Castanets To Coordination -- Music Fun Promotes Life Skills

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Music and movement help develop a child's imagination, explains Sarah Jane Hubbard, a licensed Kindermusik educator, who holds classes for Rim Country children and their parents or caregivers.

"I want to help bring families together," Hubbard said.

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Programs like Kindermusik, taught by Sarah Jane Hubbard, combine music and movement to reach every aspect of a child's development.

When she moved to Payson two years ago with her daughter, Ellie, she looked for a "mommy and me" type program that they could do together, and there wasn't anything, so she thinks Kindermusik will fill a needed niche.

"They are an international company and they are the world leader in children's music and movement programs," she said.

Hubbard will be holding a series of classes at Payson United Methodist Church beginning next month.

Classes for both parent or caregiver and child are: "The Village" for newborns to 18 months, and for youngsters from 1-1/2- years-old to 3 she will offer "Our Time."

The program "Imagine That" is for children from ages 3 to 5. In this program, there will be 30 minutes dedicated to the children alone, followed by 15 minutes of child and adult interplay.

Starting in March, Hubbard will offer a multi-age family class in the evenings.

"When they sign up for a Kindermusik class they get at-home materials that include all the music that we use on CD, the book that we read from and (one or two) instruments," she said.

The CDs are filled with all kinds of music from classical to traditional folk music. There are also sounds the children just listen to, such as water running in a bathtub, and have fun trying to identify.

The "Toys I Made" and "Trips I Take" CD, used in the Imagine That class, has different drum sounds, including powwow and snare drums. These go with the drum the child gets to take home.

The Our Time class CD is titled "Away We Go".

"It's lots of song about airplanes and trains and cars," Hubbard said.

During the 15-week class, children will dance and sing to songs like "Alabama Girl," "Little Red Wagon" and "Jingle Go the Car Keys".

Hubbard said "Little Red Wagon" could be an interactive song. The adult holds the child on their lap while mimicking the kind of ride they might have while rolling along in their little red wagon and a wheel (or two or three) come off.

"Wishy Washy Wee!" is one of the songs on the "Our Kind of Day" CD, highlighting different things people do at different times of the day, such as bath time and clean up time.

"Kindermusik is not just a music class, it reaches every aspect of a child's development," said Hubbard. "The classes build on each other."

The repetition skills a child uses to help say his or her first words grow into the listening skills needed for following directions. Those skills help a child develop the cognitive problem-solving skills used in math. A child can use the sense of rhythm heard from listening to music and playing the drums to dribble a ball, according to Kindermusik literature.

Hubbard said she is excited about all the company has to offer her as a business owner.

"I need to (work), but I wanted to stay home with my kids," said Hubbard, who has a degree in elementary education. She researched the company and the curriculum and spent 15 weeks in training before starting her business last August.

The ability to teach parents, working parents in particular, specific confidence creating and esteem-building activities they can reinforce with their children at home is rewarding, she said.

"Do-Re-Me & You" is the toy company Kindermusik created. Hubbard gives home parties for interested parents. "The incentives for hosting a party are excellent," she said.

She also said she takes the entertaining load off busy parents by leading children's birthday parties. At a basic party for the first 15 minutes children have free play with all the instruments she has - rhythm sticks, bell jingles, scrapers, drums, glockenspiels.

"The instruments depend on the age group," she said. "They are made so the babies won't choke on them or hurt their fingers with them."

After free play, partygoers participate in circle dances, story time and instruments play-alongs.

Hubbard is giving grand opening classes for those interested. "Our Time" starts at 9:45 a.m., "Imagine That" is at 11:15 a.m. and "Family Time" is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19 at Payson United Methodist Church, 414 N. Easy Street. Hubbard may be contacted at (928) 474-2350 or sarah@kindermusikwithsarahjane.com.

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