Wiggles N?Tunes (?

Alyce Ward teaches the toddlers of Carbondale how to dance, sing, and play music

Photos & Text by Lane Christiansen (Daily Egyptian)

The goal in every parent’s life is to have their children be happy, smart and successful. Amelia applauds the performance

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 development.?

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.

Alyce watches the orchestra performStudents and children wave their arms

Top: Alyce 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: It is important to be prepared and organized for every class Alyce teaches.It is important to be prepared and organized


a mother of three, carries her youngest in

Right: 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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