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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.

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