by Jauna Ellis
Eleven years ago, I was a new mom, working diligently from home to build a voice and acting studio. I absolutely loved every minute of being a work-from-home mother. However, I remember feeling – quite often – that I was leaving behind a life of inspiring kids from all different backgrounds through performance.
After years of transition and change, I fast forward to today. All I can say is how incredibly blessed I feel that God has led me to Christ Methodist Day School. As the Early Childhood Music Teacher, I am beyond excited to share some of the many things we are doing at CMDS to inspire kids through music.
Why is music class important for your child?
Studies have shown, and I have personally witnessed, the positive influence music and arts education have on children. A strong arts education is a path to life-long learning.
When your babies are 80 years old, they may not be able to run 5 miles (although some may), but they will be able to listen and appreciate music that soothes them and sing a sweet hymn with a feeble voice.
Students learn more about themselves and others through exposure to the arts. It also helps students socially and improves their quality of life.
The academic advantages to students engaged in the arts are incredible as well.
What do we do in music class with Mrs. Ellis?
First and foremost, our kids are learning to use their God-given instrument – the voice! In my class, we experience the joy of the world through song! We sing. And we do so with great energy and fervor. We sing Christian songs to set our hearts right for God; silly songs to engage our sense of humor in music; and themed songs to teach us about the seasons, holidays, special people and special events. Through various music styles, we learn to use our voices with proper technique and dynamics while learning appropriate musical terminology. We learn how to breathe correctly, how to open our mouths and sing with proper vowels, and about the importance of diction and effective communication while we sing.
I particularly enjoy the simple beauty in the sweet sounds of their little voices. It brings me to tears almost every time!
Another exciting aspect of Early Childhood Music is our investment in the Preschool Prodigies Music Curriculum. At its core, Prodigies is a series of music lessons that are designed to teach children about pitch, rhythm and solfege.
What on earth is solfege? Many of you might have been introduced to solfege through “Do-Re-Mi” from the popular musical, The Sound of Music. We use hand-played desk bells to discover the basic elements of music using solfege. These bells are color coded by pitch through the major scale.
The curriculum comes with exciting video tutorials and fun songs that teach the students how to count rhythms and make their voice, along with the bell instrument, ascend and descend in pitch. The kids have loved playing these bells and appear to be grasping all of the musical concepts well.
How does your child’s experience benefit them?
By the time our students leave SK, they should have a strong foundation in pleasurably using their sweet, angelic voices with accurate technique. They should also have a solid understanding of how music works.
The most important goal is that the kids develop a deep love for music both in and out of worship. I want them to realize that music is a beautiful gift from God and to understand that they are equipped and able to share that gift with others. We have immense fun and laughter through our singing, dancing and playing instruments in our time together.
Christ Methodist Day School opened its doors in 1958 to 75 kindergarten students. Since then, CMDS has stayed true to its Christian elementary school roots while continuing to thrive as one of the best private schools in Memphis. Come see why we are the primary choice for so many Memphis families.