Last week we went to a sample class that was free. I took the kids because I was trying to get out of the house that morning so that they would nap longer (truth). After the struggles that we have had with behavioral issues at gymnastics class, I was nervous about how Addison would do, but it was free so I thought- why not try?
The room was packed with small children and parents. We all sat cross legged in a circle as the teacher led us in various songs and rhythms both accompanied by guitar, CD, or instruments (that the kids played) and unaccompanied. Let me tell you- Addison can totally rock out on the shaker egg.
The teacher made it clear that if it was too much for any child to sit for that long, they were free to roam around the room. That was perfect for Addison and lifted the weight off of my shoulders from focusing on her behavior. She of course LOVED the freedom to come and go as she chose.
When given that freedom, she chose to insert herself into the spirit of the class. This week (her second class) I noticed it even more. She wanted to stand in the middle of the circle and dance. Her little body bounced up and down, her arms waved as if conducting, and she clapped right along with the music (with surprising accuracy).
When the class rose to their feet and started dancing, at first she looked around just watching, but soon she joined in with an intense look of concentration on her face. Music is a universal language, and let me tell you- Addison speaks music. Fluently.
It's so exiting to me to see Addison express herself through music. Speech is obviously a huge concern for her, and it makes me happy that she doesn't need words to enjoy this medium of communication. Carter is just starting to do a lot of speech imitation, and when the class was singing on various syllables, I heard him raise his little voice to copy the sounds he heard.
That's what's so cool about a class like this. There is something in it for everyone. Hey, yesterday I learned how to spell MISSISSIPPI really fast...while scatting.
(sorry for the blurry pictures. It was hard to catch a good shot while Addison was bouncing around.)
I am so very excited about the next nine weeks of class. It's a sacrifice to put your kids in any type of program like this- both of time and money. But I am firmly convinced that this type of early music education does far more good than any of us can see. Obviously I can't look into the future and see how exactly this class will impact my kids, but I can look at the smiles it puts on their faces today, observe the new skills that they learn and experience while in class, and know that it's not in vain.
It's nice to have a destination that Addison loves to go to SO MUCH she's willing to behave like the little sweetheart I know she is while we immerse ourselves in learning through dancing and singing. Wednesday mornings just got a whole lot more exciting around here. (-: