life for the better to have this beautiful music played like wall paper all the time.  It refined my ears and helped me learn my music at great speed.
Suzuki students and teachers often get a bad rapt because of the misunderstanding about when note reading is taught. Yes Suzuki students do learn how to read but it is delayed until they are ready.  Just like the little baby learning how to talk, they don't begin reading until much later.  Just like baby's though, books are all around them, and they are read to and exposed to simple reading materials so they have a desire to read, Suzuki students are the same in they are exposed and introduced to the written music.
I have three of my own children studying music and all have had a great Suzuki experience.  One plays the piano, one the violin, and my youngest just started playing the flute.  It's a joy to see them producing beautiful music at such a young age.  They love it and it's just a part of them.
If you have any questions or want to learn more please let me know.  I have four books about the Suzuki Method.  He has some really great ideas about teaching that can help any teacher or parent that can be applied in daily living.  Here is just one example:  "I help create a loving heart by teaching the joy of being able to serve others through these activities (speaking of teaching his students more then just violin such as preparing a meal, hosting guests).  Without that, it is not only difficult to perceive such high art as by Bach and Mozart but impossible to move others by music."  --From the book Where Love is Deep.
Here are some websites to check out for more info online. Fuller Flute Studio
Suzuki Association, Utah Suzuki Association

Monday, July 12, 2010

Special Needs Course

I just finished taking a class from Child Care Resource and Referral called Special Needs.  The majority of the class members were Day Care Providers in the valley but it was offered to preschool teachers as well.  I really enjoyed the class and will include in my preschool a section where we talk about and read stories about those with special needs.  I truly believe children who are exposed to the idea that there are children that are just like them that might not talk like them or walk like them are just like them in most other ways will be more accepting.   All children need love and attention and a chance to learn and play and be included.  It was amazing to me to see the history of how children were treated only about 40 years ago to now. In general we have made some huge progress in thought and action.
They other thing I learned from the class is every child has basic needs and as a teacher I need to be aware of how each learn and be ready to adapt my lessons and plans to meet each child to where they are without excluding or pointing it out.  It is a challenge and I am ready to embrace it.