by Jana Kahn
I love teaching Music Together® because it incorporates all I have to offer as a human being – my music ability, my love of children and service to the community. I’ve worn many hats, but Music Together has been the most gratifying experience of my professional career. Moving into my tenth year of teaching, I am thrilled that making music with families continues to be fresh as well as feed my passion for connecting with others through music. It is delightful to hear from parents how their children are calmed by the music CDs/downloads we provide, are singing and dancing more at home, and are even pretending to teach Music Together to their families of stuffed animals, trucks and dolls. I also hear how participating in the program has helped with speech and gross motor development, confidence building and socialization.
I found Music Together as a mom with two young children. I love music and dancing, and was delighted to find the program was fun, meaningful and something we could do together. My teacher Jennie Mulqueen invited me attend a three-day training to get certified. Starting out teaching just a few classes, I was very nervous. Now I confidently teach 14 classes a week and am a full-time staff person at South Shore Conservatory (SSC), overseeing all early childhood programs. I’ve been told story upon story confirming how our approach to music and movement has enriched and changed lives. Singing together with families gives me such joy.
The Music Together approach develops every child’s birthright of basic music competence by encouraging the actual experience of music rather than the learning of concepts or information about music. It began almost 30 years and is now offered in thousands of communities across the country and outside the United States. In class, children have many opportunities to create and play – some sit absorbing the rich musical experience while others sing, play and dance freely. My interest is in having music become a family value. I encourage families to sing and dance together at home, pick up an instrument they used to play or have wanted to learn to play, or play their own favorite tunes from younger days. Simply enjoying music in the home has a great impact on family experiences and creating a disposition towards music for your child.
Music Together teacher Cynthia Toffoloni has just completed her training and will be teaching at our Duxbury campus this fall. She signed on to Music Together so she could share her love of music and provide a positive music experience to young children and their families. Cynthia has worked extensively with children with disabilities, and finds music to be most effective in teaching and communicating with students with special needs. Music is indeed a universal language.
Our Music Together teachers are special people. They love children and care deeply about their well-being, and of course enjoy music. Every teacher brings their own style and personality to class. The most important thing for any teacher however is passion. They’ve got to love it, teach with enthusiasm, and be willing to put their heart and soul into what they are doing. At the SSC we are blessed with talented teachers who bring this amazing program to hundreds of children and families who participate each semester.
Our fall session begins September 12. For more information visit www.sscmusic.org.
Early Childhood Program Coordinator Jana Kahn has been with South Shore Conservatory since 2005.