Musical Children in the Making

Welcome New Instructor - Emma Burnham

Emma had her first solo in the 4th grade. No one knew she could sing, but it became a passion she developed. She has participated in multiple choirs, piano classes, worship teams, and church ministries. Emma graduated from Liberty University with a bachelors in music, specializing in artistry and songwriting. She had the opportunity to record two CDs of original songs in Nashville, Tennessee with producers Cody Norris, award winning Ed Cash, and Scott Williamson. To find out more about her music, please visit: She is a national spokesperson for Mukti Mission based out of India and believes it is so important to recognize the beauty of various cultures. When she isn't making music, Emma enjoys fitness classes, playing board games, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. Emma's experiences as a nanny and babysitter have given her many opportunities to work with children of various ages. She loves bringing joy to children, providing a loving atmosphere, as well as, helping them to cultivate a love for music in this vital stage of development through Kidstunes




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Musical Moments

The Carnival of the Animals (Le carnaval des animaux) - Camille Saint-Saens. 

This fun musical work includes many short pieces that demonstrate so many aspects of musical expression. Use scarves to facilitate movement and creativity. Many different instruments and elements of music are used to sound like the animal portrayed or their movements.

 1.  Royal March of the Lion - When the "lion music" begins, children can march proudly around. Listen closely for the lion's LOUD roar played by the pianos and open up arms in sync.

 2.  Hens and Roosters - The violins play the hens' music. It is spiky and jumpy, like the hens scratching around, clucking and squawking to each other. The rooster's part is played with high trills on the piano and later the clarinet.

 3. Mules - The music rushes up and down the piano - the mules are chasing each other! At the end, we hear two LOUD crashes on the piano. The mules flop down exhausted.

 4. Tortoises- The string instruments play the tortoises' SLOW and plodding song. Scarves can be used like the turtle's shell on his back.

 5. The Elephant - This piece is a waltz tune. The double bass plays the deep, gruff dance of the elephant.

 6. Kangaroos - The pianos play the bouncy, hopping music of the kangaroos. They jump around, stop and look around deciding which way to jump next, then are off again!  

7. Aquarium- The flute and string instruments play the soft gliding tune of the fish in the aquarium. The pianos are the gentle waves rippling across the water and/or a waterfall.  

8. Animals with Long Ears- The donkey's loud "Hee-hawl Hee-haw!" is played by the violin. First, they play a LOUD, squeaky high note followed by two long low notes.  

9. Cuckoo in the Woods- The cuckoo bird's gentle call is played by the clarinet. She sings only two notes - one high, one low. The piano quietly plays the other noises in the woods.

 10. Birds- The flute plays a high fast melody as the birds flutter their wings and fly up and down, backward and forward. The pianos play the chirps and trills of the birds calling to each other.

February - Musical Expression

     Musical Expression begins  mid-January and emphasizes the differences in  Dynamics: loud (forte) and soft (piano), as well as Tempo: fast (allegro) and slow (largo).  These “musical variables” convey EXPRESSION. We hope students will develop an intuition for their sometimes subtle differences and grow to use them w hen making their own music.  TIP:  Young children often feel  that forte (loud) is always allegro (fast), and piano (soft) is always largo (slow).  Although this is often the case, we can help them avoid this assumption by exposing them to slow music that’s also loud - and fast music that’s surprisingly soft! 

     Students will move, play, use voices, bodies, and instruments within the wide range of each style.  Many will meet new puppet friends—a rabbit named Allegro and a turtle named Largo - to name a few.  (Remember the story of the Tortoise and the Hare?)  They will also be introduced to the dynamic symbols  “p” (for piano/soft) and “f” (for forte/loud) used in written music. 

     Lastly, lessons will explore Styles of Articulation.   This refers to the “feel” of the notes in a piece—either Staccato, short and detached notes (like popcorn popping!), or Legato, flowing, connected melodies (like slurping up a milkshake!). 

Lara's Letter

January was ffffreeezing! We hope you got your  gloves and sleds out and had a great time in the snow!
In February we will discover Musical Expression-Dynamics, Tempo and Articulation (please see reverse side for details) AND we’ll even learn the correlating music symbols!

There are so many ways you can incorporate these themes at home. Who didn’t love the childhood classic, “John Jacob Jingle-Heimer Schmidt”? Try singing this familiar song softer and softer with each repeat (diminuendo) but always loud (forte) at the end! Watch and listen to a train as it begins very soft and slow, then gets faster and louder as it roars down the track...better yet, pretend you ARE a train and act it out with your child!

Be sure to look for the weekly e-mail updates from your child’s instructor to keep up with what new music terms they are learning.

Of course we can’t forget that February also brings fun holiday activities for  Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day and President’s Day!

Leigh Poag Retires from Kidstunes

Kidstunes bids farewell to long-time instructor Leigh Poag as she ventures out into retirement to be a full-time grandma!  Her contagious laughter, quick wit, glowing smile and infectious enthusiasm will be greatly  missed by all the Kidstunes staff and her students. We wish her all the luck and happiness. We are glad to have had her on our team for so many years.