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'Music Together' Comes to Arena's Performing Arts in Moon

The early-childhood education program pairs kids with parents to sing, dance and listen together.

These aren't your parents' music lessons, Lisa Rae Vaughan said. 

"Drums, jingle bells, shakers, scarves—it's very free-form," said Vaughan, a 20-year music educator from Hopewell. "This is not a teacher standing up there saying, 'You need to know this, or you need to know that.'" 

Vaughan is a certified instructor for "Music Together," an early-childhood music program that pairs kids with their parents as they learn basic musical concepts through singing, dancing and listening. 

"Music education supports all education," Vaughan said. "It helps them to develop those cognitive skills." 

Vaughan's program, offered at the Sweetwater Center for the Arts and the Laughlin's Children's Center in Sewickley, will now have a home at Arena's Performing Arts Centre on Brodhead Road in Moon, where Vaughan will also give voice, string, piano and woodwind lessons to older children and teens under her Lisa Rae Music Studio LLC business. 

Vaughan's program, taught with teacher Lauren Garcia-Slawianowski, will launch at Arena's on Jan. 16. Previous classes had been hosted at the Play Academy preschool in Moon Township. 

She said the classes typically include a dozen children "from birth to 5 years old" alongside their parents or other adults, such as grandparents or nannies.

The grown-ups gather to sing and dance, while toddlers crawl around, tap on a drum, or chant along. 

"Some of it involves getting on the floor and clapping," Vaughan said. "Some of the songs include counting or foreign languages. There are fast songs, slow songs, and some are kind of improvisational." 

Vaughan said parents seek out the program as a way to kick-start their child's education. One of Vaughan's Music Together-devotees began attending classes while pregnant to expose her unborn child to the program's cheery sing-alongs. 

For the younger set, Vaughan also offers a "Babies Music Together," as a class for infants and mothers. 

She said the sessions foster a sense of community among parents who attend. 

"It's constant singing," Vaughan said. "It looks like fun, but it's actually educational. It's inclusive and welcoming of students with special needs. You'll go to a class, but you'll sing and dance along with your child and other families, and then you take that music home with you." 

Vaughan, a Hopewell native whose mother, Natheleen Murphy Vaughan, worked as a music teacher, said the new Moon Township location will allow her to better serve clients in the community. 

"We're now very centrally located," she said. "And we'll really be able to serve communities that have great music programs in the school district, like Moon, Sewickley and West Allegheny." 

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For more on Music Together, visit the international organization's website. To contact Vaughan about attending, visit LisaRaeMusic.com, call 888.547.2723 or email LisaRaeVaughan@yahoo.com

Lisa Rae Vaughan January 08, 2013 at 04:08 PM
Thanks, Jenna, for the article! Classes begin WED Jan 16th at 11:30 a.m. and SAT Jan 19th at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. at Arena's Performing Arts Centre (994 Brodhead). In Sewickley, starting WED Jan 16th at 1:15 pm and THURS Jan 17th at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30 a.m.
Francine January 08, 2013 at 04:33 PM
It was a great time. Me and my daughter were introduced to Music Together at Sweetwater in Sewickley. My daughter at the time was 18mos old. We took the class with Lauren Garcia-Slawianowsk. Now my daughter has been taking piano for about one year now. The relationship with Lauren and my daughter is fantastic and my daughter loves going every week. Thank you Lisa Rae for a wonderful program and wonderful teachers. Francine

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