More Than Just Music
Research has found that learning music facilitates learning in other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music.
Founder, Jes Cleland, has always been a lover of music. She comes from a family full of musicians and grew up surrounded by talent and creativity. Through choir, school band, and later, formal music education in college, Jes spent a majority of her free time devoted to music. While in college a friend hired her as a music and theater teacher for her Studio. Jes developed a music curriculum for preschool age kids and was able to offer the program at community centers all over the San Gabriel Valley in southern California. After moving to Nashville, Jes found herself as a full time toddler teacher at McKendree UMC Daycare. There she gained the training and skills for early childhood education that makes the Music U experience one of a kind. After 3 years in the classroom, Jes launched the Music U program at McKendree and has been enjoying it ever since!
We offer a music program where children are shown respect by being exposed to all kinds of genres and varieties of music, not just "children's music" and are encouraged to listen, move, feel, and experience the music. At such a young age, children are ripe for learning. Music can be taught in such a way that allows children to explore on their own, gain new skills and vocabulary, and promote self expression. We strive to establish a love of music and a love of learning in each child.
A typical Music U class with Jes is made up of three components: playing instruments, sing along songs, and a lesson based on the monthly theme. As new knowledge and skills are acquired, children are able to apply concepts to more than one component and begin to explore and create!
Playing real percussion instruments:
Music U provides real and authentic percussion instruments for the children to play. There is a variety of textures and sounds that children are able to experience and create with. We play along with a variety of styles of music, giving the children a chance to listen and then create based on what they hear.
Sing Along Songs:
At Music U, we put a big emphasis on live music. That’s why we do sing alongs with a live instrument; typically ukulele or keyboard. We sing a mix of some classic children’s songs, some fun pop choruses like “A,B,C” by the Jackson 5 or Yellow Submarine by the Beatles, and some originals that were written specifically for the Music U class!
Monthly themed lessons:
At Music U, each month is a different theme, typically alternating between a musical concept, and a genre study. These themed concepts build upon each other and are integrated with art, dance, drama, and games to create a rich and fun learning environment. Theme’s include dynamics, pitch and melody, emotion in music, Jazz, Celtic, Latin music etc.
One of our core values at Music U is exposing children to a variety of live music. We go to great efforts to bring in guests who are masters of their instruments. Children in Music U have listened to professionals on trumpet, cello, piano, guitar, and drums to name a few. Children are able to observe how instruments are played, what they sound like, and the best part, is they can touch and create sounds themselves!