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Apples and Oranges - Waldorf v. Traditional

Apples and oranges - similar but different, right? Apples are especially delicious in the fall - sweet, crunchy, nourishing. They are so versatile, too - pies, muffins, dried. As for oranges, can anything beat that fresh fragrance? And so juicy, so sweet! Both are great sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. But they are just not the same! That's what you will find in my shop - some apples and some oranges, some Waldorf and some traditional resources. And what you choose will be determined by what you are looking for. The Music Unfolds collection is the Waldorf-true collection and everything else is only Waldorf-inspired. So, what does that mean?

Waldorf pedagogy is based on the work of Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century and has inspired schools, co-ops, and homeschools like ours all over the world. It is impossible to encapsulate all that Waldorf-Steiner education means in a blog post, but one of the many elements that makes it so unique is it's timeline for the introduction of formal academics - including the introduction of formal music education. Steiner believed formal music education should begin at or around seven years of age and that teaching names and symbols for musical concepts and skills should be delayed until about age 9. This is very different from what you will find in a traditional music education classroom! Music Unfolds is based on Steiner's ideas - introducing names, symbols and skills on his timeline and not the traditional music education timeline. Additionally, since Steiner believed children should learn to play a blown instrument, a Waldorf-true curriculum will include teaching the pentatonic flute and diatonic flute/recorder. Music Unfolds follows this timeline and includes instruction on a blown instrument - as well as a wealth of other Waldorf goodness created by Melisa Nielsen, seasoned Waldorf mom, curriculum author and mentor. Music Unfolds includes stories, handwork, and recipes - all elements of bringing a true Waldorf education to your child. (See more of what Melisa has to offer at

My other collections, however, are geared toward the home or school setting that is not Waldorf-pure. Perhaps your homeschool or school group would like to incorporate elements of Waldof

But maybe your homeschool or school is following a more traditional path. Perhaps you'd like to incorporate some elements of Waldorf education - stories, handwork or recipes - but you'd like to follow a more traditional timeline for introducing musical concepts and skills. Perhaps you also need or want to incorporate some academics including pre-reading, numeracy, social studies, and science concepts and skills. My other products are designed for you! Beginning in preschool, you can help your children get a feel for the steady beat and to sing tunefully as well as begin to think about music in terms of its polarities. In kindergarten, you can focus on these polarities as preparation for beginning to read and write music notation in Grade 1 and beyond. I plan to help you do all of this with projects I am working on whether you are a homeschool parent or classroom educator.

My Song & Story Circles have grown out of my work with the precious preschool children I teach each week. Ranging in age from 3 to nearly 6, I have created these circle times over the past several years to teach musical concepts and skills according to the traditional music education timeline as well as to support the daycare center's work in preparing them to enter public kindergarten. I wanted to create an experience that was at once instructive, but also gentle. Each month, I plan to share one of these circles with you!

My Spanish circles are what I use with my own children at home. There are Waldorf-friendly Spanish curricula on the market, BUT they come with a lot of "pieces," require a substantial commitment of time, and have a pretty hefty price tag! I needed something that was simple, quick, and relatively inexpensive that incorporated conversation, vocabulary and culture - and of course, music!!!. So if you are looking for something similar, check out my Spanish circles. I will share a new one each month that includes some new conversational phrases, new vocabulary based on a theme and picture book, and ideas for practicing that are fun and lively.

So whether you are looking for apples or oranges, Waldorf or traditional, I hope you find something here that will help you. Please join my mailing list to find out when I've added new products and to receive special offers. Thanks for stopping by!

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