Sounds of the Music: ‘Music Together’ classes | SierraSun.com
Amanda Butler, Sierra Sun

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Sounds of the Music: ‘Music Together’ classes

Music makes the people come together.

It’s a saying that Madonna helped popularize in her song “Music,” but one that Kathryn Hill knows to be true.

Hill teaches the Music Together classes at the North Tahoe Community Center and knows that music brings parents and their small children closer together.

“Initially, I came to Music Together as a parent with my 14-month-old daughter and I found that prelinguistic children were responding to music in miraculous ways.”

As a parent, Hill felt empowered when singing to her daughter and felt that singing was an incredible bonding experience.

Hill, who holds her bachelor’s in education and masters in clinical psychology, decided to offer the classes to North Tahoe, after moving to Truckee in January.

“This is such a family oriented community,” said Hill. “The geographic splendor and focus on families is what made me want to live here.”

Hill’s 45-minute music classes include traditional lullabies, rhythmic chants, movement and instrument jam sessions.

“Did you know every note has a name?” sings Hill, as she uses a xylophone to demonstrate her point. “This is an ‘E’ … Why don’t we all give our kids an ‘E’ kiss,” sings Hill.

On cue, five mothers simultaneously kiss their toddlers, not one of them a bit embarrassed to be singing and moving with the music.

LaVanna Butz brings her daughter, Hannah, to Music Together to learn music and have fun.

“I think it’s important that she’s around other children,” said Butz. “And she just loves the music … it’s great.”

Butz says her daughter comes home wanting to sing all the songs they’ve learned.

Another enthusiastic parent, Nancy Krusell, brings her two children to the classes because of her own love of singing.

“The integration of music in their life is wonderful and the movement is wonderful and … I just really like to sing,” said Krusell.

Hill’s class incorporates instruments and movement to have the toddlers begin to feel rhythm and understand notes and pitch.

“As we develop (in the womb), we are surrounded by an atmosphere of movement and sound,” said Hill. “People are always saying ‘You teach music to babies?’ – but in fact it’s not language that babies recognize, it’s pitch. Babies have their own particular pitch that they coo at and each baby has their own pitch called the pitch center … so it makes sense that they would more readily recognize pitch.”

Starting Wednesday, July 18, Hill will teach a Music Together class in Truckee. She will hold an open demonstration on July 11 at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., for parents interested in the class. For more information about the program or to reserve a space at the demonstration call Kathryn Hill at (530) 587-7622.