Music is one thing that perhaps every human being can agree on. All communities benefit from it. It touches us all at a primal level. We fill our media players, create playlists, and stream. It is multi-faceted in that it unites or divides, relaxes or excites. It compliments the visual, like film, or the kinesthetic, like dance.
In a bad mood? Put on music. Going to clean the house? There’s a playlist for that. Want to make the atmosphere romantic? There’s an artist for that. Going to run, lift weights, or do yoga? There’s a specific set of music that caters to those environments.
There is hardly an aspect of life that music doesn’t relate to. One area that it benefits monumentally, yet is often overlooked, is in personal growth. Particularly in infants and children. Programs that immerse children, as young as newly born, in music and movement have benefits that last an entire lifetime.
It kick-starts learning, boosts confidence in social environments, exercises the parts of the brain that are responsible for emotional development and academic learning. Humming and singing in particular, help with forming basic, fundamental speech patterns. It teaches one to focus and concentrate.
When it comes to learning a musical instrument – the body included – one may encounter stress or frustration, and learn to develop the patience and creativity it takes to outlast and persevere. Important character traits!
Movement aspects are important since it is the first method of communication, via gestures and facial expressions, infants learn before they develop language skills. It helps form a deeper connection with their bodies, creates more neural connections and stimulates brain development. Furthermore, spatial awareness heightens as a child learns to navigate about others.
These are fundamental concepts that South Coast native, Rhonda Matson, feels that individuals and the community will immensely benefit from. She is a living example of a lifetime involved with music and movement and would love nothing more than to see others enjoy similar benefits. Benefits that I couldn’t agree more with after several decades of similar experience.
These are the reasons she started up South Coast Music Together, now with four satellites, New Bedford (Wamsutta Club), Tiverton (Sandywoods Farm), Padanaram (St. Peter’s Episcopal Church), and Marion (The Yoga Loft).
Music Together is a music and movement program for early childhood development, from infant to Kindergarten and in between. Even earlier, through the “First Sounds” class, whereby the parent(s) learn to hum, sing or play instruments to form early bonds with their unborn child. In fact, much research shows that by the sixteenth week of gestation, sounds are heard.
Parents participate with their children and further strengthen bonds. Both get to interact with good, local folks and your child gets to further develop his or her social skills through modelling. This is not a new program, but one begun and the late 1980s and one that was so effective and successful that it is now found all over the world.
One of the fundamental tenets of Music Together, and one revisited time and again during my conversation with Rhonda, is that all people have an intrinsic, natural enthusiasm for music. It is so basic to who we are, that the thought of life, completely devoid of music, is horrifying. Imagine, if you could never listen to music again!
In addition, to the primary program that caters to infants through Kindergarten, there is a Children’s Singing Circle for those aged five to nine.
Typical classes are 45 minutes (one hour for the Children’s Singing Circle) in length and “…presented as informal, non-performance-oriented musical experiences.” Groups are between 8-12 people in size, so each parent and child receives plenty of attention and feedback. Parents also get to bring home a special DVD, two CDs and an illustrated songbook for home or auto.
To get an idea of a typical class, I’ve included a video at the bottom of the article, but you can also visit for a FREE demonstration, which is scheduled periodically. Visit the website or Facebook page to keep updated. In addition, the website has testimonials, a Parents Perspective blog, a place to book South Coast Music Together for a special Birthday Party, how to register for a class, images and much, much more.
Would you like your child to have a leg up on learning? Social skills? Confidence? Want an activity that forms a lasting bond with your child? You can’t find a better place or way to do that than South Coast Music Together. You won’t find a more caring, friendly, inspirational instructor than Rhonda Matson.
South Coast Music Together
PO Box 382
Westport, Massachusetts 02791
Phone: 508-636-7426, 508-493-0355
E-mail: Rkhowarth1@yahoo.com or firstname.lastname@example.org