John Feierabend simplifies his classroom objectives into three main goals. He created this curriculum so that when our children are adults, we will have helped them become:
I love these three words that Feierabend has chosen to describe the three ways our lessons can help our babies grow into adults who can fully participate in the musical fabric of our society. Let's take a deeper look into what each of these words mean:
We've all been there; maybe we're at the office, out at a restaurant, or with our family at home, and it happens to be someone's birthday. Cake appears, and on the count of three, everyone sings "Happy Birthday to You." The sweet family in this video demonstrates how a typical rendition of our traditional American birthday song sounds. Not very pretty, is it? Perhaps you've also heard this kind of singing in church congregations, or at sporting events.
The "Tuneful" aspect of our lessons together will foster your child's awareness of pitch, and help him develop a well-coordinated singing voice. Our goal is that when he is 30 years old, he will be able to sing lullabies to his babies, or sing "Happy Birthday" to them without them responding with, "Stop singing, daddy."
When we hear music, our bodies want to move. The gorgeous pair of newlyweds in this video are not trained dancers. They are regular people who happen to be "Beatful." The wedding song they've chosen has big beats groups in twos, and smaller beats grouped in threes. Can you sense the big beats and their smaller divisions? The way they move honors the beat. All too often, the dancing we see at proms, weddings, and other social occasions consists of awkward foot shuffling. We want our babies to dance with their friends, spouses, and children with coordination and grace, free from awkwardness.
The third aspect of our curriculum is perhaps the most important one. In Plato's The Republic, you'll find ancient wisdom about the ability of music to move us:
" . . . musical training is a more potent instrument than any other,
because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul,
on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace,
and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful . . . "
Music is able to express feelings when words fail us. I'm willing to bet that most of you reading this will be able to point to a difficult time in your lives when music comforted and strengthened you, or a joyful time when music served to enhance and heighten your celebrations. Good composers know how to craft music that goes below the surface and touch us on a deep emotional--and even spiritual--level. Good artists know how to take that music and interpret it so that the composer's original intent comes forth. But if we do not develop our children's sensitivity to those messages embedded below the surface, those messages will fall on deaf ears. We must take advantage of the early years to develop that sensitivity.
To quote John Feierabend:
"If we believe adults should be able to sing to their children and dance with their spouses and appreciate good quality music literature, then we must sing to our babies, and dance with our babies, and do both with quality children’s music literature. Then when those babies become 30 years old, they will be musically sensitive and be able to provide an appropriate nurturing musical environment for their children."
Each class at Do Re We is designed to foster tuneful, beatful, and artful adults. Register for a class online before the next session begins, or contact Mrs. Becca about coming to observe. We'd be happy to see you!