Celebrating 20 Years of Family Music Making

Sponsored Editorial supplied by Music Together Chesapeake

“Hello everybody, so glad to see you.” Every Music Together Chesapeake class for the last 20 years has opened with these words. The ritual “Hello Song” welcomes everyone to class and sets the tone for the 45 minutes of music-making that follows. Parents, grandparents, nannies and the children they love participate together in fun activities that include singing, chanting, fingerplays, dancing, and instrument play.

Music Together Chesapeake, a licensed Music Together center, has been bringing family music-making to hundreds of families in and around Anne Arundel County since the spring of 1996. “Even after having taught for 20 years, it is still fresh, fun and so rewarding sharing music with children and families,” says Music Together Chesapeake Director Jeanne Calderon.MTPic15 web

Calderon started the center as “Music Together with Mrs. C.” at the Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church in Crofton. As the center grew, the name was changed to Music Together Chesapeake, trained teachers passionate about children and music were hired, and additional locations opened in Annapolis and Severna Park. In September, the center is also offering classes at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis.

Music Together Family Classes are based on a family style of learning, discovered through ongoing research to be effective for early childhood learning. In this class, you are likely to see babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergartners each participating at their own level of development-alongside their grownups.

Mrs C with Tyler and EmmalineWhile Family Classes are the core of Music Together Chesapeake’s offerings, the center also offers Music Together Generations, which brings young families together with seniors for weekly classes at Atria Manresa in Annapolis. “Music Together is such an important program for both seniors as well as the children,” says Engage Life Director Amy Maddox. “Our residents often do not live close to their grandchildren and great grandchildren, and this program provides a close connection to the next generation that would otherwise be lacking, and the children receive a connection that expands their community.”

In 2011 Music Together Chesapeake added the Music Together In-School curriculum to their offerings, bringing music to area preschools. September marks the start of four years of Music Together at St. Margaret’s Day School in Annapolis. In addition to the music specialist leading weekly classes, the curriculum seeks to incorporate music into the daily life of the classroom and includes fun family music events that create memorable experiences for families, teachers and students alike.

Music Together Chesapeake is planning a 20th Anniversary family concert this October featuring Music Together recording artist “Uncle” Gerry Dignan. The event, to benefit the Orphan Grain Train located in Millersville, will be a joyous way to celebrate the twenty-year milestone. Calderon believes however, that the best way to celebrate is to continue offering Music Together to area families for years to come.

To register or to attend a free demo class, visit musictogetherchesapeake.com

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