These activities increase their pre-literacy, language and socialization skills and aid in teacher confidence in using music purposefully. Scientists, therapists, parents and teachers agree that when a child is exposed to music at an early age, his or her chances for academic success later in life increase exponentially.
Since 1999, the Rock Hall has partnered with the University Hospitals, Beck Center for the Arts, and Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland Head Start to teach Cleveland's underserved three to five year olds and their teachers. Dr. Deforia Lane, a nationally known music therapist, leads eight music therapists who work with the toddlers twice a week.
Toddler Rock has been a testament to the wonder and efficacy of music. There is a palpable burst of energy when 300 pairs of little feet skip through the huge glass doors into the lobby embellished with cars, guitars and neon signs pointing the way to music and learning. I love to watch the eyes of the children when they recognize the letter of the day on one of the Rock Hall walls or when they shout out "That's my acoustic guitar!" as they pass an exhibit, or "that's Otis Redding in that picture.” I know then that we are impacting their mind, their spirit and their future.
“The Jackson Five sang about the ABCs. Aretha Franklin taught us how to spell RESPECT. So why not teach your toddler the basics with a beat…now that’s a good idea!”