Lauren's teacher started a beginning music class, and I signed Lela up for it. Lela loves music. She sings all the time. She loves the class. The first week was difficult for her because she wasn't quite sure what to do, and she had a hard time keeping up. However, by her third lesson she was whizzing through it. The class has three younger children in it, so she can enjoy it without social pressure. They play bongo drums, sing simple songs with motions, and do a little dancing too.
Watching Lela in this class, populated by mostly two-year-olds, I couldn't help but wish Noah could participate as well. Noah doesn't seem to hear rhythms like other babies do. You can plop a six month old on the floor, turn on some music, and watch them bob up and down to the beat. Noah never did that. He is the typical white boy redneck stereotype. He doesn't dance. That doesn't sound like a big deal, but it actually is. The auditory processors in the brain aren't just for hearing things in the environment. It processes the sounds in music, as well as the rhythms of speech. If a child can't hear and interpret musical rhythms, then there's a good chance they aren't hearing and interpreting speech rhythms either. Which leads to speech delays or difficulties. Which later translates into reading difficulties. Phonological awareness is the foundation for reading, which is the foundation for learning.
So, anyway, I told the teacher that I wished Noah could take the class. Her response? Bring him! I had plenty of reasons why he couldn't do it. He can't sing. He doesn't ever sit still. I'm not sure how well he can follow directions. She was unphased. Bring him, she said. Let's just try it and see how it goes. Well, we did, and it went. The first lesson went better than I thought it would. He didn't have anything to do with the other kids, but he like beating the bongo drums. In fact, he was able to whack his drum to the beat pretty well, which was a nice surprise. At the second lesson, he did a better job of staying with the class, and he seemed to be catching on to the routine of the class. The teacher is very structured, and Noah was quick to pick up on her routine. He needs help with holding rhythm sticks, and he sometimes gets up and runs a quick lap around the room, but I'm able to pull him back in pretty easily. But last week, Oh...My...God...The teacher was leading the class in a welcome song. It's sung to the tune of The Farmer In the Dale.