By Sydney Kate Watson, COM 250 Reporter
Edited by Sierra Stanfield, COM 303 Editor
MOUNT BERRY, Ga. – Berry College’s Kindermusik program, ranked one of the top 25 in the world, recently celebrated 30 years of serving children throughout the Rome community.
Kindermusik is a program that combines music and movement to stimulate neurological growth and promote multisensory learning. Kindermusik classes teach children from birth to seven years old. In classes for younger children, parents are the main teacher and the Kindermusik instructors are simply facilitators. As the children grow, the parents allow their children to blossom and only attend the last 15 minutes of each class.
Not only can the effects of Kindermusik impact current students, but they can even be seen in children who have aged out of the program.
Kindermusik mother and certified musical therapist, Katrina Meehan, has seen the powerful effects of Kindermusik. Meehan enrolled her daughter in Kindermusik at two months old. Her daughter crawled for the first time during Kindermusik class and she was even on beat with the music.
“Having her in Kindermusik so early has really helped her development,” Meehan said. “It’s helped those neuro connectors find where they want to go and learn all of that information a lot quicker.”
Even so, the effects of Kindermusik last long beyond baby years. A parent of Kindermusik students from the early years of Berry College’s program, Kevin Kleine, says that even 25 years after Kindermusik he can still see how it has shaped his children.
“Robby’s introduction to music through Kindermusik was a way he could later in life appreciate listening to AC/DC with his dad or a Bach concerto,” Kleine said.
Kindermusik of Berry College operates in two 15-week semesters and a summer semester. Classes are held in four locations throughout the Rome community: Ford Room 303, the Berry College Child Development Center, Westminster Christian Academy, and the South Rome Early Learning Center. Between these four locations, Kindermusik of Berry College teaches about 250 students.
Kathryn Nobles began Kindermusik at Berry College 30 years ago with nine children from the Berry College Child Development Center. The program continued to grow, so Nobles brought in Wendy Williams, and later Kay Bratton to be Kindermusik teachers. Due to its continued growth, Berry College Kindermusik has been in the top 50 Kindermusik programs for the past 10 years.
After children finish the Kindermusik curriculum, Nobles has created another program for them called Beyond Kindermusik. The children take songs they learned on glockenspiel and begin learning them on piano. Children spend their first year of the program building their piano skills with these glockenspiel songs, and the second year, Nobles moves the children up to a piano book.
Through the growth and expansion of the Berry College Kindermusik program, Nobles’ passion for the program has only blossomed more. She enjoys seeing the power of connection and the supporting community that Kindermusik creates.
“I’ve seen the difference it can make in the lives of families,” Nobles said.
Nobles said that the program’s future plans are to eventually have all the children at the Berry College Child Development Center and Westminster Christian Academy enrolled in Kindermusik. The cost of Kindermusik would be included in tuition so every student would have the opportunity to do Kindermusik.