Did you see our spotlight on South Coast Music Together last March? South Coast Music Together is a music and movement program for children, from birth to six, and their caregivers. Weekly classes meet – starting September 17th – for forty-five minutes of musical play, using songs families learn over the ten week session. Each enrolled family receives an illustrated songbook, a CD, and a MP3 download of the songs included in each session’s curriculum, as well as access to the, Music Together Family Zone, via www.musictogether.com.
In March we looked at the broad benefits movement and music brings to lives regardless of age, and how it can significantly enrich the lives of children during the crucial, early developmental stages. In this article we would like to focus on a particular fringe benefit of music creation, in the family and community setting. We discussed the many benefits that movement and music bring to lives regardless of age, but more importantly highlighted how it can enrich the lives of our children early on in the crucial developmental stages.
One facet of early childhood development is bonding. Bonding with parents, and other caregivers, parents and caregivers bonding with their babes, siblings bonding with siblings, and creating bonds of friendship, as we grow. Music is a great facilitator for creating strong, warm, bonds. When we sing together, we breath together, our hearts even synchronize to beat together. Our stress hormones drop, and our “feel good” hormones rise. We have a real physical response to creating music together, which enhances warm feelings towards our own families, and those within our musical community. This is what families do in a South Coast Music Together class; they foster the bonds of family, and community music making, and in so doing strengthen the bonds of the community as a whole
It is one thing to read or hear about these benefits, and another to actually hear from folks in the community. Since that article, many people have taken some of these fantastic workshops and classes that are offered and the impact has been powerful enough that they wished to share their stories.
Story #1: Jax bonds with his baby brother, with his favorite lullaby, learned in his South Coast Music Together classes. Jax knows this lullaby so well, because his mom and dad sang it to him over and over, and now he shares it with his newborn bro!
Story #2: Isaac sings, Hello Everybody, to all the IMPORTANT people in his life, Daddy, Mommy, and big sis too!
Story#3:Though in this clip Jakub is singing, Hello Everybody, his mom’s quote tells of the love he expresses, when they make music together.
“By the way, we were playing MARACAS this afternoon. When the “Russian Folk Song” came on, J. came up to me, gave me a hug and started rubbing my back! He has also been singing the tonal patterns to the faucet in the tub, pretending it’s a microphone. Thank you, SCMT!!”
-Urszula Andrade, Dartmouth
Story #4: And, this family… well, this mom’s words say it all.
I can’t even begin to express what an amazing gift (South Coast) Music Together has been to our family! Music has always been a big part of my life and of course I wanted it to be for my daughter, too. From the moment we started classes when she was just learning to sit up on her own, til now when she is entering preschool for the first time, music class has always been a highlight in our lives.
She has learned about beat and rhythm, melody and harmony, lyrics and the creativity to improvise, gained new friends, socialized and observed. I have gained a whole new understanding of child development and growth and marveled at the beauty of a child discovering a passion for music and having a carefree spirit. The classes have not only taught us wonderful songs that will be favorites for a lifetime but also created a special time for us to share and bond and connect in a way that can only be expressed through song!
I am so appreciative of Rhonda who is an extraordinary teacher with a special gift of music and communication and understanding of children. And also Coleen who we met this year who has a special gift as well! I would highly recommend anyone to step into the world of Music Together and create long lasting memories! Thank you for being a part of our lives and I continue to look forward to more classes!
With four locations in the area – New Bedford (Wamsutta Club), Tiverton (Sandywoods Farm), Padanaram (St. Peter’s Episcopal Church), and Marion (The Yoga Loft) – there is a facility near you so you can also experience what Music Together has to offer. Interested in more testimonials? You can browse their Facebook Page’s reviews here. Music Together are not only pioneers, but their music program is internationally recognized. There are 2500 locations in over 40 countries! You can register and see the 2014 Fall Schedule here.
To find out more about the programs, you can read March’s article which is accompanied with fantastic footage and images or even better contact Rhonda directly by using the information below. To register straight away go here.
South Coast Music Together
PO Box 382
Westport, Massachusetts 02791
Phone: 508-636-7426, 508-493-0355
E-mail: Rkhowarth1@yahoo.com or email@example.com
Other Services Offered:
Children’s Singing Circle is for children ages 4.9 to nine: This class continues where South Coast Music Together leaves off and is designed to be a bridge between non-formal music education and formal music education. We continue to explore musical concepts through play, but our play becomes slightly more focused on specific concepts in any given class. Children this age still benefit greatly from caregiver modeling, so caregivers join us for the first ten minutes and the last ten minutes of our hour long class. Younger siblings may attend with their caregiver at this time too. Caregivers are asked to volunteer to be an on site chaperone one week out of the eight week session.
FirstSounds: private prenatal music coaching: “When is the best time to begin a child’s music education? Nine months before the birth of the mother!” Zoltan Kodaly. This sentiment is precisely what we explore in the FirstSounds class. We know that babies hear sounds outside of the womb by the sixteenth week of gestation. There are volumes of research stating that bonding begins in the womb and using music to develop that bond is profoundly powerful. In a FirstSounds class mother, father, sibling or grandparent will sing, move to music, play instruments and learn about tactile stimulation, all with the focus connecting to baby. Songs that babies hear in the womb soothe and comfort them after birth, so begin singing those lullabies now!
Special Events: “In house” musical field trips for early childhood facilities, including preschools, daycares, and elementary schools.
Professional Development for Early Childhood Educators: Helping childcare workers identify ways to use music to enhance their caregiving: creating community within their classroom, easing transitions, teaching cognitive skills, enriching fine and gross motor skills, expanding vocabulary, developing multicultural awareness, and a host of other benefits.
South Coast Singing Circle Birthday Parties: 35-40 minutes of interactive music making. We sing, play instruments, and move to music, together. SCSC brings instruments, and props, making the experience a playful, and memorable one. The music making is interactive, not just a “performance” by music leader. All SCSC music specialist are trained to work with children, and facilitate playful music making. Link to the Birthday Party .pdf http://southcoastmt.com/vlt8140.htm
Singing Circle Workshops: Group singing has been a mainstay in communities since the beginning of the human race. Join your voice with others and feel the strength and support community music making can bring. Learn songs by ear, no prior musical training necessary, and let your spirit soar along with your voice. Learn a bit about vocal health, singing in a group, harmony and more, but mostly come and have fun in a community of music makers.
Sing Alongs for Elders: A cappella sing alongs for seniors citizens. Using familiar songs residence of assisted living facilities, senior housing facilities, and nursing homes, come together to engage in musical creation. Singing provides social interactions, enhances mood, improves memory recall, enhances balance, improves breathing, and a host of other skills beneficial to those who may be less physically active, but still benefit from physical activity.