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Week of the Young Child

Week of the Young Child

Donna Messer

Thousands of children, early childhood educators, and families across the globe have been celebrating the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s “Week of the Young Child” April 24-28, 2017. It is celebrated by focusing on the early learning and development of children through music, education, good nutrition, creative arts, and the promotion of the well- being of their families.  

In honor of the Week of the Young Child, in the City of Elizabeth, New Jersey, pre-School students were offered a unique musical experience that is a first among Week of the Young Child activities and events in the nation. Children experienced first-hand live music of a family of woodwind instruments in which one member of the family, the soprano recorder, is familiar to many as an instrument for beginners.  However, the Pre-K students in Elizabeth were exposed not only to the soprano, but also to the sopranino, alto, tenor, and bass recorders, the main members of the recorder family.

The program had three parts.  First they listened to early music on recorders of each size. Then they sang, clapped, and marched to “Twinkle” with a focus on the melody, beat, and phrasing in the music, and finally they focused on the spirit, mood, beat and rhythm of music by dancing exuberantly and freely with each other and their teachers to joyful, lively wedding music. This program reached 450 Pre-K children in six schools in Elizabeth, one nursery school in Union, thirty teachers and assistant teachers. The program was designed, developed and implemented by special education resource center teacher Donna Messer.

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