Gathered in a circle on the floor, some with babies on their laps and others with toddlers and preschoolers next to them or moving around the circle, a small group of Saint Catherine of Siena parents and caregivers attended the first Making Music Praying Twice class in our area this past July. Certified Instructor, Jody Breakell, seated on the floor with the rest, led them all in a welcome song, tapping and swaying to the rhythm and greeting each child by name. Then they folded their hands, bowed their heads, and sang Ave Maria. The next 45 minutes were filled with music and movement, instruments and fun. Many knew the tunes already from the family CD's and songbooks they had received with registration
Early-childhood music classes continue to gain popularity throughout the United States. Parents are attracted by the benefits of early music exposure and the desire to have fun with their children. What makes Making Music Praying Twice different from mainstream programs is a very affordable fee structure and an important added dimension for Catholic families: praying with music and introducing hymns and chants linked to the liturgical year.
Kate Daneluk, creative director of Making Music Praying Twice explains: “When I first tested the program years ago, I wasn’t sure how children so little would respond to prayer time in a class, but music as prayer was something I wanted to give my children." A teacher certified by the Center for Music and Young Children in Princeton, N.J., Kate went on to develop this specifically faith-based music program. Making Music Praying Twice has expanded to over 30 parishes across the country.
“In the first three years of life, the human brain is hardwiring itself at the fastest rate of growth it will ever experience. While this is an inappropriate time for formal education, it is an essential time to have social and environmental stimulation. Exposure to the faithful music of our Church is also more powerful at this early developmental age.” Visit www.makingmusicprayingtwice.com for more information.
Saint Catherine of Siena Church will offer two classes this Fall: Thursdays at 9:30am and Saturdays at 9:30am beginning the week of September 13, 2012. Substantial sibling discounts are available. Classes, which include singing, musical movement and instrument play, meet once a week for about an hour. Families take home books and CDs to reinforce the learning at home.
For registration information visit www.stcath.org.
“Music is a pathway to God. Making Music Praying Twice provides that path by bringing children and parents together on the wings of song. ... While the gift of music education is invaluable, the gift of music combined with prayer is immeasurable.”