Among the very first people who supported me in the creation of Go West Young Mom were my daughter’s wonderful Kindermusik teachers, Larry Dieffenbach and Grace Bardsley. In fact, they were the very first advertisers on Go West Young Mom!
Bardsley and Dieffenbach have impressive musical backgrounds, both hold music-related degrees and also teach private voice and piano lessons.
Now they are focusing their energies on a new path, called “What If We … ? The Quest and Questions of Leonardo and Athena.” It’s an integrated fine arts curriculum aimed at children ages 5 through 8.
Bardsley and Dieffenbach designed and wrote the whole curriculum themselves, and an artist illustrated the materials. It features a boy named Leonardo and his very wise friend Athena (she’s an owl, by the way) as they journey through various time periods, including the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and Beethoven’s lifetime.
The curriculum revolves around music, with lessons in rhythm, solfege (sight-singing) and keyboard playing. But it also includes art projects, games, math and science projects, history lessons, journaling exercises and physical activity.
Children and their parents participate in the 75-minute-long lessons together and follow along with Bardsley and Dieffenbach as the class follows along with four chapter books.