When my daughter was a toddler, we enjoyed Kindermusik classes together. We still remember some of the songs we learned then.
I always thought it would be wonderful to have a program of music and movement for young children and their adult caregivers that was faith-based, included songs of faith, and corresponded with the seasons of the church year.
With that dream in mind, we are experimenting with a music program at Morton that we call Music for Little Friends. Besides helping children from infancy to age five to sense how deeply they are loved, we are helping them to develop an ear for music and a feel for rhythm. This begins a lifetime of appreciation for music and lays a foundation for more musical learning later. Moreover, music is great for their cognitive, physical, emotional, and social development, and it’s fun!
The CDs and songbooks that we use were developed by Kate Daneluk, a Catholic music educator, and her husband, John, who is also an accomplished musician. They wanted a music program for their own children that integrated prayer and songs of faith with some of the methods used by secular programs like Kindermusik or Music Together. You can learn more about their work and hear samples of the music at makingmusicprayingtwice.com. Making Music, Praying Twice has resources for parishes that want to do a large, full-scale program licensed to use the name Making Music, Praying Twice (MMP2), for families, and for small groups like ours at Morton. I took the three-day training class that MMP2 offers for prospective teachers.
Our music comes from many sources: songs of faith, well-known children’s songs, music from other cultures, classical themes, and some new songs by the creators of MMP2. We enjoy a wide variety of tunes and tonalities, meters and rhythms. As you can see from the illustration above, we sing, dance, and enjoy playing musical instruments. Each class session lasts about forty-five minutes. One of the things I enjoy most is encouraging children and families to make up new words to some of the songs. The next thing you know, they are making up their own songs!
Our next series of classes will probably run from Easter to Pentecost, and our prayer song will be “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.”
Contact me if you’d like to know more!