On Wednesday, September 17, the Delaware Music School in Milford held a meet and greet event for their new Director Kate Inie-Richards. During the day, the public was invited to visit the school and take part in the various programs offered for the Milford community. Providing attendees with information about their Suzuki Academy, youth and adult classes and individual lessons, the Music School of Delaware offered a free Early Childhood & Movement class to local residents .
Engaging children through music as early as 18 months old, instructors at the Music School of Delaware work alongside families to teach the importance that music has in the development of children and their understanding of the world around them. At 18 months, children are placed in Kindermusik that uses movement, a new skill for toddlers, as a learning tool to forming a joy of music. This class prepares families for successful learning across the spectrum as children are prepared for their educational career. Developing the child’s aptitude and listening abilities through singing, finger plays, movement activities and instrument exploration, the love of music and the skills associated with it become internalized.
“Exploring music at such a young age does a number of things for children. We teach them the musical concepts that are basic to all music including steady beat, high and low, loud and quiet and smooth and bumpy,” stated Marjie Ripsom Early Childhood Instructor. “In addition to preparing children for a life-long appreciation of music it also helps with early childhood development such as balancing, listening and working together.”
As children turn three, the Early Childhood Music & Movement classes use the cycle of the seasons to encourage imaginative play. Singing, exploring instruments, focused listening and creative movements are used to help them cross into the next level of learning. At age four, students begin to play percussion instruments and learn pre-keyboard skills to develop the notion of beat competency, ensemble development and music notation.
Ms. Ripsom states that during Early Childhood Music & Movement classes, families are a large part of the process of building the foundation for future growth. Through being engaged with their child through music class, Ripsom has seen parents transform to become better teachers themselves.
“I have seen huge changes in parents as they make it a priority to focus on spending this uninterrupted time as a family,” stated Ripsom. “Although I am the instructor, the parents really are the teachers and the more they are engaged, the more the child learns.
A stepping stone for young children to learn speech and vocal development and steady beat and rhythmic response, many of the students move into the Suzuki Academy at age five or six where they begin to learn how to play music through string instruments. As they continue to learn children move from violin, viola and cello to piano and guitar.
“Overall I want the children to develop a sense of joy around music, it begins to have a place in their heart,” commented Ripsom. “Music is a huge leveler across cultures and languages and we are planting that seed. To have that engrained in them is to help them share the human experience.”
The only statewide, accredited, community music school in the nation, the Music School of Delaware serves residents of Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Whether through private or group lessons, The Music School of Delaware has become an outstanding facility dedicated to music appreciation in Milford. The Music School of Delaware is located on 10 S Walnut Street and is open Monday through Thursday from 10pam to 6pm, except for scheduled events. To learn more about The Music School of Delaware individuals can visit www.musicschoolofdelaware.org or call 302-422-2043.