Notes from Sue, Education Director
Friday mornings at the center have become an especially delightful time for the children due to the recent addition of music with Mr. Ben. Ben Thompson, a well-known local children’s musician and music teacher now spends Friday mornings at Peninsula, providing music education to each classroom from toddlers through preschoolers. The children really look forward to their sing-alongs with Mr. Ben and greet him enthusiastically as he walks through the door, guitar in hand. During his sessions the children participate joyously and enthusiastically, singing and moving to the music, waiting patiently for their turn to try the ukulele, and experiencing a rich learning opportunity through music. In addition to all the learning inherent in the songs themselves (language, rhythm, timing, matching pitch, etc) Mr. Ben is great at weaving information about the world of music into his sessions with the children, as well as including early childhood skills like counting and learning the days of the week.
We are thrilled to have Mr. Ben and this wonderful opportunity for the children. Extensive research has been done on the importance of the arts in education. Music education has been shown to increase everything from children’s self-esteem and creativity to their problem solving skills and test scores. There is even research showing that children who have high quality music education earn higher wages later on as adults. Music is also a great community-builder, and that is evident when Mr. Ben is here in the cooperative way the children participate together.
Our teachers are equally enjoying this addition to our program. An example of how catchy and charismatic Mr. Ben is: I went into our resource room to speak with one of our teaching teams during their planning time and caught them singing Mr. Ben’s Rocket Ship Song as they worked preparing classroom materials!
In addition to teaching music in the classrooms, we are also fortunate to have Ben joining us as a parent. His own child attends our Wobbler room and already looks completely at home there, waving happily to visitors from his favorite spot atop the little loft.
To learn more about Mr. Ben, including places in town you can go as a family to enjoy music with him, please visit http://mrbenmusic.com/.