Christine and Jeffrey Nowmos
Music for Any Occasion

MusiKids

Christine Nowmos offers MusiKids parent/child movement and music classes and Kids' Yoga classes during the summer months at Pink Lotus Yoga studio (1242 Kings Highway, Swedesboro, NJ). Classes are available for children from newborns through age 14.

Class schedule for summer of 2013:

MusiKids Family Movement and Music Classes (newborn through age 7 with a parent/caregiver): Mondays, July 15 through August 12, 9:30-10:15 AM

MusiKids Family Movement and Music classes will help parents or other caregivers get comfortable with making music for and with their children. We'll also have a great time with some parent/child yoga poses! Classes will offer a variety of fun, age-appropriate activities designed to stimulate coordination, motor skills development, creativity, and musical development, including stretching and movement to music, songs and rhymes, stories, and exploration with simple percussion instruments (egg shakers, rhythm sticks, jingle bells, hand drums, etc.). 


Kids' Yoga Classes
 (ages 7-14): Wednesdays, July 17 through August 14, 5:00-5:45 PM

In Kids' Yoga Classes, we'll learn basic yoga poses and enjoy stretching and moving our bodies in many different ways. Classes will also include fun partner activities and games that help to build confidence and teamwork, age-appropriate discussion of yoga principles, and some quiet relaxation time. Practicing yoga is a wonderful way for both boys and girls to develop balance, flexibility, and coordination, to enhance focus and concentration, to reduce stress and anxiety, and to build self-esteem and feel good about themselves. 


Cost is $10 per class for the first child, $8 for each additional sibling. Your child may attend all 5 sessions of the class or drop in on a week-by-week basis. Contact Christine at cnowmos@gmail.com for more information, and call Pink Lotus Yoga at (856) 975-0789 or stop in at 1242 Kings Highway, Swedesboro, NJ to register for classes. Please arrive about 10 minutes before the start time of your first class if your child has never taken classes at Pink Lotus Yoga before.

For more information about yoga classes at Pink Lotus Yoga, visit http://www.pinklotusnj.com or contact Colleen Verton at pinklotusnj@hotmail.com.

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A few frequently asked questions or comments from parents about early childhood music classes that might be of interest:

Why bring my baby to music classes? He is too young to participate. Studies on brain development have shown that the earlier a child is exposed to a particular kind of information (music, language, etc.), the more synaptic connections which process the information will be created. Synaptic development in the brain slows as a child reaches school age, and connections that are not used are eliminated or "pruned" away by the nervous system... so with music, it's a case of "use it or lose it." Listening and absorption are an essential part of the music learning process, just as they are in the process of learning language, so even if your child is too young to actively participate in a music class, he will still be gaining experiences that contribute to his overall development and may give him more success in music once he is old enough to begin making music.

I'm not very musical, so my child probably won't be, either. Recent research has revealed that musical aptitude, like all other areas of learning, is normally distributed throughout the population. All people are born with some potential to achieve in music. And musical aptitude is developmental, meaning that it can increase or decrease based on experiences (or a lack of experiences) with music, until about age 9. Success in music is based not only on innate natural "talent" but also on the richness of one's musical experiences as a child; it is a result of both nature and nurture. While some part of musical aptitude may be inherited, it is also influenced by music instruction, practice, and other experiences.  And a study on kindergarteners shows that preschool musical experiences at home, such as parents singing to and with children and listening to music, have a greater affect on a child's singing ability than his/her innate music aptitude (as measured by a standardized aptitude test) or even musical instruction at school... so by taking the step to learn how to make music for and with your child in MusiKids classes and continuing these activities at home, your child may indeed have the potential to become musical. You yourself may have been able to achieve more if you'd been given more encouragement or had more opportunities to explore music in your early childhood.

I don't have a good singing voice... do I have to sing in class? MusiKids classes have a very safe and welcoming environment, and you will never be judged on your singing ability. (This is not American Idol!) Although you are not required to sing with the teacher in class, if your preschool-age child sees you participating, she will be more likely to feel comfortable participating, too. Parents are really the best models for their children in any kind of learning. If your baby sees and hears you singing to her, it may become something that she wants to share with you as she gets older. The quality of one's singing voice is not nearly as important to a child's musical development as the pleasurable experience of seeing her parents making music joyfully and with enthusiasm. Children's response to live singing is much different than to recorded music, and babies are particularly responsive when the music comes directly from the parent.  And, as stated above, kids whose parents share music with them at home become become better singers than those whose parents don't, so this is a great opportunity to become comfortable using your singing voice so that you can sing with your child at home. Music is a wonderful way to bond with your child, regardless of your musical abilities!

Can music and movement enhance intelligence in other areas? Experts in child development have found that singing to children before they learn to speak, and later encouraging them to sing songs or chant nursery rhymes, can strengthen language and speech development. Studies have also shown that young children who received music instruction, particularly instruction focused on rhythm skills, scored higher on spatial and mathematical tasks than children who did not receive this instruction. Although the so-called "Mozart Effect," the idea that passively listening to classical music may induce short-term improvement on the performance of mental tasks, has been discredited, active music-making may have positive benefits. Also, movement and physical activity are important not only to a child's physical health but also his intellectual development. In addition, the development of both gross-motor (such as walking, marching, dancing, jumping) and small-motor (such as grasping and manipulating instruments or acting out the words to a song with hands and fingers) skills is essential to a child's success in school.

How much should I assist my child during class? What should I do if my child isn't paying attention? It is recommended that you just allow your child to participate as he feels comfortable and not to force him to participate, because you certainly don't want him to associate music with negative experiences. As explained earlier, children learn first through absorption, and although it may seem that your child isn't paying attention or isn't engaged in the lesson, this is a typical reaction to music for many babies and toddlers and a normal stage of development. Children who are at the crawling or walking stage may want to get up and move around the room, and this is fine as long as they are not doing anything that is a danger to themselves or the other children in the class. If a child is making noise or yelling during a song, this is also ok as long as it is not overly distracting; in fact, many teachers of young children have found that sometimes the sounds children make during musical experiences are in the same key as the song being sung, even if the child really isn't "singing" yet!  What may seem like a random response to music is just a normal part of development. If your child is having a tantrum (again, a normal part of being a young child!) which is disrupting class, though, it is best if you temporarily remove him from the room until he calms down. When using instruments or doing steady beat activities, do not force your child's hands to move to the beat, as this makes some children uncomfortable. If you like, you can assist or guide your child by gently tapping the beat on his shoulders, hands, or feet with your fingertips. Just like other types of development (language, motor skills, etc.), musical development happens in its own time, and children will learn to feel the beat and find their singing voices when they are ready. 

FAQ's about yoga activities for children:

What is yoga? What are the benefits of yoga for children? The word yoga means "union." Yoga is an ancient philosophy and practice which helps the body, breath, and mind to work in harmony. Yoga is wonderful for people of all ages, including children, for several reasons.
  • It improves posture, flexibility, strength, balance and coordination.
  • It encourages positive thinking and a motivation to learn new things.
  • It enhances concentration and focus and reduces stress. Research has shown that it can even improve academic performance.
  • It teaches breathing and relaxation techniques that increase energy and decrease anxiety.
  • It fosters self-esteem and self-acceptance.
  • It is a non-competitive activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.
What kinds of activities are included in a children's yoga class?
In children's yoga classes, kids experience fun, playfulness, and collaboration with others. As in adult yoga classes, students learn to do "asanas," or physical poses, which stretch, strengthen, and move the body in different ways. Yoga is especially appealing to children because many of the poses are named after animals! Classes also have a little bit of quiet relaxation time, where students focus on taking deep breaths and calming down the mind and body. Children's yoga classes also include cooperative partner activities and games that help to build confidence and teamwork. In yoga classes for very young children (infants and toddlers), the parent or caregiver assists the child in gentle stretches and movements which help to relax both parent and child. 



MusiKids Early Childhood Music,
Yoga, & Movement Classes
Christine Nowmos
Phone:(856) 769-1569
E-mail: cnowmos@gmail.com
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