Kids of all ages are moving to the beat of Music Together, a research based international program that brings families together.
Jane Roets, who is a Early Childhood Music Specialist and the Director of ARTS from the HEART, llc in Ellington is one of a few teaching the curriculum in Tolland County. The class is unique because it includes children of mixed ages, from birth to age 5 rather than only children who are the same age. Seeing it for myself, the idea is working. Moms, dads and caregivers sat in a circle with kids as young as a few months and as old as 4 at this particular class, all eager for what they knew was coming next: Music! Jane starts off the class with a beat, teaching the importance of letting the children feel the music and move however they feel comfortable. I was impressed that the kids, including my own daughter, a first-timer, had their eyes glued on Jane, imitating her moves as best as they could. Jane says "they learn from each other and it's also practical." Meaning, the program is designed for siblings to attend classes together, rather than having to find a caregiver for one and then the other, this includes the family unit. The class follows a routine but gives children plenty of opportunities to move and just be kids. There are songs and instruments along with a little bit of running around! "They're teaching themselves and teaching parents as they go and are wired to learn and are taking it all in as they're playing" Jane tells me.
Roets, who is a mom of three, has taught for 15 years. She started in Tolland and Somers, adjusting the class schedule throughout the years to her own families needs. She scaled back for a while and admits she thought another teacher would fill the void and offer Music Together classes in the area but hasn't, despite it's popularity. She is now looking to expand and eventually add teachers. She is offering a free demonstration of the Music Together program at the Vernon Community Arts Center on Monday, March 2nd. Roets says one of the teachers she works with will begin offering Music Together classes at the Community Center this spring. The day/time is still being worked out. You can sign up for the free demo here if you're interested. You can also learn more about the program and check out the class schedule in Ellington here. Jane is enrolling for her spring semester now and is offering Music Together classes on various days/times.