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'Sing With Your Child' Month Celebrated At Library



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‘Sing With Your Child’ Month Celebrated At Library

By Nancy K. Crevier

It was a magical, musical morning in the C.H. Booth Library meeting room, Wednesday, March 23, as Julie Capuano of the international childhood music and movement program Music Together led more than 50 youngsters, their parents, and caregivers through a series of songs, rhythmic chants, and play alongs.

Emphasizing that she was not a performer, but rather a facilitator to encourage musical interaction between parents and children, Ms Capuano, whose Music Together spaces are located in Christ the King Lutheran Church, Newtown; Creative Music & Arts, Monroe; and Trinity Episcopal Church, Trumbull, was at the library to celebrate Sing With Your Child Month. The event is promoted by Music Together to help parents explore the world of music with their children.

“Music is a great way to bond with children,” said Ms Capuano, who has taught music for 16 years. “Parents are the best role models for their children, regardless of their musicality,” she said.

Using some of the more familiar children’s melodies, Ms Capuano started off the morning by encouraging parents and children to sing along, move around the room, clap, or dance. “There are no rules, as long as you are safe and happy,” she said. “If you participate, you are setting your child up to love music,” she told the group as they swayed along to a jaunty tune.

For those with babies, Ms Capuano suggested holding the baby in the parent’s lap, facing the parent. “Or,” she said, “lay the baby down in front of you.” That tip was one of many offered throughout the 45-minute-long program as she demonstrated play rhymes and movement games, and sang songs, getting lots of toddlers and parents up and dancing about.

Ethnic music, or music of styles less familiar to children — jazz, bluegrass, Western — is another way to spark interest, said Ms Capuano. Simple instruments can add to the fun, and many toys lend themselves to musical moments. Children and caregivers on Wednesday experimented with scarf play and handheld maracas, as well as back-and-forth babble games.

Literature provided to participants also suggests marching songs “to create large movement activities around your house” or dancing around the room with stuffed animals.

“Use a playground ball to help children see rhythm,” is another tip, as is “Sing lullabies. Special nighttime routines build musical memories that will last a lifetime.”

Watching a musical performance is very different from participatory music, according to Music Together. “The more a child’s senses are stimulated, the deeper the learning.” Young children want interact with the people they love, and music makes all kinds of daily activities fun.

A complimentary musical CD was available for all of Wednesday’s participants, “as a reminder of what we did today,” said Ms Capuano.

Music Together of Newtown/Monroe offers classes throughout the year. To contact Ms Capuano regarding musical sessions, visit musictogetherctclass.com. Information on Music Together can be found at musictogether.com.

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