Music plays an important part in the development of every Kinderland child. On top of our successful Children’s Music Programme, the team conceptualised a preschool marching band in the late 2000s – something unheard of outside of Japan.
In 2009, Kinderland curriculum team’s visit to Shirohato Nursery School in Osaka, Japan laid the seeds for Singapore’s first and only preschool marching band. After a year of preparation, Kinderland Preschool Marching Band’s inaugural performance took place at Kinderland’s Sports Fiesta 2010.
Since its inception in 2010, Kinderland Preschool Marching Band has been bringing the joy of music to many of our local partners. We have performed at several events including ECDA Early Childhood Conference, World Water Day, National Heart Week, PAssionArts Festival and Octoburst 2019: A Children’s Festival @ Esplanade. Now in its 10th year, we have expanded to instrumental stage ensemble and stage band, creating more platforms for Kinderland’s kindergarteners to showcase their music learning.
In a joint-study published in 2014 led by Dr Carol Loy, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development, Kinderland, and the National Institute of Education, music was shown to “contribute to preschool-age children’s awakening to different subject matters, particularly to reading and writing.”
Our Band Director from Japan, Ms Sayaka Shimazaki, flies in yearly to train with our marching band. From marching formation to the learning of instruments, Ms Sayaka spends time with each child to identify their strength and reinforce their music knowledge. “Other than developing team spirit and concentration, learning music through marching bands cultivates discipline which is indispensable for the healthy growth of children,” said Ms Shimazaki.
Over the past decade, the marching band has shown that it is more than just a platform for showcasing our children’s musical talents. The unharnessed potentials of our young band members such as heightened aural abilities, stronger mental focus, discipline, enhanced motor skills and coordination are tapped.
Mr Carl Chay, father of keyboardist and drummer, Ava Chay, attests to the benefits of being in a preschool marching band. “Being in marching band helps her learn to work in a team, and improves her focus as she needs to consider many things concurrently, such as marching together and playing as a band. It builds her confidence as she needs to face a big crowd and cheering audience when performing. Overall it is a great experience, and given the opportunity, I would sign my other children up for the marching band,” said Mr Chay.
The Kinderland Preschool Marching Band has since been introduced to China, in Kinderland Xiamen in 2015 and Kinderland Zhuhai in 2018. We also established our preschool stage ensemble and stage band after the success of the preschool marching band since 2016. Our preschool stage ensemble has been invited by Early Childhood Development Agency, People’s Association and Esplanade to perform at various events.
We are proud of the achievements and recognitions of Kinderland Preschool Marching Bands locally and regionally. Armed with Kinderland’s continuous research findings and consultation sessions with our Japanese counterparts, we believe that our children will continue to benefit from Kinderland’s music-infused curriculum. Thank you to everyone who has played a part in our success, we truly appreciate the support, and we very much look forward to another successful 10 years.