Give Me A Beat!

Tap, shake, sing and dance!

The kids at Jack and Allie's Bookstore in Vernon this morning were moving to the rhythm of a beat!

The bookstore is in the middle in a six week session with "Miss Ruth", Ruth O'Neil, the Owner of the Song-A-Day Music Center in Coventry.  Each Music Enrichment session is tailor-made, with no mandated curriculum to follow. Ruth says the program "exposes the young participants to singing, movement, exposure to instruments, rhythm and even some music theory!" 

This former public school teacher has been making music "for longer than you've probably been around" she tells me. A singer/songwriter at heart, she reaches the children in a creative capacity. The class was sprinkled with babies, toddlers and elementary aged kids and by the looks of it, they were all throughly entertained. The format varies just as much as the childrens attention spans and is very interactive.  For the first activity, Ruth passed out words to the "possible readers" of the group. They each got a different day of the week.  She called up the kids, one "day" at a time and asked what their favorite breakfast food was, each time adding a different verse to an original song, with her guitar in hand.  The next activity had the kids acting out the motion to the direction of the book, "We're Going On A Bear Hunt.". There was some over, under, stomping and tip-toeing, while 8 year old Alex sang the chapters! A noisy bunch, but no one in this bookstore seemed to mind!  Ruth then had the kids each select an "ordinary" household object out of a box.  In a matter of just a few minutes, old oatmeal boxes and ribbon spools were transformed into shakers and maracas! A parade through the store seemed like the next logical thing to do!

Ruth says she and her partner Jim "offer theme programs, such as patriotic, summertime, holiday-related, etc which tend to be more fitting for a single visit to a camp, library, daycare, outdoor festival or farmers market. The Song-a-Day Music Center in Coventry, which Ruth owns, has been in business for more than 12 years. If you're interested in learning to play an intrument, she and her 15 instructors on staff offer private lessons for all ages and levels. Check out their website for more information.

As for the Music Enrichment program, Ruth, along with the staff at Jack and Allie's hope to offer the class again in the fall, so keep an eye on their schedule on their website, just click on Event Calendar.


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