Story time had a musical twist last week at Cavan Monaghan libraries. First at the Bruce Johnston Library on Thursday, and then at the Millbrook Library on Friday, Music for Young Children’s Erica Hernandez visited to dance to the beat and sing along with our preschoolers.
Bearing a bag full of shakers and bells, each cleaned foreseeing teething toddlers, Hernandez led children in a variety of interactive songs, complete with dance moves. Attendance surprised organizer Lindsay Molloy, who hosts the libraries’ regular weekly story times – caregivers and little ones who gathered were almost double the usual crowd.
“The most critical time in a child’s musical development is from birth to age five,” said Hernandez in an email following the event. She believes music is a key to stimulate young brains so they don’t atrophy. It is more likely they develop ‘perfect’ or ‘absolute’ pitch, the ability to recognize the pitch of a note and produce it, if stimulated as preschoolers rather than later in life.
Music for Young Children started in the ‘80s in Nova Scotia, and now, 35 years later, brings music education to young children in three continents through over 900 teachers to over 24, 000 students. Hernandez works as a music teacher with The Music Class and Music Pups in association with Music for Young Children in Peterborough. Her decade-long experience as a private piano teacher and primary choir director gives her the technical experience required to deliver a quality learning opportunity that’s really all about having fun and loving music – according to the smiles that lit up the library.
“Lindsay and I both enjoyed the experience so much,” said Hernandez. She says the positive feedback she received from parents and children will bring her back in no time, she suspects once a season. Keep an eye out for library events in April for more information on Hernandez, or look her up at www.myc.com/teacher/EHernandez for more on her work with Music for Young Children.