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Sunday, September 26, 2010

Street Fair

HARMONIZE will be at the street fair today on Willow Street.  The fair is hosted by Jeanette at Aunt Jean's Toys & Treats.  A portion of the proceeds from the fair will go to relief agencies in Haiti.

Please come by and say hello!  I'll have CDs for sale, and I'm giving some special discounts on classes.

Happy Autumn!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A typical Music for Aardvarks class presented by HARMONIZE

Hello Song The Hello Song, in addition to providing a definite beginning to class, also provides continuity. Each child knows that the song will be sung at the beginning of each class and that he/she will be sung to individually. Eye contact is always attempted and often made. Each child is encouraged to feel a part of the group.  Further,because it is sung at every meeting, the children learn all of the words, and most are able to sing along.

Gathering Song This song is important to gain the class's focus. As a familiar “sit and sing” song to gather the families, it is usually one with hand motions.  A sense of community is fostered and the energy level is set.  Examples: Taxi, Head to Toe, I’m a Thumb, What’s in the Bag?

New Song Depending on the timing during the session, this song will introduce something new (or somewhat unfamiliar,) or reinforce a new-ish song to the group.  This song may be a chant (see below), an “Old Faithful,” or a song that was previously sung in the rhythm section (see below.)

Large Movement Song This segment of the lesson plan is selected to “get their wiggles out” and have some fun. We dance/march/slide/walk around the room in time with the music, sometimes using a prop such as a scarf. There may be some simple choreography. We wave our arms over our heads, we jump up, we crouch down, we generally act silly – in a “big” way. Examples: Runaround Kid, Ready to Go, Move Your Feet, Big Boom Whacker

Shaker Song Shaker songs provide the children their first opportunity to play a rhythm instrument and to keep a beat. We have many different types of shakers, some are loud and others are soft. The tempo and beat of the song, together with its message, determine the type of shaker used.  Examples: Bagel, Miami Grammy, Caboose, Bellybutton Song

Theme Songs In the beginning of the session, these are songs from the current session’s CD. There are usually two or three of these. Later in the session, these songs could be similar to the gathering song, as noted above. Examples: Splashin’ in the Tub, Brush Teeth, Take Me to the Park, I Love You, I’m a Thumb

Rhythm Song This is usually a stick song. On some CDs, these are floor-slapping songs. Or, we may also use the jingle bells or the egghead shakers during this segment.  Examples: Jackhammer Joe, Been There/Done That, Spaceman, I Crack Me Up

Chant/Fingerplay A chant is not done every class, but often. A chant teaches that the voice is the most varied instrument of all. With it we can be melodic, or rhythmic, or both. Chants teach meter and rhyme, and they usually have a hand movement for small motor development. They enhance the memory, because they are short, clever rhymes that are repeated over and over. Mostly they are silly and bring a smile to most faces. Examples: I’m a Snake, My Cat, Tough Day, Pancake, Funny Hair

Dance The dance number is a second large movement segment. The goal here is to interact with each child individually at first, and then “get out of the way” and let the adults interact with their children while enjoying the music. This song is usually one that the adults enjoy as well, so the energy in the room is often upbeat and joyful.  Classic tunes work best, but occasionally an unfamiliar tune will be used. This song is the chance for the families to “make the class their own” by bringing in their favorites.  There are often surprises here! Three minutes works best.

Jam Session A myriad of concepts are at work during the jam session -- some interpersonal and/or group dynamic, some musical. Taking turns, trying something new, “you can’t always get what you want,” putting things away, etc. are group dynamic concepts that are often reinforced during this segment. Musically, this song has a good, strong beat, is usually a favorite of the adults, and generally spreads smiles throughout the room. At three to four minutes, the longest of the entire class, this song gives ample opportunity to interact with children and adults alike.

Lullaby After the jam session, it is often necessary to calm everyone down.  This song provides a soothing, calming closure to the class. We turn off the lights.  The children come to depend on this song as a winding down period. It is a signal that we are about to leave.

Goodbye Song The Goodbye Song is sung every class, just as the Hello Song.  It provides the same continuity and dependability, and it is a signal to the children that music time is almost over. Each child is sung to individually, again making eye contact. It promises that “we’ll see you soon” so that they know they will come again next week. The goal is that each class it is a fond farewell, hasta manana.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Press Release from Fred Astaire Dance Studio - TESTIMONIAL


Music for Aardvarks Enrolling Now at Fred Astaire

The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Upper Montclair has teamed together with Harmonize to present MUSIC FOR ARDVARKS (and other Mammals).  The class is geared toward children aged 6 months through 5 years and their parents or care-givers, and incorporates a variety of musical activities including singing, dancing, story telling and instrumental jam sessions.

 “We were excited about their philosophy, which provides musical experience, self-expression through music and movement with gentle guidance” states Carrie Babcock, owner of the Fred Astaire Studio of Upper Montclair.  Babcock attended a class with her 2-year-old daughter Emilia back in January, and opened up her studio to the class. “Our first class brought tears to my eyes,” says Carrie, who grew up with a very active musical theater hobby and was once a professional actress, earning her Equity card in theater and her AFTRA card from TV.   “I love that the children learn in ways that are right for them.  It’s a lot like the way we teach dancing.  And Emi is such a free-spirit, she can dance around, play with others or stay in the circle and sing.  I'm so excited there are programs like this for tiny children!”

This semester, classes are every Thursday and Saturday at 10 AM at the Fred Astaire.  The sessions start in early September.  Call to schedule at 973-655-0103 or Fred Astaire at 973-783-8999.  Be sure to mention this article when you call. or

Fred Astaire is located at 604 Valley Road, Upper Montclair, NJ.  973-783-8999

Monday, September 6, 2010

BaristaKids Back-2-School Bash!

baristakidsnewflyerforstory.pngBarista Kids Back to School BashSunday, September 19, 2010 - from 2 pm – 5 pm
Soccer Domain, 14 Depot Square, Montclair, NJ 07042

Our Back to School Bash is really coming together. We're working really hard to make it a great event for families of all ages. There will be bouncy houses, awesome juggler, Jen Slaw, face painting from Faceart by Jan, concerts from Mr. Ray and School of Rock Montclair and lots of local vendors. Here's the list of participants so far:
Woolly Boo
The Sewing Loft
Sports Domain Academy
Montclair Cooperative School
Aunt Jean's Toys & Treats
School of Rock Montclair
Watchung Booksellers
Harmonize featuring Music For Aardvarks & Other Mammals
Stella & Dot
The Goodees
Montclair International Film Festival
Transition Haven
Starseed Yoga
We're still getting more people involved. Want to participate too? Email us here.
We've made it easy to purchase advance tickets. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Babies under 12 months are Free. Click here and order them at Brown Paper Tickets and mark the date on the calendar!
Barista Kids Back to School Bash
Who: All ages.
What: A super fun party to celebrate going back to school. Bouncy houses, live entertainment from Mr. Ray and School of Rock Montclair, fun activities, yummy treats to buy and much more!
Where: Soccer Domain, 14 Depot Square, Montclair, NJ, 07042.
When: Sunday, September 19 from 2 pm - 5 pm.
Cost: $5 in advance / $7 at the door / Babies 12 months and under Free. Order online here.