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 #2 – Marcellé in MELKBOSSTRAND.
Marcellé Grobbelaar opened a Wriggle and Rhyme branch in Melkbosstrand at the beginning of 2018. She’s a school teacher by training and mom of 2, having recently given birth to a beautiful baby girl. We caught up with Marcellé this week, to find out what she enjoys about teaching our programme and the highlights of her year so far.
Marcellé, tell us what you enjoy about teaching the Wriggle and Rhyme programme in Melkbosstrand …
Music, teaching and development in children has always been a great passion for me. After saying goodbye to a teaching / counselling career, I now have the amazing privilege of combining my passions in the wonderful musical adventure that is Wriggle and Rhyme.
This is truly a calling and a wonderful way to fully embrace my own journey of motherhood, as well as being present for my own family.
I absolutely love teaching Wriggle and Rhyme, because of the difference it makes to a child’s life!
On a relational level, I absolutely love my mommies (or daddies, nannies and grannies) and little budding musicians. Welcoming them into my home and creating a safe space for growth and stimulation is such a privilege.
Wriggle and Rhyme creates such a nurturing space for relationships and bonding opportunities for adults and their little ones.
Beautiful friendships are also fostered, between children and adults alike.
We have to say “thank you for the music”! Wriggle and Rhyme is such an amazing programme. The themes, ideas and songs are a unique and wonderful way to stimulate young minds. It also encourages adults to embrace their child’s developmental journey, through the wonderful tool of repetition at home.
Thank you for the music!
Your son has enjoyed the toddler classes with you. How has Wriggle and Rhyme impacted your family … and particularly, your son?
It’s never too long before a whole family knows the songs and movements off by heart! This is true for my family too!
The creative use of props and instruments intrigues and gently encourages imaginative thinking, a strong sense of rhythm and a general love for music! The Wriggle and Rhyme songs promote a solid foundation for the development of vocabulary, for both native English speakers, as well as second language speakers.
I can vouch for this, as my son, whose first language is Afrikaans, is developing a wonderful understanding of English concepts and words. Wriggle and Rhyme has really impacted his language development in such a positive way.
I love the fact that Wriggle and Rhyme is proudly South African too!
What can you share about seeing the impact of our music-based learning programme on the children in your classes?
Music does wonders for self-confidence in these little ones! I love it when, after a few classes, the little ones that seemed so shy and quiet at first, start participating. Sometimes this means vigorously shaking their bells, coming up to me to fetch their own instruments, or lovingly hugging one of my puppets.
My heart also melts when a little one comes up to me and starts playing along with me on my instruments, or just wants to sit nearby.
Seeing Mommy or Teacher looking impressed or proud is also a huge confidence booster for the little ones, and strengthens the bond between adult and child.
I love how Wriggle and Rhyme gives children of any type of temperament or personality a chance to shine.
It is also so rewarding to see a child doing the movements to the music and learning to follow instructions.
Wriggle and Rhyme focusses a lot on sequencing, associations and repetition, so it gently establishes a safe and effective learning environment for little ones.
I am often amazed at how even the busiest toddler is drawn back into the programme with certain songs, concepts and sounds.
Mommies often tell me stories of their children making real life associations with the concepts and songs they have learnt in class. That’s just the best feedback ever! To know that what I’m doing in class pulls through into the child’s day-to-day life, is so rewarding.
Do you have any fun or inspirational stories to share from your classes?
I love witnessing the extraordinary development and growth of the children.
I was so wonderfully surprised to welcome back my RHYMERS (toddlers) at the beginning of the year and to see how well they remembered certain concepts and how ready they were to learn.
Their ability to follow instructions (literally a whole class of toddlers), amazed me! It was wonderful to see them all play their drums together, all perfectly in sync with the beat!
It felt like I was conducting a mini percussion band!
The care-givers are super special. Seeing mommies, grannies and nannies encouraging each other, sharing tips and advice and just laughing together is heart-warming.
It’s always interesting to watch parenting at different stages of development. Often the toddler carers will down a glass of water and keep each other company around the sandpit / jungle gym after class.
In contrast, the baby carers often need a good cup of coffee or tea and some time to unwind (after broken sleep the night before!).
How wonderful to provide this restorative space and to get to know these parents and care-givers!
Special friendships are also formed between little ones. Some of them started out at Wriggle and Rhyme as babies and really grow together. This makes it so sad when someone has to leave! We recently said goodbye to two of our special RHYMERS, who were relocating to Germany and New Zealand, respectively.
Often toddlers make their first real friends in class and connect wonderfully through music.