BLACKFOOT– Music is extremely important to the development of a child's brain. A study that was done at the University of Southern California's Brain and Creativity Institute, found musical experiences in childhood can accelerate brain development, particularly in language acquisition and reading skills. Other foundations have found playing an instrument can improve mathematical learning and SAT scores. Who wouldn't want to give the opportunities for children to grow?
The Let's Play Music company was founded in 1998 and is based in Mesa, Arizona. This program is a play-based curriculum to develop talent, enhance intelligence, and deepen human connections. The Sound Beginnings program is the earlier program that is more mommy-and-me based. Mothers bring in their children from babies to about four-years-old, to play and learn skills which are essential to their growth. Through the research based curriculum children are developing skills that will help them exponentially in the future.
Bingham County has two teachers of the Sound Beginnings and Let's Play Music program. Andrea Gregersen and Jera Lin Terlford are certified teachers for the Let's Play Music Program. Many people are unaware of the benefits of the program and have no idea it is available all across the United States. Gregersen is so excited to be starting the new semester of Let's Play Music and Sound Beginnings. She has been teaching the program for seven years and last year was certified to teach Sound Beginnings. Gregersen has always loved music. She started teaching piano and violin at the age of 14 and even received her Bachelors in Music with an emphasis of Piano Pedagogy from Brigham Young University of Idaho. "This program is a lot of fun for everyone involved. There are seven foundational skills that are taught and have been proven to help children excel in preschool and with fine and gross motor skills," says Gregersen. She has had a lot of fun teaching children and seeing them blossom right before her eyes. "Last year we had a young man who may have had a little bit of a setback in learning different skills. He was standoffish and wouldn't participate in much. His mother called me later on and says he is stamping his feet and using the sticks to follow along with the music. This year, it is like day and night. It is great because it gave him the skills needed to come out of his shell," Gregersen exclaims.
The Sound Beginnings program builds the foundations for a love of music and the Let's Play Music program continues it on. Let's Play Music is a three-year program that ideally has children from the age of four to six. Children start the keyboard in their second year and it gives them a chance to try different musical styles. Through the use of hand signs, folk songs, games, imagination, and creativity children learn music theory at a time when they need it most.
Gregersen and Terlford still have room in their classes, it is not too late to sign up or try out a class to see if it is a good fit. Those interested can call Gregersen at 208-680-5110 or go to their Facebook page at Let's Play Music Bingham County. People can read reviews or learn more about the program at www.letsplaymusicsite.com.