Music and movement are very important to my family. Both of my school age children, Special K and Lady B, both play musical instruments. I also played the viola for several years. My children know when Mommy plays music; she’s in a good mood. I brag about how I beat my oldest daughter at the Just Dance Video game, while I was 8 months pregnant. So when I was asked to visit a local music class for kids I didn’t hesitate.
Music Together® Columbus brings an international music and movement enrichment program to the Columbus and Valley areas. Music Together Columbus was started by Elizabeth Hostetter. Elizabeth wanted to give the area families the opportunity to learn how early music, rhythm and movement instruction benefit’s total brain function in children. She hopes, “Music Together will bring active music making back into the homes of families, so children will learn basic musical skills through their environments.”
I decided to tag along with my two year old, The Duchess. I was encouraged to sign up for a Demo class. I simply went to the Music Together® Columbus website, then under the Classes tab, I clicked the Demo Class link. The process was easy! I very shortly after received a confirmation email with directions to the center and class instructions.
The instructions were very good and it took me directly to my destination. I arrived with another mother and her two children, so she greeted me and we walked to the class together. She mentioned how much her children enjoyed the class. She knew The Duchess was in for a treat!
The other parents were very friendly, all greeting us with waves and smiles. They were taking their shoes off, so I asked The Duchesses if she wanted to get ready for class and take her boots off. She looked at me the way only a duchess could and plopped her thumb in her mouth and grunted, “No”.
OK here we go…
I took my shoes off and lead this royal thumb sucker to the circle. Elizabeth guided the rest of the class to the circle and began to lead parents and little musicians in a morning introduction song, greeting each child by name as we went around the circle. The Duchess was shocked when she was greeted by name! This made her feel welcomed, she slowly began to relinquish her thumb and join the musical adventures. After the third song, she finally decided to take her shoes off and participate independently.
The children were given the opportunity to ad-lib portions of songs and move the song along with their imaginations. Elizabeth facilitated and encouraged the little singer-songwriters to explore various musical instruments also. During the entire 45-minute class the children could move freely with the music and songs, with limited restrictions. This was an enjoyable time for them to let loose and experiment with various instruments and to use their imaginations and discover musical rhythms and count.
The Duchess enjoyed the class and it was a little morning workout for the parents. I was able to sing and dance with my daughter and the closing song was a lovely lullaby. The lullaby subdued some of the maestros into relaxing and calming some of their musical energies before class was dismissed. This would be a great morning starter for any mother, father, and grandparent or child caregiver. After class give them lunch or a snack and I guarantee, you will have about two hours of free time shortly afterwards.
The Duchess and I give Music Together 4 tiaras out of 5!
Music Together Columbus was a wonderful experience. The Duchess told everyone, “I played the drums and sang songs!” for the rest of the day. I could hear her humming some of the tunes, even later in the evening. The class most definitely had a positive effect on her. The Duchess and I give Music Together 4 tiaras out of 5! It was easy to schedule classes and the website gives detailed information. The environment is welcoming and the children are free to participate in this experience with minimal pressure. I would’ve enjoyed a couple of more cultural diverse song selections, but the children did enjoy one Hispanic influenced selection.
Susan Darrow, CEO of Music Together® goes in depth illustrating the importance of experiencing music as a family in her recent blog Holiday Family Sing-Alongs: Making Music Together. Music and movement gives families’ the opportunity of being silly together, will help alleviate stress and facilitates family togetherness.
The spring 2016 semester starts early March, so sign up for a demo class today. Let your little ones discover all their musical talents with Music Together Columbus!
Carrice Quinnie is native of Columbus, Ga. She is a divorced, single-mother of three girls, ages toddler to teen. Through college, marriage, motherhood, divorce and single-parenting Carrice has learned valuable, maturing life lessons. Increasing in her own self-awareness, Carrice hopes her words will bring enlightenment and healing to women and their families.