“Education through music, not musical education.” — Daniel Barenboim
The Musikkindergarten places special emphasis on conveying musical capability to children, in addition to providing them with a grounded, creative, holistic, varied, and aesthetically stimulating environment in their early years.
The musical dimension of our kindergarten includes not only giving youngsters a chance to come into contact with a wide range of musical instruments but also teaching them in a playful way to develop a feeling for rhythm, to learn the art of listening, and to develop motor skills through dance and creative movement.
In short, the goal is to provide a children with a chance to experience their awakening senses. The kindergarten incorporates aspects of the performing and fine arts into virtually all areas of early childhood education. Music and art become an integral part of their daily lives.
Our staff of professional caregivers has received special training in incorporating music into early childhood education. Musicians from the Staatskappelle Berlin and the Staatsoper’s choir, as well as Daniel Barenboim support the team through regular visits. These professional musicians inspire the children not only by demonstrating their musical prowess but also by sharing their passion.
Our carefully selected team of early childhood educators is specially trained in incorporating music into early childhood education. Our educators play a variety of instruments and are very enthusiastic about singing with the children. (Many of them also sing in choirs in their free time.) Their additional qualifications include familiarity with dance and movement.
All members of the permanent staff are qualified either as state-certified early childhood educators or as social education workers. Each of the kindergarten’s groups is supervised by two staff members, who are assisted by highly motivated interns as well as by volunteers making changes in their careers. The staff cooperates intensively with the musicians of Staatskappelle Berlin, who regularly visit the children. The Musikkindergarten adheres to the city of Berlin’s educational program (Berliner Bildungsprogramm).
The musicians of the Staatskapelle Berlin support the kindergarten musically as volunteers. For more than twelve years they have been coming, week after week, to play, show, and explain their instruments to the children.
The Staatskapelle’s junior members also volunteer, especially when members of the Staatskapelle Berlin are away on tour.
The musicians strive to teach the children how to listen, to help them experience music as an aesthetic but also natural means of grasping the world, to develop their ability to make distinctions, and finally to help them build all kinds of bridges to music – and from music to the rest of the world.
During their weekly visits, the musicians introduce their instruments to the children, play for them well-known songs, and expand their listening habits with classical and contemporary repertoire. Toward the end of each Kindergarten year, the children prepare a large project, during which they work with the kindergarten’s teachers, the Staatskapelle musicians, and children from the kindergarten’s other groups.
The Berliner Staatsoper is an engaged partner of the Kindergarten in more ways than one. Singers from the Staatsoper ensemble and members of the Staatsoper choir also come to the kindergarten periodically. In particular they lend their enthusiastic support to the kindergarten’s annual project performance.
There is also continual dialogue and exchange with the Staatsoper’s educational department, led by R. O. Brinckmann.