Today we continue our weekly series focussing on our baby and toddler music and movement classes. Each week, we’ve been focussing on a different branch of Wriggle and Rhyme in the seven areas where we offer these classes. Today it’s our final one #7 – Lauren Harper in FISH HOEK.
Lauren joined the Wriggle and Rhyme team in 2014 and started teaching classes from January 2015. This is her 5th year of running our FISH HOEK branch for babies and toddlers.
Lauren is a gifted musician and qualified school teacher. Like all our branch teachers, she’s also a busy mom, juggling part-time work and running a home with 3 children. She’s very involved in music at her church, where her husband is the pastor.
We caught up with Lauren this week as she reflected on the past 5 years. Lauren, tell us about your journey with Wriggle and Rhyme so far …
I have loved teaching Wriggle and Rhyme over the past five years and have seen the business and my branch grow through different seasons. I had the privilege of starting out with my very own Wriggle and Rhyme branch when my youngest son, Jack was just 6 months old.
He went through the full program until he was 3 years old.
Through my son Jack, I got to see first hand the impact and influence of intentional exposure to music on a young developing brain.
Both he and I experienced such joy when he developed and learned to master certain skills and songs.
Now at five years of age, his use of language and his ability to express his emotions, often surprises me (but then, I’m probably biased!).
What do you enjoy about teaching the Wriggle and Rhyme programme?
I love watching little ones grow before my eyes, seeing them able to do something one week that they weren’t able to do the week before.
I also enjoy seeing the delight on the little ones faces when they see it’s time to start our lesson. They hear the familiar frog sound and know the hunt for froggie has begun!
My house is often referred to as “froggie house” by my budding musicians.
It’s such a joy to be able to provide a safe, fun and friendly environment for moms, dads, grandparents and carers to connect with their little ones and other adults.
Probably one of my favorite parts is connecting with other parents during what can be a very lovely, but very overwhelming season of life.
What can you share about your experiences in class and how you’ve seen the incredible effect of music on growing brains?
I have one little boy who loved the shark in our first term theme of “A trip to the seaside” so much, that he asks me every week, without fail, where the shark is. He keeps asking, even though we’re now doing a completely different theme!
I also have a little girl who could easily recognise all the sounds of the farm animals and tell me which animal made the sound. One week, when we heard the pig sound she said that her mommy makes that sound. She had us all in hysterics!
It has been a joy to watch one little boy in particular grow in his ability to respond at the appropriate time with the correct actions and instruments.
He isn’t able to communicate verbally yet and would often choose to just sit and watch.
I know from my experience that children’s brains are like sponges. Although this little chap wasn’t yet participating, he was absorbing it all!
And sure enough, as proof that he was taking it all in, one day he starting clapping in our froggie song at the right time. He could even play instruments at the right time, using a tricky rhythm that we practise each week.
He had his mom and I shedding tears of joy!