Children are the most obvious beneficiaries of these experiences. So let’s talk about others:
PARENTS. “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.” Musical play with family-members brightens the day. Sung transitions, shared patterns, musical rituals at mealtimes and bedtime, and dancing together are synonyms of happy times!
OTHER CAREGIVERS. When grandparents, siblings, nannies and others know what music and movement activities take place in the child’s day, they can enjoy linking in to provide continuity, adding and sharing their own experiences and repertoire.
SCHOOL TEACHERS. Children with background experiences in music and movement more easily sequence patterns, ideas, social skills; they may be able to listen more skillfully, move more purposefully, and have a higher level of impulse control.
MUSIC TEACHERS. Whether in a school or a private studio, these adults can enjoy building upon a foundation of Basic Music Competence. These include but are not exclusive to tuneful singing, rhythmic awareness, coordination of ear and body – and most importantly, a genuine love of music-making.
COMMUNITY MEMBERS. Sports teams, bands, orchestras, choirs, youth camps, social activists, religious organizations – all these groups profit from folks who have learned to cooperate in singing, playing, and moving together. (Imagine campfires, the civil rights movement, or most worship without music!)
EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC AND MOVEMENT TEACHERS. For most of us, we simply cannot imagine a more rewarding way to enjoy a career. Perhaps the business aspects or institutional politics aren’t our favorites, and we don’t tend to get rich, but interacting musically with children and families is simply unmatched.
From bouncing on a caregiver’s lap to beginning instrumental experiences, young lives are enriched with those developmentally appropriate activities that can enhance the rest of their lives. “Music – the gift of a lifetime for a child you love.”
Molly Beiningen is currently working with Head Start children and teachers. Teaching early childhood music and movement since 1981, she holds Level III ECMMA certification, and has been awarded a Life Membership in the organization.