Kindermusik Gives Children a Lifelong Love of Music and a Foundation for Learning

When you visit Trinity Lutheran Church, the beauty, enthusiasm, and positive atmosphere make for a great place to worship. In the case of their program that makes an impact on children, the Kindermusik at Trinity classes are no exception. Marie Dicke, who hosts the Kindermusik program, is happy to give children a fantastic learning experience with music. Marie states,  “Kindermusik at Trinity has been offering Kindermusik curriculum to Peoria and its surrounding communities since 2003 and, since then, has brought music into the homes of hundreds of families through classes that mix singing, listening, instrument play, dancing, movement, story time, and other activities. We began with just one educator and two or three classes a week. We now have four educators and 12-15 classes a week in three semesters – Fall, Winter/Spring, and Summer. After some initial advertising in local papers and magazines, we now count the parents/grandparents who come to our classes as our greatest promoters!”

Dicke is the director and teacher of Kindermusik at Trinity, a program that emphasizes musical concepts, instrument playing, singing, dancing, and vocal play to help children develop musical skills. Kindermusik classes are an exceptional way to encourage and develop vocabulary skills, dance, and a child’s love for music. Additionally, Kindermusik creates great success in future musical abilities by focusing on rhythmic patterns, language, dance rudiments, orchestral instrument identification, learning to play different types of instruments, and musical structure concepts.

Kindermusik emphasizes the importance of continuing the learning at home with a set of At-Home Materials included with each semester of classes. These materials include literature books, musical CD’s, and family activity books, all of which allow parents or caregivers to be interact with their children. Dicke states, “We’ve been doing Kindermusik at Trinity for almost ten years, since 2003, and I’ve had so many parents over the years say that when they put the CD on in the car, the kids calm down. They are able to continue the trip that they are on…The literature books that they get from Kindermusik are their favorite books and their CD’s are their favorite CD’s. Also, in their home activity book, there are other ideas that kids and caregivers can do: games and crafts.” At home, parents help children with vocal play, vocabulary development, and conversational skills. Dicke is also greatly giving back to the community with this program because it is an area that is not covered with such detail in educational classrooms with children, making it a unique program for all ages.

Kindermusik, as a promotional flyer states, “…prepares young musicians for a successful future in formal music training.” Children of many age groups come to Trinity Lutheran Church with their parents or other caregivers to clap, laugh, sing, listen and learn. This type of learning experience is unlike any other for children who are developing skills that will shape the rest of their lives.

Dicke says, “Many activities are used to develop neural pathways in a child’s brain. Children learn self-control and how to share and take turns. We sit in a circle in the classroom and I will have an instrument like rhythm sticks, wood block, or drum and only have one. I will start at one end of the circle, and while one child plays the instrument, the others wait for their turn. I go around the circle and each one gets a turn.” The importance of learning how to share and be patient are great skills for children to develop here with simple songs, clapping, drumming as well as singing. A simple song, like “Hot Cross Buns,” allows two year olds to clap and sing while another child uses the drum, then passing it to the next child. In other programs for children, this aspect may not be emphasized. These details put Kindermusik in a class by itself as far as life skills and musical training for children newborn to seven years of age.

Classes like Family Time, for children newborn and up, create a schoolhouse approach to learning and singing through basic music, clapping, and singing. The Village class from newborn to 1 ½ helps children learn the words to lullabies and nursery rhymes, while the educator explains the importance of adding to daily practice with these songs as they develop. Our Time is a great class that takes things a step further introducing more words, motions, games, and songs to move towards independence.

Dicke states, “We offer morning and afternoon classes Monday thru Thursday. Research proves that early integration of music into your child’s daily routine improves his or her ability to think, reason, create and express. In short, music makes him smarter. In every class, you’ll witness your child’s developmental evolution in language skills, literacy, listening, problem solving, social skills, self-esteem and musicality. And it happens within a nurturing environment full of energy, imagination, music, dancing and playful delight.”

Imagine That from three to five years builds a musical and verbal vocabulary through storytelling, active movement, and dramatic expression. The final class from five to seven years class called Young Child develops strong musical concepts, language, notation and musical vocabulary from amazing composers. Exposure to orchestral music creates even greater structure for children of these ages by giving them stringed, wind, and keyboard influences which will continue to blossom throughout their later lives.

Dicke states, “The children love to explore and play the age appropriate variety of instruments available to each age group. From the baby bells and chime balls in Village (birth to 18 months), the drums, metal and wood instruments, colorful scarves, etc. in Our Time (18 months to three years) and Imagine That (3 ½ to 5 years) to the glockenspiel, dulcimer, and recorder in Young Child (5 to 7 years) their eyes light up. They get so excited when it’s time to bring out an instrument for them to play!”

Also, siblings can learn at Kindermusik as well, as Dicke mentions, “If you have siblings who both have come at different ages to Kindermusik, they can interact too because they recognize the songs, so it can be a family activity. In each semester, they get an instrument to take home and keep at home, a drum, or harmonica or a shaker of some kind. There’s always an instrument so they can practice their steady beats and other concepts (loud/soft, fast/slow).”

Overall, the testament to this program is the variety of caregivers who are impressed by how it creates enthusiasm, greater musical exposure, and fun for children. The large amounts of people who bring their children to Kindermusik make it a great success for Trinity Lutheran. Dicke states, “My biggest inspiration has been the parents/caregivers who brought their infants to the Kindermusik Village classes and continued bringing them until the final semester of the Kindermusik for Young Child classes…I have seen magical memories made over and over again by Moms and Dads, Grandpas and Grandmas, Aunts and Nannies who have given children the gift of Kindermusik.” All in all, Kindermusik creates a fantastic musical atmosphere for growth for life and a bonding experience for caregivers with their children.

It’s not too late to enroll in the 15 week Spring semester of Kindermusik at Trinity. The five week Summer Camp will start June 11th, 2012. For more information on Kindermusik at Trinity or to try out a free class preview contact Marie Dicke at (309)676-4609 or e-mail her at For more info, go to:

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