The Center for Early Childhood's Arts for the Young classes have always been a favorite of families! Babies and young children are invited to move, sing, chant, and explore music, movement, and instruments with loved caregivers. Amidst a pandemic, how can this be adapted for a virtual platform?
That's exactly the questions our talented staff have been working to answer as they prepare for the fall session of classes. With input from Early Childhood and Music Education professionals, we have collaborated to create a unique curriculum that will engage children, parents, and caregivers alike. Read on for more information from Dr. Lisa Koops, head of our Arts for the Young programming.
What does a remote music class for children look like?
As the months of COVID-19 stretch on, families with young children are looking for ways to engage their children in activities as well as connect with other young children. The Arts for the Young (AFY) program has adapted to the new climate by redesigning our Music & Movement and Music Explorers Learn Together classes to help families achieve these goals. Based on feedback from families who participated in remote music classes in the spring, we are offering remote early childhood caregiver-child music classes via Zoom this fall. Each class will feature 30 minutes of music play-based activities for caregiver and child, followed by 10 minutes of guided socialization.
What will my child and I experience?
Wendy Killeen, Interventionist & Social Emotional Specialist, and Kirsten Radivoyevitch, Parent Advocate, are child development specialists at the Center for Early Childhood at The Music Settlement. They have teamed up to design a 9-week curriculum for the guided socialization portion of our classes. Each week Wendy and Kirsten will share a parent video explaining one of the Ohio Social & Emotional Early Learning Standards and demonstrating how families can engage in activities at home related to the standard (for example, awareness and expression of emotions).
Our music teachers, Stacey Kolthammer, Anna Skelton, and Melanie Wheeler Wright, will use the curriculum during the 10 minutes of guided socialization each week. Lisa Koops, Department Head for Arts for the Young, will post a weekly video connecting the Social-Emotional standard to music activities to try at home.
What about screen time limits?
Some families may be concerned about having their child interact with a screen for music time – after all, many of us have heard that we should avoid all screen time prior to age 2, and limit it sharply thereafter. Did you know that The American Association of Pediatrics grants an exemption to screen time limits for interactive video chatting, such as FaceTime? Our music classes fall into this category, and we hope that knowledge may help some families feel more at ease with the venue. We also offer many ways for a family to participate in the music class – some may prefer to do so with the screen off, using audio only; others may set the screen to one side and engage mostly with their child, with little screen interaction. We support and affirm what works for each family.
For detailed information from all facilitators, please check out this video.
Find teacher bios, class schedules, and more here.