Joe Wiseman, Director of Learning, C5 Children's School
In this interview, C5 Children’s School Director of Learning Joe Weisman shares how Music Together has benefitted his school in San Francisco CA.
Music Together has been part of the core curriculum at your school's centers since 2003. How did you become involved, and how many classrooms utilize the program now?
Back in the summer of 2003, the sister of one of our parents, who is an accomplished violinist and singer, was looking for a music program for her children’s preschool. She decided that Music Together was the best, and recommended that we also bring the program to C5. After doing our own research, we agreed that it was the best and underwrote the weekly classes. At the end of the semester, we surveyed all of our families to find out if they wanted to continue—100% said yes!
Two teachers and myself attended the Music Together teacher training, and we’ve been teaching the classes ourselves ever since. We now hire new staff members with musical affinities and have them trained by Music Together so they can conduct the weekly sessions in their classrooms. These musically skilled staff members see this as a professional development benefit. They are grateful to be able to deliver a high-quality music and movement program as part of their preschool teaching experience.
What have you found rewarding about offering Music Together at your school?
Music Together has many benefits to our school community. It attracts prospective families to enroll and reinforces that parents have made the best decision in choosing our school. Participating in Music Together helps our children’s learning groups to bond and develop group awareness, sensitivity, and effective process skills that can be applied during the rest of the day. It has helped to improve every aspect of our school’s curriculum, since the weekly Music Together sessions and music and lyrics from them permeate many of the other activities throughout the days in each classroom.
It also creates another way to bond the whole school community. We provide three song collections every year to all of our classrooms and learning groups, from the infants, who are six weeks old, up to our pre-kindergarten children, who are four to six years old, and all the children enjoy the same songs at the same time.
Music Together is an element that goes home with families from the beginning of their time with us, drawing parents and extended family members into the program. The family materials act as a bridge between home and school, engaging them at home, while traveling to and from school, and when visiting relatives or on vacations. It’s is an intermediary for caregivers to engage their child and extend learning and family bonding.
—Joe Wiseman, Director of Learning, C5 Children's School, San Francisco CA