I have learned so many things from you through this program, but I attribute it to you
Music stimulates both hemispheres of the brain;
Children who seem to not be paying attention or engaged are still learning;
It is possible (with your help!) to bring 3 children to sing and dance at your classes.
Peace and grace,
You've taught me that music is another language that when introduced, early,to children like its just a normal part of the learning process, they can learn to play piano, and find music in many other areas in life.
I've also learned that by encouraging my kids (twins) to practice 5 - 10 minutes at least 5 days a week, sing while they are playing and sing the suffage that you teach when practicing, they really do retain the information better.
I think you do an excellent job in teaching children in a very interactive way. Being allowed to move around, dance, jump and sometimes shout is great for their wiggly bodies. Sydney and Ethan love coming to music class, and they can't wait to learn more so they can play more instruments when they are older.
One carrot in keep in front of them is that "When Mrs. Leilani students finish learning piano from her they learn to play other instruments much easier. This way they have a choice to pick instruments when they go to Middle School." It helps that your former students come back to the Music Festival and show the fruits of their (and your) labor pays HUGE dividends.
Thanks so much for having the Music Garden in Houston. When my children were 4 years old, I called 3 music schools ( on the West side of Houston) in 2007 and all of them told me to bring my kids to them when they turn 7 years old. One lady told me she'd teach Ethan and maybe start with Sydney after she started Kindergarten. So, I was overwhelmed and thankful when you told me that you specialized in Early Childhood Music Lessons. Thank you for teaching and exposing my child and our family to the world of Music. Mr. Hart started taking Bass Guitar lessons 2 years ago, and now he plays with the church choir. He continues his lessons, and encourages the children to practice so they can all play together as they improve.
Our extended family members that attend the Music Festival every year to see how much the kids have learned and grown, were blown away that Sydney and Ethan were playing with two hands in the Fall of 2009. They remembered you had just started them sitting at the keyboard in September of the same year.
I could go on and on, if I didn't have more work to do. I will close with this. Keep up the good work, the Music Garden is GREAT for introducing children and families to the language of music.
I grew up in a music program that involved the parents intensely and required a lot from them. There came a point in my relationship with my mom, where we decided if we were to continue on this music path, the program would probably destroy our relationship. We made had to make changes and I was able to finish my music education without my mother's influence.
Trying to avoid this same situation with my kids, I searched out a program that would teach my children music, but would allow the parent's role to be a bit more secondary to the teacher and the curriculum.
I have only participated in The Music Garden for a year, but I have found my role to be perfect. I learn all about my daughter's class experiences through the parent's booklet, 15 minutes in class, email summaries, and parent meetings. If I ever question why something is done, I can email the teacher.
I have then found by playing the CDs, talking about the classes, and spending time doing the recommendations in the parent's booklet, we continue to have music in our home all week long.
My children love to play music class together. They teach each other the rhythms, the animals and the stories. Although my involvement in the program is completely unlike any other music program I have seen, it is working!
Just a few weeks ago, my 11 month old picked up a stick on the ground, and went "bah, bah". He then pointed the stick to my mouth and said in his eyes, "Be my echo." I proceeded to say, "bah, bah." He then gave me another rhythm. As we proceeded with this activity, I thought, I haven't even signed him up yet and look at how much he has learned!
The program works. The children are learning music, but the pressures placed on children as in other programs is non-existent.
Ms. Miranda has taught my son for 4 years in a nurturing Montessori style. He has learned to take turns, share, listen to instructions and return and respect instruments similar to that of a working orchestra.
Ms. Miranda is very detailed in the parent orientations at the beginning of each semester. She outlines the following:
* What to expect of the students in the curriculum for that semester
* What to expect of the parents role in the curriculum
(Ex. Listening to cds, participating in class and at home)
* How the method of learning is directly linked to the learning stages of reading and language
(Ex. Why we sing and sight read before we play on the piano)
* The benefits of music in influencing aptitude for math and science and accelerating synaptic connections in the brain
* How each class is related to the child's growth stage and interest in world
(Ex. Pre-Piano 1 directly relates to child's natural focus on nature and habitat)
* Explanation of direct and indirect learning styles
(Ex. My son exhibits his lessons and music making mainly at home. He is an indirect learner and observes during class)
* Weekly class summary for Pre-Piano and classes that are without parent class participation
* Explanation and use of kinetic, auditory, and visual learning techniques
* Access to parenting articles and resources helpful to baby to elementary school age through her web site and emails
* Emails parents about music enriching performances in Houston that exhibit how musicians perform
(Ex. Free music performances from Houston Symphony and different music groups at Miller Outdoor Theater)
* How to incorporate music to aid with discipline and application to real world
(Ex. Starting and Stopping to music played help my son learn to listen instructions in the parking lot. He would respond immediately when I told him to freeze because he was exposed to it in music class as a listening routine.)
She is very knowledge about both music and early child development. I have learned a lot about parenting through music class. I only hope his future teachers will be as knowledgeable and supportive.
....Any way, wanted to share with you that the girls gave us a concert, Kalie played 5 or 6 songs and they both sang. It was precious!
Hi Miss Leilani,
I was glad that I attended the orientation, because I value hearing
the experiences of parents that have been with the program for several
years. I was excited to learn about how my children will progress
from echoing musical patterns to learning to read them in future
Since my oldest son is in Music class at Musicgarden I have learned that eventhough they are not following the class and doing what they are ask to do they are learning!!!. My son usually follow Ms Leilani instructions,but when he started crawling and walking sometimes he was exploring the room. However, he was learning.
Recently I prove that in his swimming classes, and I remember what Ms Leilani always said, eventhough he was not following the class I realized that he was learning, and also repeat everything if he was ask.
Also, I have learned that if I use one of the song for a specific routine like go to bed, or bath every time that they heard the song they would automatically do the routine.
As well, they ability to dance and move with the music have given them coordination
Finally, I have learned from Ms Leilani the patience to wait until them show me what they have learned!!!
We love Ms Leilani and his music classes. My two sons are in classes since they are 2 months old. One of them is 33 months, and the other one is 7 months old.
I really enjoyed the adult piano class! I have never taken before ever and I really learned a lot! I think it was great to understand some of what my daughter is learning in keyboard classes. I also think it showed me first hand what happens if you do not practice!
Anyway, I am glad you are offering the class. I think all who take it are going to enjoy it a very much.
Our daughter (5yrs) and our son (4yrs) and I have attended Leilani Miranda's music classes for three years. The classes combine singing, music and movement, music appreciation, the playing of percussion instruments, and introduction to rhythm and pitch, and poetry and story telling.
The themed-approach has given the children an early awareness and appreciation of the Seasons, our environment and animals and their habitats. We listen to the accompanying CDs and create our own Music Garden at home. The music is part of our daily lives: We use the goodbye songs to say goodnight to each other, and make up our own lyrics to our favorite pieces of music.
The classes are always stimulating and rewarding. The children have been able to explore their own musical talents, they have gained self confidence, enjoyed imaginative play and have developed an appreciation of a variety of music. We now enjoy going to family concerts performed by The Houston Symphony. I love Wednesday afternoons with Leilani because I am allowed to participate in the childrens' extra curricular activities!
The following was written by a fellow Musikgarten teacher in another city:
I just got off the phone with a long-time mom who was "holding off" on registering her daughter in music class because she is no attending preschool M-W-F.
Anyway, I mentioned to this mom, who by the way is a wonderful supporter of my program and has recruited many a family over the past two years, that music class, rather than being an "added stressor" in her daughters life, now can become a great way to release any stress she may be feeling.
After all, new this fall, she is now attending "school" and will be getting used to a new teacher, new environment, new children, new activities, with the expectation that she will do things in certain ways at certain times.
Our music classes, in contrast, offer our re-enrolling children the comfort and safety of the known and the freedom to participate in the way they want to participate, operating within boundaries that have already be set and that they are well used to, with a teacher they know and feel comfortable with, using materials they know and love, etc. etc. Add this to the fact that we offer all kinds of opportunities for developmentally appropriate movement in our classes which the children need so much at this age...and that they may not be getting in preschool...attending music class with her daughter in addition to preschool may just be the best thing she could do for her.
I offered a shortened version of this to this mom and she paused and said, "gee--I never really thought of it that way...that makes a lot of sense"
My inspiration for this comes from my MM training with Cathy Mathia this year, when she told us how the children in our MM after school classes are really getting what they need developmentally- and what most aren't getting in school - and that after-school classes are actually a grounding activity rather than one that creates more stress in the child's life
Whenever Briana gets upset or doesn’t feel good, we can always calm her down by singing to her. Her grandparents are very amazed that singing can always calm her and make her feel good. Briana also enjoys dancing in her daycare whenever they begin playing children’s CDs.
I was more than happy to help (Leilani had a sprained knee). I really enjoyed being in the classroom, noting how engaged the children were. I thought Kathrine would have been likely to want me to be right next to her – but that was not the case. She was so engaged and interested that me being in the room was not an issue.
I was so amazed to see how well the students did with the graphic music card game. It just seemed so natural to them to integrate movement, sight and sound. During the scarf game each student really expressed their individual interpretation of the music played – such fun to watch. Kathrine loves the drums and has been singing the Drum song all weekend.
Thanks for bringing this wonderful way of learning and appreciating music to our children.