The early childhood years are the most crucial time in a child’s development. Music offers
a strong means of communication. It soothes, focuses attention, and stimulates response.
Knowledge of brain and body development informs us that children have a disposition to
make order from everything coming through sensory channels. Music is such an ordered
From birth to age 3, there is intense activity and absorption. From ages 3 to 6, the gains
for the previous period are consolidated. Sensory and motor development are aspects of
neurological organization and must be integrated for children to deal with simple and
complex tasks. Through the sensory channels, children absorb impressions of the world
quite effortlessly. The sensory-motor activities involve exploring, experimenting and
learning by doing. Holding and manipulating objects like hand held instruments and scarves
allows the child to learn its qualities and attributes. Children learn the effects of their
actions upon the object.
Musikgarten classes for parents and children accomplish all of the above goals. The
classes provide a music-rich environment in which parents and children together can play
and grow musically. A wide variety of genres, styles and cultures are presented. Children
are able to respond to music more than their vocabulary allows them to express. Moving,
dancing, playing instruments and experimentation with materials are part of the
curriculum. Doing and listening offers the greatest benefit. Studies reveal changes in
children’s spatial and cognitive development when the child is an actor, not a spectator.
Children engage in activities to encourage participation and motor responses. Listening and
sensory stimulation is presented during the most receptive period of neurological
development and networking of the brain. This results in development of aural perception
and natural curiosity.
When children make discoveries, they are fueled with creative energy to explore more.
Wonder makes learning effortless and joyful. Here is a quote from a book titled “A Sense
of Wonder” by Rachel Carson.
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder...he needs the companionship of at
least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him or her the joy, excitement, and
mystery of the world we live in.”
Vicki Schuh is a native of Cambridge, WI. She graduated from Luther College, Decorah,
IA with a degree in Music Education. She holds a Master’s Degree from UWM-Milwaukee
in Music Education and has 30 credits beyond from St. Thomas and Hamline University, St.
Paul, MN. Vicki has taught elementary music in Brookfield, WI and Escanaba, MI as well as
directed Children’s Musical Theater, Middle School Choir and Children’s Church Choir. She
is certified and licensed in the Musikgarten Early Childhood Music process. Vicki moved
back to Cambridge in 2012 where she teaches Musikgarten at the Prairie Music Academy,
Sun Prairie, WI and PleasanTime Childcare Center, Cambridge, WI.