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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Helping Each One Catch On

During my music teaching career, it was my privilege to work with a complete cross-section of the populace.

I worked from the ritziest suburbs in their gated communities to middle class settings with dual working parents to schools in the poorest communities.

What I delighted in was the fact that my subject, music, allowed everyone to come aboard to take the next step over and over again to a higher level.

Since the combination of coordination, visual training, and ear training all work together in reading and playing music, I knew that I was creating a platform for cognitive and artistic success.

Over and over again, as I would see the next child catch on, I knew that child would be be able to contribute to the common good.

In wealthy areas, the child would be given private lessons, and would participate in a school orchestra, band or choir.

In middle class areas, the child would often be given private lessons and be able to continue throughout her school career in a large ensemble as well.  Perhaps the interest would be so energized as to major in music and become a professional player and/or music teacher.

In poor areas, the child would have a skill which could elevate him/her through playing in a large ensemble.  Depending on the motivation, s/he too, could advance into a performance and/or teaching career.

Because the child was gaining a cognitive skill through music, their ability to make progress in language was being enhanced.  Auditory discrimination between pitch nuances helps language development.

The ability to keep a steady beat and to fit their part in a complex musical event requires more neural connections and enhances word-reading ability.

Demanding small motor coordination in precise timing and accurate pitch is only possible with dedicated self-motivation.

I saw all these things happening, and I could feel the excitement and commitment increase as each child gained confidence and competence.

In my classes, I developed new materials if a child was having difficulty catching on.  I made sure each child could continuing taking the next step.

I created ways for students to work together in small groups and large groups.

I watched the joy, commitment and consistent work ethic to create something of their own.

Every child who came through my early childhood music program was empowered to become part of the greater good regardless of where they started out.

It is worth doing something which touches every child so completely.

Because of my experiences, I know that there are many ways to increase the ability for one more person to participate in the common good, over and over again.

© 2018 Kathryn Hardage

Sunday, April 28, 2013

New Stage

My most recent stage consists of several pages of product lists and how to get them produced. I have been loving the creative process of receiving ideas and writing them down. I have gotten much better at turning them into books. Now, I am learning how to list them for sale. And then there will be another stage and another. This is a different kind of practicing. Practice in communication and sales. How can I give you what will most benefit your child? What is the best way to compensate me? I love moving toward our agreement. © 2013 Kathryn Hardage

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Percussion Level 1 Books on-line

My Musical Mind original six books for rhythm instruments are now available as e-books for download. These form the foundation for Music Reading Readiness. The six instruments are Rhythm Sticks, Triangle, Xylophone, Shaker, Guiro, Rainstick. Each instrument has two sounds and two symbols. The child may create original musical patterns with the large or small Composing Cards and read and play the patterns in the Musical Pattern Book. You do not need to have any musical background whatsoever to teach your pre-schooler these symbols and their sounds. What you do need to know is explained and described in each book.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Shake, Shake, Shake

Here is a fun chant to do with your baby. You may make homemade shakers out of any container with rice, popcorn, beans, or, my favorite sound, pistachio nut shells! Using a variety of sounds will help develop your baby's auditory discrimination. This will add your baby's pronunciation and ability to lean another language. It is also fun to see which sounds cause different reactions from your baby. Over time, as you expand your collection of shakers, you will see your baby choose certain ones. You may download it an an e-book here.

"My Baby"

This book presents a Theme, consisting of a Chant, a Movement Activity and a Song. “My Baby” gives the parents words to describe the wonder and beauty and intimacy of their new baby. It is fun to play with your baby. The words we share help the baby learn about his/her life. Describing our actions helps develop vocabulary. As you share this Theme, you will see how your baby responds and you will be able to add your own nonsense words and movements. As your baby grows, you will see anticipation in her eyes and hear words begin to form in the sounds he imitates with you. Kathryn Hardage

Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Leaves and Trees"

Here is an ebook called "Leaves and Trees". It has a Chant, a Fingerplay, and a Song for early childhood and early elementary age children. You may download it for $1 at:
As you spend time together, you and your child will be empowered by the rhythm of language, finger dexterity, sustaining pitches and learning about leaves and trees. You may enjoy taking a walk to collect some leaves to trace or draw later. You may enjoy taking photos of leaves or looking them up on the internet. This is a special way to spend ten dedicated minutes with your child. As you repeat the Theme each day, you will know your child feels the beat and is gaining more dextrous fingers and can hear the melody when s/he begins to chant and play and sing with you. This is a wonderful way to engage your child and to create focus through the many avenues of music. Kathryn Hardage aka “Kacky Muse” “I have a musical mind, musical indeed.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

New Transition

I find myself in a new place as I transition from face-to-face teaching to creating materials that others may use. When I am in the classroom, I build spontaneously on ideas which come to me. As I create more detailed materials, I envision the steps we have taken together. I want the student to feel so supported in trying out new musical compositions, arrangements, note reading, rhythm puzzles, composing cards. I want the parents and teachers to feel the same feeling when they are teaching and sharing as the feeling I have when I design the materials. We truly have unlimited abilities. My materials tap into them, establish the musical vocabulary, and enjoin the students to take the risk, explore, experiment! Everything is becoming more accessible through newsletters and ongoing new releases. © 2012 Kathryn Hardage