Today we continue our weekly series focussing on our baby and toddler music and movement classes. Each week, we’re focussing on a different branch of Wriggle and Rhyme in the seven different areas where we offer these classes. Today it’s #6 – Robyn Jepson in MEADOWRIDGE.
Robyn is a qualified music teacher, with a Masters degree in music from UCT. She runs her own music studio from home http://www.robynleejepson.com where she teaches clarinet, saxophone, recorder and music theory.
In 2015, Robyn started Wriggle and Rhyme classes at her music studio to complement the other private music lessons that she offers.
She’s been teaching our music programme for babies and toddlers at her Meadowridge studio every since.
Robyn is married to Stewart and they have an (almost) 2 year old son.
We caught up with Robyn this week to find out what she loves about teaching the Wriggle and Rhyme programme. Robyn, tell us more …
Starting Wriggle and Rhyme was the perfect completion to running a music studio from home.
It allowed me to fulfill my dream of having my own business, as it filled the morning slots and allowed for me to offer music for all ages. I’ve even had the special privilege of teaching a partially deaf girl (she has cochlear implants) to play the clarinet and saxophone.
Music doesn’t know age! It can reach everyone, it doesn’t matter how old or young you are.
So my journey as a music teacher has afforded me the opportunity to work with and meet many different kinds of people.
As someone who has taught music to many different levels of students, I firmly believe that the earlier one can start learning, the better.
I appreciate Wriggle and Rhyme for the foundation that it sets for future musicians.
Through my years of teaching the Wriggle and Rhyme programme, I’ve seen the benefit of repetition as a learning tool for babies and toddlers. I’ve also seen how musical concepts like pitch and pulse are reinforced in such a gentle and accessible way.
Research shows how these, as well as other music elements, help children in speech development (and even reading at a later stage), as their brains are growing.
What I have found most rewarding as a music teacher, is to see the love of music grow in such little people.
As a music teacher, what has surprised you about teaching a baby and toddler music programme, compared to teaching older students?
When I first started teaching Wriggle and Rhyme 4 years ago, I remember being asked by a mom if 6 months old was too young to start.
But, my experience continually proves that it isn’t! Over the years, I have had the joy of watching so many little eyes staring at me in awe as the class begins. It’s just incredible to see how much children absorb, even at such a young age. Music is such a powerful catalyst for learning and development.
It is so special to watch these little faces glow with excitement as they arrive at class each week.
When a baby claps for the first time, or starts singing along to a song, it just reinforces the enormous wealth of learning and stimulation that is happening through the Wriggle and Rhyme programme.
Or, when a toddler stands up to start marching with the ants, you can see how music is sparking their imagination and bringing things to life for them.
It really is so rewarding to be part of a child’s musical journey, from such a young age!
What has Wriggle and Rhyme meant for you and your family?
My beginnings with Wriggle and Rhymes started differently to most, as I did not have any children at the time.
My son will be 2 in July, and I can honestly say that having a Wriggle and Rhyme branch has been the perfect fit for starting a family.
While I was pregnant I received so much support and helpful advice from the moms in my classes. Since my little man was born, it has been so wonderful to have moms to journey with, learn from and bounce ideas off about parenting.
My son, Devon loves to sing and dance, as he has been surrounded by music since before he was born. He has also had instant friends from the classes that he attends with me.
Wriggle and Rhyme has been such a perfect fit for my family and I’m so grateful to be part of it.