Friday, May 21, 2010

Kicking it with the Council - An Interview

Today we will be interviewing Kim Buckner. Many people around the Lexington KY area will be familiar with Kim. She trains at the Child Care Council, she is a realtor here in town and she operates a MusikMatters business here in Lexington.

Child Care Council (CCC): How did you get involved with MusikMatters?
Kim Buckner (KB): I opened MusikMatters in 2001.
CCC: What drew you to MusikMatters?
KB: I had a busy 2yr old son that loved music & I realized I could teach him pretty much anything if I put it to a song and made it fun.
CCC: What is the benefit of MusikMatters over just dancing with your child?
KB: MusikMatters offers 45 minutes of structured activities. Each activity targets a different developmental task such as fine motor skills, visual tracking and coordination. Dancing with your child is a fabulous way to help your child develop, and we do plenty of dancing in our classes! We just like to enhance the learning experience by tackling more than one task at a time.
CCC: Are the classes just dancing around or do you introduce manipulatives in the classes?
KB: We do as much sitting in a circle as we do dancing, so we have to offer manipulatives to keep the little ones engaged. We use shakers, small rhythm sticks, scarves, ribbons, bean bags, hula hoops, drums - all things that kids love to play with (they think it’s play, but it’s really work)!
CCC: What are some gross motor skills that are encouraged by MusikMatters?
KB: Walking in a line (this is huge when you start school), galloping, jumping, hopping on one foot and dancing are some of the skills we work on in class.
CCC: What are some of the fine motor skills that are encouraged?
KB: We use bubbles to encourage children to “point” to pop them, and finger plays. As they get older, we thread shoestrings through different shapes to prepare their little fingers for pencil holding.
CCC: Are your MusikMatters classes offered throughout the area?
KB: No, just here in Lexington. We are opening a new location in Richmond in August.
CCC: What is the appropriate age to begin introducing a class like this to your child?
KB: We start at 2 months and go through 6 years.
CCC: Do parents usually participate in the classes or just watch?
KB: Parent/caregiver participation is a must! Children do what they see so it’s important that we grown-ups show them the ropes. We get to quack like ducks and gallop like ponies right along with the kids! It’s quite a workout.
CCC: Can you buy videos, CD’s or books from the classes?
KB: No. We use music that can be purchased anywhere and keep the activities simple to encourage families to do the things they learn in class at home.
CCC: Where are your classes offered and is there a website available for people to visit?
KB: The Lexington classes are offered at Word of Hope Lutheran Church (on the corner of Man O’ War & Armstrong Mill), the Richmond Classes will be held at the Telford YMCA. Our website is
CCC: How does someone get started enrolling their kids in the program and how ling do the classes last? Do all MusikMatter studios offer a free try out class?
KB: Everyone gets a free trial class (who wants to pay for something before you try it?). Just give us a call at 859.554.5450 or visit our website to join a class. The sessions are 12 weeks long and students attend class once per week. For summer, we offer a shorter 4 week session as well as camps. The Summer Camps for this year are “Pirates & Princesses”, “Luau”, “School Readiness” and a Patriotic day. We do music time, have crafts each day, eat a snack and play fun developmental games. The camps are probably one of my favorite things that we offer at MusikMatters!
CCC: Is this a good environment for kids that have special needs, for example are not walking or talking yet at 2 or 3 years of age?
KB: Absolutely! We offer a non-stressful, non-judgmental & non-competitive atmosphere. We have several families from First Steps that attend our classes and love them! We have offered classes for the Visually Impaired Preschool since 2002 and the Child Development Centers of the Bluegrass since 2005. We try to address the needs & strengths of each child in each class. It’s quite an undertaking, but the results are more than worth it!
CCC: Is there a degree of therapy to the classes?
KB: Yes. From physical to speech, all areas are addressed. We have had a music therapist on our team of teachers & she uses our activities and techniques in her private therapy sessions.
CCC: What is the highest age that you offer classes to?
KB: 6 years. Our goal is to prepare children developmentally for school-not just academically & physically, but socially as well. Many of our students started our classes as infants and will be going to Kindergarten in the fall! Ask any parent and they will tell you their child is prepared. After years of activities that focused on listening, impulse control, coordination, rhyming & teamwork, it’s time for us to watch them excel in other areas. It always makes me sad when a child ages out of our program, but I like to think that what we have given to them will make their school years simple & easy. That thought helps me hold back the tears (sometimes)!

As a special give away this week Kim has graciously offered to donate a free FOUR WEEK SUMMER SESSION valued at $40.00 to one winner. The same rules apply. You can register up to 6 separate times following the rules below.

1. Leave a comment on this blog posting telling us your favorite song to dance to with kids.
2. Become a follower of our blog.
3. Become a fan of KIDS MATTER on Facebook and post it on the blog.
4. Become a fan of Child Care Council of Kentucky on Facebook and post it on the blog.
5. Follow us on Twitter and post it on the blog.
6. Blog about the interview on your blog, linking back to us.

Thanks and the registration for the giveaway will end on Wednesday May 19th.


  1. We like to dance to Raffi's "Baby Beluga."

  2. Thanks for sharing, MusikMatters sounds like a great program. I know my kids would have a blast and never realize how much "work" they were doing. My sister takes her daughters to a class that sounds very similar to this and they love it. Thanks again for posting this interview.

  3. What a great concept! Children can learn anything once they are engaged by something they love. My son loves music, I think he would enjoy something like this.