The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 30, 1996 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

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Salina, Kansas
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Tuesday, January 30, 1996
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Page 6
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AB TUESDAY. JANAURY 30, 1996 PARENTING THE SALINA JOURNAL TMUSIC LESSONS „. . .. . _,. Scripps Howard News Service Kmdermusik teacher Eileen Auxler of Germantown, Tenn., encourages students Mary Elizabeth Andrews (left), William Teer and Tommy Liddell (background) during a preschool class. The. music introduction sessions are offered through the University of Memphis continuing education department. Classes instrumental as way to show tots a love of music With their parents' help, preschoolers master instruments through repetition By CHRISTINE ARPE GANG Scripps Howard News Service As parents watch their toddlers sway with music, sing with enthusiasm or intently finger piano keys, they invariably wonder if their child has a musical talent that should be developed. The answer from the experts is yes. But forget about special talent. Music, they say, is in us all. "Response to music is innate and unconscious in early childhood," says Eileen Auxier. Auxier teaches Kindermusik, a curriculum designed to foster musical bonds between parents and preschoolers. "Kindermusik brings it into the child's conscious mind — to where the child is thinking about what they are doing," she says. Shinichi Suzuki, an older man who observed that very young children can master instruments much like they develop language, does not believe in the concept of musical talent. His belief that musical ability is developed through education and a supportive environment, not heredity, is the basis of a worldwide method of musical instruction that bears his name. "The Suzuki philosophy is that you can teach a very young child how to play an instrument as if they were learning their native tongue," says Cathy Fletcher, director of the music academy at Rhodes College in Memphis, which offers training in all the symphonic instruments and voice to children. "The teacher plays and they repeat it. They do it again and again until they are playing a piece." Young children don't seem to mind the repetition. "By starting young, we get children in the imitative stage of development," says Lyda Partee, interim director of University of Memphis' community music school, which also offers Suzuki instruction on violin and piano for children ages 3 to 8. Partee knows first-hand the benefits of the Suzuki method. "When I was 4 years old, my pediatrician suggested I take violin lessons because I seemed to have no fine motor skills," says Partee. "That was in 1964 when the Suzuki method was first brought to the United States. I'm one of the oldest Suzuki students in this country." For Partee, it was the beginning of a lifetime involvement in music. Jane Murphy of Germantown, Tenn., helps her 4-year-old son, Ben, match pictures in a book with sounds of instruments being played on a tape. Many former Suzuki students play in community orchestras as adults. "Or they are in the audience for all kinds of musical performances," adds Partee. 'Their musical tastes tend to be eclectic." An important element in both the Suzuki method and Kindermusik is parental involvement. Parents don't just drop children off for lessons. They attend, too. "Suziki has helped my daughter develop discipline and the ability to memorize. It's made her school work much easier." Nancy Johnson mother of music student "A lot of parents rent an instrument and play along with their child," says Fletcher. "Some say they studied piano when they were little but their parents let them quit so they are glad to come back to it. It gives the parent and child something special to do together." Suzuki students and their parents attend a private and group class each week. Daily practice is strongly recommended. For young children, practice sessions are usually five to 10 minutes. Fletcher says parents who make practice a game are usually more successful in getting their young children to do it. "The Suzuki teacher's role is more of a coach to children and parents," Partee says. Students begin their Suzuki musical training by learning simple songs by rote. First is "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." They learn to read music when they learn to read words, in the first and second grades. "At first the child will probably be playing at a higher level than he is reading music," says Fletcher. "But they catch up." Aimee Johnson started Suzuki classes at the University of Memphis when she was 3Vz years old. Now 13 l / 2 , she continues her lessons, plays in the Memphis Youth String Orchestra and has visions of teaching music one day. "I had no idea she would be doing it this long," says Nancy Johnson, Aimee's mother, "She's our third child and if I had realized the advantages of it, I would have had my other two take it as well." Johnson says the method has helped Aimee develop discipline and the ability to memorize. "It's made her school work much easier," she said. Adeline Brown, now 4V 2 , has been taking Suzuki violin lessons for almost a year. "She really enjoys it although practicing at home is the hard part," says Mim Brown, her mother. "She always loved music and loves to perform." At the start of a Kindermusik class at suburban Germantown United Methodist Church, five 4-year-olds take turns strum-. ming the autoharp with Auxier while their mothers and classmates sing "Now it's time for music, we'll all have fun." BABY A daughter, Timeri Jayne, was born Jan. 18 to former Salinans Sean and Angle Herrington of Kansas City, Kan. Grandparents are Michael and Sandi Rogers of Stockton; Kent and Sue Chesney of Long Island, Norm and Susan Fischer of Salina and the late Mel Herrington. Great-grandparents are Beryl and Helen Herrington of Wellington; Warren and Wanda Chesney of Plainville; Wayne and Delores Hackett of Sarles, N.D., and Mary Rogers and Chet and Opal Baxter of Stockton. Great-great-grandmother is Ena Olson of New Hope, Minn. Half Price Sale MAURE WEIGEL Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron ""Saline Journal 125 years THEATRES For MOVIE Selections and SHOWTIMES Call: 825-9105 SALE SALE off SALE SALE Everything fall and winter! Winter Coats Blouses Sweaters Handbags Skirts Jackets Jewelry Slacks Dresses Misses - 8 to 20 Petite - 6 to 16 Womens - 32 to 52 * No other discounts apply fP[aza Styfe Shop Ope Mon.-S.il. T FAMILY MATTERS A child's need for Ritalin depends on the proper diagnosis RICHARD W. BURNETT LICENSED CLINICAL SOCIAL WORKER ADHD can mimic many symptoms of depression, allergies We^read so much nowadays about" the use of Ritalin and this drug manufacturer's substantial contribution to CHADD, the national • support group for families of children who face the challenge qf attention- deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). About 3 to 5 percent of school-age children have this condition. When 'an elementary school population exceeds more than 1 in 20 on ADHD medicines, it's time for the authorities and the media to do their job. In most instances, Ritalin is not over- prescribed. The major fault with overuse of AD.HD medicines is in the diagnosis. There is a fine line between ADHD and other problems. Recently, I treated a little girl who'd been approved for Ritalin. She was failing kindergarten. She was extremely active, had difficulty concentrating and keeping focused. She also set fires. She had difficulty distinguishing what to touch and not touch. She appeared, at times, to be detached from what was going on around her. Actually, she had been terribly abused physically and sexually. Her true diagnosis was post-traumatic stress disorder. When treated for the correct problem, she responded well, managed to pass kindergarten and is now in the top half of her first-grade class. Depressed children can easily V PARENTING TODAY mimic ADHD symptoms: high ac-. t.ivity, poor ability to focus, thoughts, sleep and/or eating di£ ficulties and anger. It's always necessary to rule out depression, because Ritalin or other amphetamine-acting prescriptions appear to work successfully. In depression, the brain has dif-. ficulty sending and receiving messages between nerves. Antidepressants increase specific message carriers in the brain. Ritalin and other ADHD medicines increase' all message carriers. So depressed, people often appear to feel better. However, the depression is not relieved long-term because the, specific message carrier isn't increased enough. Ritalin and other amphetamine- acting medicines work in reverse for ADHD. A child on Ritalin can become more thoughtful and organized. Children often become distract-, ed and agitated when faced with death, divorce; moving or sickness. These issues are best dealt' with through counseling. Also, ADHD can be confused with allergies. Children should see their physicians regularly to stay in good general health. I use the Conners' Rating Scales in diagnosing ADHD. Diagnostic criteria requires confirmation in two or three areas — school, home, employment. In rare instances, a child may have both ADHD and depression. Because antidepressants and ADHD medicines can overpower each other, your doctor may take some time to finalize a medication routine. Medicine is the first line of treatment. A far second is behav-, ior modification. I recommend a video, "1-2-3 MAGIC," because it • applies to child-rearing. It's available through the public library. Burnett is a clinical social work- > er at Salina's Counseling and. Growth Center, 110 W. Walnut. Everyday science applies to our kids Science is the observation, identification and investigation of life around us. We can help our youngsters be successful in science by fol- - * lowing these LINDA guidelines offered LEWIS by the U.S. Depart- roico-ru ment of Educa- GRIFFI ™ Scripps Howard • Recognize science as an everyday activity: Cooking dinner, taking a bath, growing vegetables or watching snow all involve scientific principles. Helping children appreciate the wonders of science demystifies the subject and provides the basis for further understanding. • Ask your children questions: How do they think the clock works? Why do birds build nests? How does electricity help us? Kids will develop critical thinking while being curious about their world. • Observe life: Notice what's happening around you. Watch a butterfly emerge from a chrysalis with your preschooler. Follow weather patterns with your fifth- grader. Encourage them to de- scribe what they see. • Keep a record of your dis- • coveries: For example, after an. outing to the local zoo, you can en-> courage very young children to make drawings about what they saw or cut pictures from magazines and paste them onto blank pages. Older boys and girls can keep a journal or write a story about it. • Make predictions: Guess . how many puppies the family ter-; rier will have. Estimate when the first tomatoes will be ready. Then., turn the predictions into practical experiments that can be used as' teaching tools. Experiments may. need to be repeated many times.. Data must often be collected for several days, weeks or even years. • Select activities that keep your tot involved, then share in the experimental process and in anticipation of the final outcome. • Start collections: Collections ' are great ways to learn about various topics. They can be as complex as each young scientist's wishes: a bag of fall leaves for a < toddler, or a complex display of shells for an older child. ; < CnliT. Salina il;lV V lo h

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