Music Tree founder and lead facilitator: Early Childhood Development Focus

Cindy-Lee Schmidt is an innovator in the early childhood development sphere with twelve years of experience in working with children from 6 months to 7-year-olds within various pre-schools, ECD centres, daycare centres and primary schools across the socio-economic spectrum.

Cindy is the designer and lead facilitator of Music Tree: an early childhood development programme focused on holistically boosting the developing child from diverse backgrounds. This includes emotional, social, musical, creative, language, cognitive and physical development as well as supporting school readiness and fostering a love for music.

Music Tree is rooted in our South African context and aligned with CAPS Grade R Life Skills themes. It includes routine, songs, dance, rhymes, stories, instruments, play and more. The youngest children focus on learning related to themselves and their known environment. Here the foundation is set for holistic learning such as creating a safe environment for them to grow, improving their attention span and letting them feel the joy of music learning. The next age group focuses on learning about their wider environment and learning to share, caring for others and engaging in group dances or games. The oldest groups connect CAPS Life skills themes to basic musical theory while gaining great emotional and social benefits such as confidence, feeling safe, responsibility and learning classroom behaviour. During all age groups she seeks to find the best ways to support the individual learners and the group in their development and emotional and social well-being.

She serves children who are classified as average as well as those with various developmental difficulties, such as behavioural, social, language, physical, cognitive and emotional barriers (including trauma). She has also supported children diagnosed with autism, Down’s syndrome, ADHD and Cerebral Palsy.

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