Kids Rock Music: An Ear-pleasing Music for Every Age
Aug 01, 2010 12:00AM
● By Lili Marlene
Any one of the 15 million viewers who have watched the YouTube diaper-clad baby dancing to Beyonce’s Single Ladies music video can see that rhythm rouses our bodies, while melody stirs our brains, even at an early age.
Cara Webster, director and teacher of Kids Rock Music Class (KRMC), in Bonita Springs, readily validates this phenomena every day while singing, dancing, clapping and playing with her own son and several other children. The youngsters, ranging from babies to age 7, are all participating in The Music Class (TMC), an early childhood program designed to unleash the musical potential of young children.
Webster, a former Florida Realtor, whose degree in music from Florida State University was gathering dust until two years ago, opened her KRMC studio after Internet research turned up TMC. “My son was a year old when the real estate market slowed down,” says Webster, “and I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, while still being actively engaged in something I loved.”
A desire to introduce her son to music during his earliest years proved to be the catalyst for finding a new career in music that caters to young children. “I found programs locally for grade school children, but not for the very young,” advises Webster. “When I couldn’t find what I envisioned, I researched, found TMC’s award-winning music, engaging activities and CDs, became a certified teacher and opened my own studio.”
The music program, as enjoyable for parents as for children, piqued Webster’s interest. “I wanted the classes to also be fun for parents, so that everyone would be inspired to sing together at home, as well as in the studio,” notes Webster. Tonal patterns, rhythms and melodies are part of the entertainment frequently enjoyed by several age groups within a family.
“The songs are easy to sing, and the older siblings especially like to help the younger ones with their tonal patterns,” explains Webster, whose enthusiasm is fed every time she is part of inter-family musical activities. “You should see what happens when a one-week-old baby is sung to by her older siblings,” she relates. The youngest children may simply listen to the music and keep the beat with their hands, long before they can form words.
Webster proudly cites information gleaned from This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, by Daniel J. Levitin, a neuroscientist who runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise and holds the Bell Chair in the Psychology of Electronic Communication at McGill University. “Very early in childhood, most children start to spontaneously vocalize, and these early vocalizations can sound a lot like singing,” writes Levitin. “Babies explore the range of their voices and begin to explore phonetic production in response to the sounds they are bringing in from the world around them. The more music they hear, the more likely they are to include pitch and rhythmic variations in their spontaneous vocalizations.
“While this information is impressive,” says Webster, “the most important thing is that the fun we have making music together can translate into other things for children, beyond the class—like processing problems, reading, math and science.”
Kids Rock Music Class, 26251 S. Tamiami Trail, Ste, 13, Bonita Springs. Call 239-498-5437 or visit www.KidsRockMusicClass.com.