Evenstart & Kindermusik

The Norfolk Public Library invited me to be their “professional” yesterday during their 1, 2, 3, Grow with Me program. (don’t they know I have outstanding library fines). (( I snuck by them with my head bowed low.))

The 1, 2, 3 program was held at the JANAF branch library and participants in the city’s Evenstart program were the audience. I chatted with the teachers of the program and with the participants. Evenstart holds classes for mothers of children 0 – 7 years old.  Mothers and the children come to school each day until 2:30. While the mothers take classes, GED prep, job training, parenting, resume writing, caregivers play and take care of the babies and children.  I asked the ages of the mothers … ranges from 16 – 45 they joked.  A couple of the mothers couldn’t have been 20 yet.  All the Evenstart participants were of minority groups, I was the lone caucasian in the room.  The ladies welcomed me in, the librarian supervisor was so pleased to have a break from singing Wheels on the Bus.

My task was to chat about how music is important to child development.  Some of the children (and moms) were shy, others were not.  So, I pointed out the Kindermusik Brain poster ( which is such an amazing piece of information … I am into that brain research stuff ).  Told a little about myself (and just as you are now as I type this … starting to loose interest ), I launched  into “Let’s sing hello hello, let’s sing hello hello … heigh ho the derrio .. let’s sing hello hello.” (I can read my audience pretty well.)

We clapped, bounced, jumped, peeked, wiggled hello …. big fun.

Borrowing from the Cock a doodle Moo curriculum, we marched, swooped and twisted with scarves all about the room. Watching a couple of the young moms dancing to the music … my weekly moms, we’ve got some moves to be learning!!

Being Valentine’s week, I taught them “Love somebody, yes I do” and I blabbered on about how it is important to cross the midline with both hands making an X, blah blah blah I went ...but what was the best part …. the little one that snuggled into my lap to have me make that hugging X across her little body. She’s the same one who came in clinging to her mommy. The physical touch  that was being poured out among the caregivers or moms “slithered” (I choose that verb because the motions seemed to catch on, then the words and then the actions all coupled together seemed to move in a slithering action) around the room.   I looked up to see the teachers and care givers (without little ones in their arms at the moment) carrying on the motions too. Hope they will use that song in their classes.

After doing our lap bounces of “Hop up my baby” three in a row … and getting everyone sweaty, I finished with our “Goodbye Goodbye … ”  But I am finding myself not wanting to say goodbye to these folks.  Feeling compelled to see if they’ll let me come to their school and sing with them again.  I’d really love to learn some of those dance moves!

I guess I feel that way everytime I do a music class … I know that the brain research supports that music education increases school performance, and I know that children just like to be moving and having fun.  Sometimes that looks crazy to the outside eye,  but learning is happening in all of those interactions.  Blah Blah Blah ….


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