Musical Children in the Making




Welcome New Instructor, Nancy Schleier!

Please help us welcome Nancy who will be teaching in the Charlotte area as Kidstunes continues to grow and expand our musical reach!

Nancy began classical piano lessons at 8 years old, started voice lessons she was 13 and started teaching piano at the age of 14. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Music degree with an emphasis in piano pedagogy from Brigham-Young University - Idaho in 2013 and served as an accompanist and a childcare provider for several years. Nancy is currently teaching private piano and vocal lessons since 2015. 

    Nancy loves writing in all forms--music composition, songwriting and creative writing. 

    "Musical education promotes better health, improves cognitive function, fosters friendships and connections, relieves stress, enhances creativity, trains discipline and patience, and encourages students to have FUN!" 

Musical Moments

Compose a Song With Your Child!

      Your child can be the composer! Use straws (or any long objects) to represent long sounds, and cotton balls (or other small round objects) to represent short sounds. You could even make it edible and use pretzel sticks and marshmallows to eat when it's all done! Allow the child to arrange the short and long objects in a long continuous line on the table or floor.

   Now it's time for your child to perform their masterpiece! Use different long and short sounds like "ba" for short and "loo" for long, or try fun animal sounds like "oink" for short and "moooo" for long. To make it even more musical, the child can pick a note and sing the same note all the way through on the long and short sounds instead of using the speaking voice. 

 Thanksgiving Dinner
Sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques"

Turkey dinner, turkey dinner.
Gather ‘round! Gather round!
Who’ll get the drum stick? 
Yummy, yummy, yum stick! 
All sit down,   all sit down.
Cornbread muffin, chestnut stuffin’
Pudding pie - one foot high!
All of us were thinner,
‘til we came to dinner.
Me oh my! Me oh my!

November - Rhythm & Notation

The first step to rhythmic competency is understanding that long and short sounds, along with the musical “rest” (a beat of silence), can be combined into varying patterns.  These patterns then develop into rhythms that may be clapped, stomped, patted, sung, or played on instruments.  Practice clapping out short (2– or 4-beat) patterns and have your children “echo” you like “copy-cats”.  Don’t forget to use the rest a lot too…  We put a finger to lips & say “sshhh!” OR just whisper the word “REST” !

     Seem like an advanced concept?  It may not be as complicated as you think!  Of course, notation instruction depends on the age and/or musical maturity level of each particular group.  Use of proper terminology is important and should be used whenever possible, however most pre-school children will work with just three notes (see front side), and the silent (or whispered) “rest” .  Two year-olds may only learn to feel notation through rhythms, while three year-olds may progress into 2- or 4- note patterns.  Four and five year-olds will likely go a step further and be able to read simple notation patterns and other music symbols.  You’ll probably be surprised how quickly they pick up on this new skill and how much fun you & your child can have with it!

​​Lara's Letter

During the month of October students learned about Duration of tones - or Long and Short Sounds.  We explored the many sounds we hear in nature, in our everyday world, AND in Music!  Students learned to respond to various tonal lengths with their bodies, voices, and instruments, then recognize their differences when they heard or experienced these sounds.  Of course, we also incorporated lots of movement activities in which the children listened, moved, and played their instruments with similar tone lengths as the music. 

     In November, we combine patterns of long & short with the ever-important Rest (silence) to create Rhythm!  Older students will begin to “READ” simple music notation!  Reinforce these ideas by helping your child recognize & play with patterns  they see & hear everyday.                            

     Thanksgiving provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on our gifts.  The entire Kidstunes family is incredibly grateful for the many blessings we receive from being a part of this program.  Personally, I am so very thankful for my dedicated staff of Instructors who are incredibly vital in our reach to so many children, as well as the support of  our client-centers - from Parents, Administration, and Staff alike!