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More magnificent musical melodies will fill the air this week as Dr. Gregory Schneider kicks off another season of Music Together.
The preschool aged program runs for ten weeks and takes place in both Los Alamos and White Rock.
The classes began this week and will run 10 weeks. Two classes are held Mondays at 9 a.m. in White Rock Town Hall and 5 p.m. at Trinity on the Hill Episcopal Church.
“The goal for the classes is to help children reach Basic Musical Competency,” said Schneider who defines the work as being able to sing a song on pitch from beginning to end and to keep a steady full-body beat.
Schneider throws his whole body into his work as well with a toe-tapping, drum-smacking guitar- strumming session much to the delight of both children and their parents.
“We learn music just like children learn language: by imitation, play, repetition and creation,” Schneider said. “It is a fun time to play with your kids and act silly, all while you are learning the
structural basics of music.”
Schneider and the Music Together curriculum use music from a wide variety of styles and cultures. Each collection has one or more songs in Spanish and other languages as well. As a long time music educator, he can appreciate the quality of the music.
The program provides each family with a copy of the recordings for some light-hearted homework that could include a listen in the car or a dance around the living room in between session. The families receive the disc as part of their registration.
Schneider has more than 20 years experience teaching music to all people of all ages. He
went to graduate school to become a tenure track college professor, but now spends about half of his time working with pre-schoolers. He also teaches Music Appreciation, Group Guitar and Introduction to Opera at the University of New Mexico – Los Alamos, in addition to having a private studio where he teaches guitar, electric bass and composition lessons.
This is Schneider’s fourth year as teacher/director of Music Together of Los Alamos. The program is for youth age 5 and younger and their adult caregivers. “I have had children begin classes as young as 3-weeks-old and can tell you that even at that tender age, they can participate and learn in their own way.”
Schneider believes that all children are musical and they acquire musical skills at the approximately the same age and rate as they do language. “Pitch and rhythm are independent skills that learned separately, but must be coordinated with music application,” Schneider said.
While classes begin this week, late registrations continue through Sept. 28, and additional classes will be scheduled throughout the year. The course costs $160 or $16 a class, plus a registration fee. Schneider is available at 672-9554 and via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.