Alyce Ward teaches the toddlers of
how to dance, sing, and play music
Photos & Text by Lane Christiansen (Daily
The goal in every parent’s life
is to have their children be happy, smart and successful.
According to Dr. Frances
Rauscher, a Research Psychologist at the Center for Neurobiology of Learning and
Memory at UC Irvine, “Music beats computers at enhancing early childhood
Alyce Ward teaches the Wiggles
N?Tunes(? class out the Talent
Education School of Southern Illinois. The class is designed to gear towards the
age of 8 to 48 months. During the class, students use instruments to give them a
hands-on experience. Children gain and develop a body awareness and coordination
as well as discovering their own singing voice.
In the beginning, Alyce Ward was
an assistant instructor in the music department at SIU starting in 2000. It was
there that she also started the Suzuki Piano Program and the Klassics for Kids
events. When she had her son Anthony, she wanted to not have the late nights at
the office so that she could be home with her husband
Dave Stoecker and her son. It was at that
time that she learned about the national corporation Wiggles N?Tunes(?.
She trained to be a teacher of this program and started it in Carbondale. Since the time
it started, it went from eight students to fifty. Starting in January, Alyce
will be teaching the class at John A.
Logan College once a week.
As the class goes on, singing,
laughing and smiles fill the room. With the development of the Klassics for Kids
events held on the first Tuesday of every month, the children Alyce sees on a
regular basis can come and enjoy the sounds and be a part of the performances of
professional music groups such as the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra.
When a child comes in for their
first class, they could be willing to do everything right away; however, there
are other children who need to be able to join in when they are ready down the
road. The task of speaking in the microphone can seem so simple but for the
students, it is their initial step to expressing themselves in a more complex
way. The majority of the parents will say that they can see their children grow
from the program. For the timid or outgoing child, participating in Wiggles N?
Tunes(?, both will benefit and grow.
watches the orchestra perform for her students from the back of the room at
Altgeld Hall. Left: Students and children wave their arms in
the air while Alyce sings a song with the orchestra. Bottom:
important to be
prepared and organized for every class Alyce teaches.
Heather Shadle. a
mother of three, carries her youngest in while the other two already get
their coats off ready for class with Alyce as their teacher to begin.
Below: Alyce holds the microphone to her student Emma
Francis during a rhythm exercise. The microphone is a training tool that can
only be used when the child is ready and wants to use it.
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