Chances are, if you’ve taken your kids to storytimes at libraries and bookstores around town, you’ve noticed that many spend nearly as much time engaging the children in singing and music as they do reading aloud. Music is a wonderful tool that can be used in early childhood to enhance literacy. I took advantage of MacPhail Center for Music’s free outreach program at my local Ramsey County Library branch today, bringing along my youngest daughters (ages 3 and 17 months). Titled “Sing, Play, Learn”, the class is a full 45 minutes of connecting the rhythms of music and language.
MacPhail brings their lineup of six themes to libraries throughout the seven-county Twin Cities Metro. During our class, we explored ways in which musical play promotes body awareness. Naming parts, moving them to the beat and playing simple start-and-stop games with them highlighted both literacy skills and impulse control. It was also just plain fun watching my toddler daughter try to imitate the instructor!
How to Sign Up for Sing, Play, Learn
The program is free and, consequently, very popular. Advance registration is required at most locations, strongly suggested at others. Make sure to call ahead. Classes are easier to find during the school year.
About the Author: Anne Kingston is a co-founder of Family Fun Twin Cities.