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By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
A love of music is known to form at a young age. On Monday, August 12, parents were invited to bring their kids to a playgroup centered around making music. From 10:30 until 11:30, these parents found themselves watching as their kids' faces lit up in glee while they experimented with different tones and tunes.
Ms. Bethany, the music teacher, began the playgroup by clinking together two pieces of metal. “Words away, music we play,” she rhymed with a smile, as the kids became more interested in what she was doing. After gathering parents and kids into a circle, Ms. Bethany began passing around the metal rods around. Each child got a turn, including the youngest kids only a few months old (with the help of a parent). “I like this activity because everyone can do it and it gets them interested at a really young age,” explained Ms. Bethany.
The older kids were excited when Ms. Bethany dumped a pile of clappers on the ground. “Can you get one for your little brother?” asked one parent as their older daughter brought a clapper over for her toddler brother. Once everyone was armed with a clapper, Ms. Bethany launched into song. This time, she used the clappers for a revamped version of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
“If you're happy and you know it, shake them loud,” sang Ms. Bethany, before a cacophony of clackers could be heard around the room. “If you're happy and you know it, shake them quietly,” said Ms. Bethany, with the kids gently shaking their clappers. Shake them high, shake them low, shake them slow - Ms. Bethany seemed to cover everything. “If you're happy and you know it, shake them very fast,” said Ms. Bethany. This time, the clacking seemed to transform into a sound almost like a rainstick.
Perhaps every kid’s favorite part was when Ms. Bethany brought out a parachute. The youngest of kids sat at the very edge of the parachute or helped their parent hold on, while older children sat on the parachute, jumping onto the puffs of fabric popping up. It seemed almost too quick when Ms. Bethany had the kids switch and go underneath, though just as fun. Friends joined hands and dipped underneath, smiling and giggling as the rainbow parachute danced above them.
By the end, having expended quite a bit of musical energy, every kid seemed ready to leave. They were delighted to have learned a few songs, play with some instruments, and dance on, around, and under the parachute.
Parents, meanwhile, had just as much fun as their kids, joining in on their giggles and smiles as they exited into the library.
It seems that there is a magical force when it comes to music.