kids, parents to enjoy Music Together®
By Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
As little ones crawled, toddled and danced under foot,
Catherine Hale was right there with them, leading a recent Music Together
She wiggled, rocked and danced on the floor at eye level
with the babies to preschoolers and their moms, who all participate in the
class. Hale, a Raleigh mom of three boys, owns SproutSongs Music and
has taught the Music Together program, for kids birth to five years, for about
five years. Music Together, nearly three decades old, is taught in classes
around the world.
The program aims to help young children achieve basic music
competence through song, dance, rhythm play and other techniques. Hale started
taking her own kids to the class and fell in love with it. The job has been a
perfect fit for Hale, a former music therapist.
A typical class includes songs, finger play, instruments and
props. Kids and their parents are encouraged to dance, sing and play together
in the program. It's important for kids to see their parents enjoying music,
she said. It's hard to expect a child to get up and dance if the parent refuses
to take that first step.
"We are modeling music as just a daily part of
life," Hale said. "If we're not doing it, we can't expect our kids to
do it because we aren't modeling the joy of music."
At a recent demonstration class for a north Raleigh moms
group, Hale and another instructor, Margaret Rush, led the group in a series of
songs, movements and dances. It was the first time for many of them. Some of
the young kids sat in their moms' lap. Others got up and followed most of
Hale's instructions as they rocked on the ground, stood up to dance or grabbed
shakers and other small instruments. Rush held out a basket for
"tasted" instruments when they were all done.
Hale was quick to point out that whatever the kids were
doing was just fine.
"It's OK if your child's not doing exactly what we're
doing," Hale told the group.
From time to time, Hale or Rush would point out different
musical lessons that moms and eventually the kids could take away. One song
ended in a minor key, for instance. After another song, they highlighted the
resting tone, a kind of home base for a song.
"Everything we do in here is for a reason," Hale
said. "We're not just singing to sing along."
SproutSongs offers classes at Raleigh Music Academy in
northeast Raleigh; Treasuring Christ Church in downtown Raleigh; and, starting
next month, at Crabtree Valley Baptist Church on Leadmine Road. The next
10-week semester starts the week of Jan. 5. Hale also is happy to offer
demonstrations to groups. The SproutSongs
website has all of the information.
Thank you to Hale and the moms group for letting me crash
the demonstration class this month. Seeing all those little ones made me miss
those early days with my two girls!
Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.
Sarah Lindenfeld Hall
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