Kindermusik found at First Baptist this summer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 22, 2003

Families don’t have to go far to find a summer activity the whole family can enjoy.

Kindermusik, a nationally renowned music-based curriculum, offers children from birth to eight-years-old a unique and stimulating way to learn.

This summer, Gwen Threadgill, teacher of Kindermusik Plus of Troy, will host a five-session summer camp at First Baptist Church in Troy.

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Don’t let the name fool you, though, Kindermusik is for more than the little ones.

"It’s a family program," Threadgill said.

"We’re reaching families to be together as families."

She said it is not a spectator class and "parents and children take the class together."

The class even offers ideas for home activities, such as making a homemade tape of laughter so the child can identify the different voices.

This activity promotes critical listening skills.

Threadgill said the Kindermusik curriculum touches a variety of the children’s senses and aids in language development, English structure and even math and science comprehension.

The fun, active atmosphere also helps children develop socially and emotionally and use creative thinking skills in music, crafts, dance and drama.

"If they don’t have it by the time they’re seven, they’ve lost it," she said.

Even the babies participate with colorful toys and balls.

The older children get a chance to play a variety of musical instruments.

Threadgill, a veteran music teacher, said children have to move to learn and some children have bigger movements than others.

Kindermusik responds to the learning differences and has something for the active children as well as for the more timid children.

"There is no wrong way to participate in Kindermusik," she said.

Although the program is most often housed in churches, it does not have any religious overtones.

Kindermusik exposes children to all cultures through folk songs, games and lullabies.

The program also exposes children to instruments.

Each child learns the glockenspiel, recorder and dulcimer.

But, Threadgill stressed that Kindermusik is not a performance curriculum.

"It is a product curriculum," she said.

In other words, the classes are not focused on teaching children how to perform on any given instrument.

Instead, they are focused on teaching children how to learn.

Threadgill said Kindermusik, which is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., has several studies that prove the benefits of the program.

"Kindermusik graduates are less likely to become involved with alcoholism and they score higher on medical school entrance exams," she said.

Threadgill said one study followed Kindermusik graduates through high school and found that the students performed 33 percent higher on tests.

Regular Kindermusik classes coincide with the school year and are held after school or in the evenings, depending on the age group.

This year's summer camp will be held at various times.

For more information on the cost of the class or the camp, call Threadgill at 566-4486.