Music courses for small children in the works at School of Harmony

By Cody Neff Register-Herald Reporter

The internet is packed with home movies of children giggling and dancing to hit songs as they flail their little arms and legs.

As your little one dances along to their favorite songs, think a little deeper about what’s going on in their brain. According to a local teacher, growth is taking place every time a child hears a song and appreciates it.

“There’s just so much research that talks about the development of the brain and how music helps with spacial reasoning,” School of Harmony Teacher Sarah Rinker said. “Music isn’t just something that is just fun. It’s tons of fun, but it can help for the rest of their lives.”
To help children lay the foundation that a happy life is built on, Sarah Rinker and the School of Harmony in Daniels have put together two classes for two age groups. The classes are being called “Budding Harmonies.”

“Music Pups is for children from zero to four,” Rinker said. “This is a sort of ‘mommy and me’-type course, but any caregiver can come to class with the child.

“So many adults say they don’t feel qualified to help their children to become musical. This class is as much for the parents as it is the children. Music is fun and it doesn’t have to be scary for adults.”

The other class is called “Music for Little Mozarts.”

“It uses a more hands-on approach for instruments,” Rinker said. “If they end up being music appreciators or if they go on to sing in a choir, they will have a good foundation to move on from.

“If they want to learn any type of instrument, they already know how to rhythmically count and they can hear pitches and recognize notes.”

The program, which was developed in Georgia, has moved all over the nation, Rinker said. The program is great for children because it adapts to their short attention spans, she added.

“We keep a lot of variety going,” Rinker said. “We do about 10 to 15 songs in our 45 minute period. We’ll have a lot of variety to keep them from getting bored.”

Rinker grew up in a musical home and she has taught for years, she said.
“I grew up singing in choirs and playing the violin,” Rinker said. “I got my degree in music from Appalachian Bible College and I got my Masters of Arts degree from Marshall University.

“I have taught some music courses. I taught privately for about 20 years, but I have a lot of experience in teaching. I love working with children and I also play the piano in my church.”

The amount of interest in the courses is still being gauged, so an exact time for the course hasn’t been set up, Rinker said.

“We do know that we’ll meet on Tuesday evenings for twelve weeks,” she said. “The course is $275 for all twelve weeks and that includes the materials for the course.”

For more information about the course or to sign up, you can send an email to request@schoolofharmony.com. You can also call 304-253-3095

—Email: cneff@register-herald.com; Follow on Twitter @RHCodyNeff