Like a lot of businesses and organizations, the Pandemic threw Tacie O’Sheehan and her Music Together Center for a bit of a loop three years ago – sidetracking its momentum until just recently. She’s now about to relaunch the early childhood music and movement program later this month at Grace Church.
“Someone previously had a Music Together Center here on the island,” O’Sheehan recalls, “and a few months before the pandemic, she had asked me to take it over for her because she was moving. I moved out here (from the Midwest) to do just that, but everything fell through with the arrival of Covid. It’s taken me some time to get things going again as I’ve had to start from the ground up now, but I’m excited to share Music Together with (Island) families here.”
O’Sheehan is originally from Wisconsin, and has been working both internationally and domestically in anti-trafficking with children of all ages, while also playing guitar, violin, piano and ukulele both in her work, as well as in her community for fun.
Her background is in child/human development, trauma sensitive mental health care, and counseling psychology. “I am most passionate about the healing beauty of relationships, and am thrilled to be able to provide a place of community and connection where parents can deepen their relationship with their own little ones, while also forming new relationships with other parents.”
Music Together (https://www.musictogether.com) is a worldwide organization with some 3,000 locations in 40 countries. The movement and music approach focuses on children from birth to age five and the grownups “who love them!”
Its focal point is “bringing families and communities together, and helping parents connect with their little ones,” O’Sheehan says. “The simple and enjoyable act of making music with your child naturally fosters important social and emotional skills, such as self-regulation, self-confidence, leadership skills, social skills, and socio-emotional intelligence, all while strengthening your bond with your child.”
O’Sheehan doesn’t have a degree in music per se, but is a licensed Music Together center director and teacher through their program development, which requires extensive training and continued education yearly.
“All my lessons are informed by early childhood music development,” O’Sheehan remarks. “It’s more than just kids and their parents playing instruments together; it’s about fostering early childhood music development. I’ve had to do a lot of training to be able to teach this!”
She continues, “with my background in child/human development and counseling psychology, I am most passionate about the healing beauty of relationships, and am thrilled to be able to provide a place of community and connection through the gift of music, where parents can deepen their relationship with their own little ones, while also forming new relationships with other parents. This is what drives me and why I like doing this. I care deeply about community and relationships, and love music.”
Music Together Island Songbirds – O’Sheehan’s name for her program – will hold classes at Grace Church, 8595 NE Day Road, Tuesdays and Fridays at 10:30am, September 26th through December 8th. If there’s enough interest, she is also considering offering a Monday afternoon class this term, which would then start September 25th.
Classes run in ten-week terms, with new songs to enjoy and more to learn every semester. Tuition for the 10-week semester is $245, and includes a weekly 45-minute class, a professionally recorded CD, a downloadable song code to access an online Family Music zone, and a songbook and parent guide on how your child is developing musically. There’s a sibling discount of $200 for a second child.
Says O’Sheehan, “Come sing, wiggle, dance and play with your infant or toddler this fall, and connect with other parents!”
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