Today we continue our weekly series focussing on our baby and toddler music and movement classes. Each week, we’ll be focussing on a different branch of Wriggle and Rhyme in the seven different areas where we offer these classes. Today it’s #3 – Lucinda in RONDEBOSCH.
Lucinda Brown opened a Wriggle and Rhyme branch in Rondebosch in 2015. She absolutely loves working with people and has really enjoyed the relational aspects of Wriggle and Rhyme. She also has two gorgeous boys of her own, who are now at primary school.
We caught up with Lucinda this week, to find out how things are going at Wriggle and Rhyme RONDEBOSCH and her highlights so far.
Lucinda, this is your 4th year of teaching Wriggle and Rhyme? Why has it been such a good fit for you?
Wriggle and Rhyme ticks so many boxes for me, my family and the community of parents that benefit from having a safe, happy, musical space to bond with their little ones.
I am primarily relational, so when I stopped working full time to have my two boys, I really missed the relationships with clients and colleagues who had become like family. I have that again with Wriggle and Rhyme!
The best part is that strangers come into my home and leave as friends!
I have made wonderful friends with neighbours that I never knew I had! Bumping into past parents and their little (now big) ones at the shops is the best.
I love hearing how they still sing their favourite songs and hearing how worn out their Wriggle and Rhyme CDs are, from regular listening, always makes me smile.
What has Wriggle and Rhyme meant for your own family?
The flexibily of working from home has meant a great deal to my husband and I.
I can be present for my boys during school holidays and do school pick ups. I also get to offer lifts for outings and sport!
Wriggle and Rhyme helps me contribute to the household finances and show my boys that work is good and can even be fun!
I remember when I first attended Wriggle and Rhyme as a mom with my second son. I was so grateful for that hour. I felt that I had achieved special one-on-one time with my boy, before rushing off to do all the errands and fetching his brother from playschool.
He was able to continue with his musical adventures into pre Grade R, as his pre-school offered Wriggle and Rhyme as an extra mural.
I have seen the benefits of Wriggle and Rhyme classes in my own son’s development!
Music brings confidence, boosts imagination, develops language skills and gets us moving!
Wriggle and Rhyme is for parents too …
Our groups are small, with a maximum of 8 children, so we really do life together. It is so special when moms return with siblings for the second, and even third time!
Raising children is sometimes hard and at times emotionally and physically exhausting. How satisfying that I can make a difference in someone’s day by serving them a simple cup of coffee after class.
We can then, together with others at a similar stage of life, help fill up depleted emotional tanks and send the carers off with a caffeine hit!
Music at Wriggle and Rhyme is fun and makes us all happy, even the adult carers! It triggers positive emotions and endorphins for everyone. We always say our music classes are a full brain workout and I experience that too, just by teaching our budding musicians to explore their world through catchy, memorable songs.
Special milestones sometimes happen during our classes …
My own family is all boys – even our sweet cat Naartjie, who has become a draw card to many children, is a male cat! So, Wriggle and Rhyme gives me a chance to enjoy some “girl energy” from the adorable little girls that attend our Rondebosch branch.
Witnessing one of our Wrigglers taking her first couple of steps with confidence across the room, as we sang and shook our shakers, was such a delight and a great memory. She was distracted by the music and got to enjoy the thrill of mastering walking with her mom and a very supportive audience!
What special experiences have highlighted for you the amazing effect of music on developing brains?
Self confidence stands out to me as a huge benefit of attending Wriggle and Rhyme.
We get to watch how the repetition of songs that tell a story over our 8 week programme, offers a safe place for little ones to grow in confidence. They know what to expect because the music prompts them to learn how to greet everyone, how we end our program with waving goodbye (and a hug, if I am lucky!) .
Even something simple like the routine of packing away our blocks and instruments after playing with them, builds their confidence to participate and do things for themselves.
Wriggle and Rhyme gently prompts social skills like SHARING.
Sharing is tough, even for adults, so how much harder for a little one to learn, at this age where their world revolves around themselves.
But, our musical mascot Froggie, a firm favourite with the children and carers, helps achieve this valuable social skill. The children learn the value of sharing and interacting with others as they pass Froggie around their circle of friends, after hugging him or popping him on their heads.
The music takes the pressure off learning to share and dealing with disappointment, when Froggie moves on or when the time comes for the puppets return to the box.
The sense of achievement they display when they are able to manage those emotions is priceless.
Music with developmental delays …
I have two children in my classes who have some developmental issues due to medical challenges at birth. When, by the third or fourth class they bravely ventured from their carer’s lap into the middle of our circle, it was cause for much celebration.
I remember fondly a boy who came to Wriggle and Rhyme who was partially blind and how unsettled he was initially.
However, as soon as the programme started, he would relax and start swaying in time to the tempo set by my instrument.
His facial expression would change into a happy smile as he moved to the sound of the music.
I see the amazing effect music has on our non-verbal children too who are able to participate, when sometimes they may be excluded from our busy world. It’s very beautiful to witness and share with parents who testify to the benefits of their children being in a small musical environment.
Listening and following instructions are skills that improve over time. Music helps to foster these skills. Choosing the next instrument to play or copying the actions, all boost these necessary techniques in life. They are tough skills to develop and I see in every class how music delivers.
Language development too is evident through our rhyming songs which are reinforced with actions.
Language attaches to our memory in an amazing way when we sing – plus, it’s just easier to learn to music and more fun!
Taking Wriggle and Rhyme home …
I love hearing positive feedback and seeing little video clips of Wrigglers and Rhymers who are singing the words from class in the bath at full throttle.
They may not necessarily take part in class always but the inner MUSICIAN comes out at home!
I paticularly loved hearing how two little girls, in separate homes, had set up their rooms like a Wriggle and Rhyme class. Cushions in a circle, toys becoming their friends, kicking off their shoes like I do and becoming “Teacher Lucinda” with the hello song. These little ones take it all in!
What a joy and a huge privilege to play a small part in their development and life story!