Wheaton College Program Is Music to Young Ears Developmental Class Stimulates Babies' Senses
Pohl, Laura Zahn, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Laura Zahn Pohl Daily Herald Correspondent
In this music class, it's OK to chew on your rhythm sticks.
Toddling around the room is just fine, too, and might even earn you a smile or tickle from the teacher.
Music for Babies is the newest class in Wheaton College's pre-college music program.
And "pre-college" certainly describes these musicians who have yet to celebrate their second birthdays. Most of the students are between 6 and 15 months.
"Some are lap babies, some are crawling and walking, and this diversity can present a challenge," said Kathleen Cathey, a pre-college instructor. "But at this age, they're so wonderful because their minds are like sponges."
Cathey and another instructor, Carol Ourada, attended a seminar this July sponsored by Musikgarden, a company that publishes children's music.
At the seminar, they learned a repertoire of rhymes, songs, chants and movements that not only delights babies, but lays the foundation for learning to sing.
"Music is a sensory-motor experience," Cathey said. "Babies learn by touch, along with movements like rocking and bouncing and swinging."
About 17 babies are signed up this fall for two classes being held at the college and at Faith Evangelical Covenant Church in Wheaton.
During the class, moms sit in a circle with their babies. As soon as the group begins to sing, sleepy faces become very animated, eyes widen and wrists begin to flap. …