AL ZAGOFSKY/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Rachel DeMicco was looking for a family fun activity for her active three year old son Julius. She discovered Music Together, and when no classes were available locally, she decided to become certified and start a program.
Music Together, the music and movement program for young families, is coming to Carbon County. It will be taught by Rachel DeMicco of Palmerton, and held at Dance with Kim in Lehighton.
Music Together, a program to teach music and movement to youngsters from birth through five years old, has been introducing families to music since 1987, and is musically bonding families in 2,000 communities in 25 countries.
"All children are musical," DeMicco explained. "Music is an inherent skill, such as learning to walk or talk."
"As the mother of a three-year-old," DeMicco said referring to her son, Julius, "I often find myself tuning into parents' conversations in line at the store. Much of what I hear has to do with the activities their children attend."
DeMicco was interested in activities that involved music and movement, were fun, and involved the family. She read about Music Together in a parenting magazine. Unfortunately, the program was not available in Carbon County.
"I looked on their national web site, got to know the program, the values, and the mission of the program, and realized that I could teach it," she said.
DeMicco is a native of Jim Thorpe where she grew up acting in community theater at the Mauch Chunk Opera House. "I always sang," she said. "I wanted to do something in the arts."
She graduated from DeSales University with a Bachelor's degree in theater. At DeSales, DeMicco interned at the school's Shakespeare Festival.
With a group of classmates, she moved to New York City, holding a day job while pounding the pavement looking for auditions. After a year of finding neither fame nor fortune, DeMicco "realized I wanted something different for my life. I wanted a home life. I wanted a sense of financial security. I wanted to settle down and raise a family."
She married, and in time had her first child, "I was home with Julius, and I wanted to learn more about Music Together," she said. "I wanted to get him into a program to introduce him to music and movement. I wasn't ready to send him to dance class, tumble time, karate or gymnastics."
She enrolled to become a certified Music Together instructor and Center Director. She studied at their heir national headquarters, the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, N.J., where she was trained by Lili Levinowitz Ph. D. a co-author of the program, and became a registered instructor and a licensed Center director.
The Music Together program is for families with young children that are looking for an enrichment program that they can bring all their kids to. "If they have a two year old and a newborn, or a five year old and a three year old, this is something they can do together as a family," she said.
Classes are composed of up to 12 children from any combination of families and their parents or caregivers. "Families with children who have special needs are welcome to come," said DeMicco, who has an autistic brother. Because the program is developmentally based, children who are older than five, but are developmentally younger, are encouraged to attend.
At the start of each class, the children and their parents are seated in a circle and DeMicco begins with the Welcome Song, "Hello everybody, so glad to see you…" One song leads to another-percussion instruments, gathering drums, bells, egg-shakers, maracas, and rattles-are passed around, and soon the children are playing around, and marching and dancing.
Music Together with Rachel is offering free demonstration classes on March 7 at 9:45 a.m., March 10 at 10:45 a.m., and March 14 at 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m.
For the current semester, ten-week 45-minute classes will be offered on Mondays: 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. from March 28 to June 13, and on Thursdays: 9:45 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. from March 24 to June 2.