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Music makes sense at any age

by Linda Hiller

It’s never too young to start teaching children about music, according to Kindermusik educator Vicky Sweet.

“Research has shown that early music education can stimulate cognitive, language, social, emotional and physical abilities, even in the very first few days of a child’s life,” she said.

Kindermusik is a new class, sponsored by the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department.

“My sisters have children in Kindermusik in Utah, and they rave about it,” Sweet said. “They tell me they’d rather have them in this than preschool, so I decided to look into it, and contacted the Greensboro (national) office.”

Sweet, who teaches piano from her Gardnerville Ranchos home, said Kindermusik is a perfect bonding experience for children and parents or caregivers and will lay an important foundation in the minds of the children.

n Bring the baby. The eight-week Kindermusik class that Sweet is offering will be for babies from 1 to 1-1/2 years old. Parents or caregivers will attend class with the infants and participate in movement, group dances, visual, auditory and physical stimulation, as well as songs and rhythmic play during each 45-minute session.

“This is high quality time and a great bonding experience with the infant and the parent or caregiver,” Sweet said. “They’ll be listening to rhythm and pitch, and just having a great time together. Mainly, it’s the special time together that really is important.”

Sweet said this fall she will be teaching the class for older children.

“At 3 years old, they can handle bells and instruments, and at 6, they can learn pitch,” she said. “By 7 and 8, they feel natural with music, and are ready for private lessons if they choose that. What Kindermusik does is help with social, language and reading development, and it’s a good way to get parents involved in their child’s lives.”

Sweet, 43, has been teaching piano for 12 years.

“I have a strong musical background, and really love being around children,” she said.

Vicky and her husband Michael, 45, live in the Gardnerville Ranchos and have four children, Jake, 23; Corinne, 19; Annie, 16, and Jessica, 14.

n To sign up. Classes in Kindermusik will run Wednesdays from June 28 through Aug. 16. Each class is 45 minutes long, with two times available – 11 to 11:45 a.m. or 12:15 to 1 p.m.

Classes will be in the recreation annex building in Gardnerville and cost $65 if registered by Monday, June 5. After that date, $10 will be added to the class costs. An additional $25 supply fee is also required to pay for the journal, music CD, book, banners and carrying bag for the eight-week class.

For more information, call Sweet at 265-9199 or to register, call 782-9828.