Sing and Swing News

Sing and Swing's 10 Year Anniversary Recognized in the Heights Observer
By Jennifer Woda on June 21, 2018

The Heights Oberver, a community newspaper covering Cleveland Heights, featured Co-Directors Jennifer Woda and Rachel Bernstein for their 10th anniversary of Sing and Swing.

Sing and Swing celebrates 10 years

by Shari Nacson

Heights residents Jennifer Woda and Rachel Bernstein attended a Music Together training in 2008 that changed their lives. Inspired by the research-based, developmentally appropriate approach to music education, the classically trained musicians decided to host classes. As educators and friends, they were excited to bring this program to Cleveland.

Thus was born Sing and Swing, a licensed Music Together provider. Classes help families bond through thoughtfully designed music and yoga curricula geared toward young children. Woda and Bernstein have made it their mission to make the program accessible to as many families as possible via numerous class locations and by establishing a Full Circle Scholarship Fund to help families who need financial assistance. Classes are inclusive of all personality styles and behavioral needs. All of the classes are infused with movement, singing and joy. “It’s everything I love,” said Woda. “It’s singing. It’s children. It’s teaching.”

Bernstein explained why her passion for Music Together has endured: “Families who participate often find that, in addition to fostering their children’s music development, they are able to connect with others in a shared music-making community. We feel that in today’s busy, tech-focused world this type of interpersonal connection is vital for both children and adults.”

Woda stressed that everyone can be musical, even adults who feel self-conscious about singing. Often it is through a wish for their child that parents become willing to try something new, themselves. “I personally have grown from Jenny’s teaching,” said Beth Kuritzky of University Heights. During classes, Kuritzky found herself encouraged to improvise and to be proud of her own voice while encouraging her daughter. “Sing out loud, even if you don’t know the words or it feels silly or strange," she urged, "because you may gain a different perspective on who you are and who your kids are, too.”

Sing and Swing was founded on the premise that all children have the right to experience the world through music. Woda pointed out that when making music with a trusted grown-up, kids build perseverance and resiliency. “All children can achieve basic musical competency,” said Woda. Musical competency means singing in tune, keeping a steady beat, and moving rhythmically to the music. This can happen for all children if they are exposed to a variety of music, if musical experimentation is accompanied by a bonded caregiver, and if they are actively music-making, not passively music-consuming. 

In addition to other locations in Northeast Ohio, classes are offered weekly in Cleveland Heights at Disciples Christian Church (3363 Mayfield Road), Mondays at 9:45 a.m., Thursdays at 6:15 p.m., and Fridays at 1 p.m. Upcoming free demo classes are scheduled for June 11, at 9:45 a.m., at the church, and June 22, at 10:30 a.m., at the Noble Neighborhood Branch of Heights Libraries. Because she has a deep affection for her own neighborhood, Woda offers quarterly free demos at the library.

Woda and Bernstein are both longstanding Cleveland Heights residents who have dedicated their careers to increasing access to the arts for all community members. Through their vision and commitment, they have created an evidence-based program that infuses families with joy and strength through music. With an anchor in Cleveland Heights, Sing and Swing helps families connect and helps young children grow through music and movement. 

Visit www.singandswingneo.org to locate a class, schedule a birthday party, or to make a donation to the scholarship fund.

 

View the article online here: here.

Sing and Swing Featured in Today's Family Magazine!
By Jennifer Woda on February 23, 2018

Co-Director Jennifer Woda was interviewed for a featured article "Sing and Swing helps children discover music and yoga while helping families spend quality time together" in Today's Family Magazine for their February, 2018 issue.

By Laura Lytle

For 10 years Sing and Swing NEO has been helping families enrich their daily lives with music. Every day, trained music teachers sit with families as they embrace the many benefits music has for children in their early social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. 

“We wanted to bring the Music Together curriculum to families in our community.  Rachel and I started with a few classes in 2008, and now have daily sessions on the east and west side of Cleveland.  It is most rewarding to see children discovering music and families getting quality time together,” said Jen Woda, co-director of Sing and Swing NEO, LLC.

Integrated music classes for newborn, toddlers and children up to 6 years old and their parents feature singing and dancing while having fun, learning and playing together.  The babies’ music class is designed for infants under nine months to open up the world of music learning.  Everyone is encouraged to join in the fun of the class regardless of age.

“Parents can be insecure at times because we sing and dance in a group, but you don’t have to be an expert.  It’s all about enjoying the music experience together.  Our classes are a great opportunity for parents to socially connect with others outside of a digital world. We have seen many parents become friends and come to back sign up for the next class together,” says Woda.

Generations Music Class brings together children birth through five and their parents, as well as seniors from area residences. The Generations class is as socially beneficial to the “musical grand-friends” as it is for the children.

“Sometimes the integrated music class can appear to be chaotic with infants tasting instruments, toddlers spinning in the corner, and 4-year-olds making up their own words but in tune.  While it is entertaining, the children are always learning.  They are developing early music skills, nurturing their creativity, self-expression and gaining confidence,” said Woda.
Recently, the music classes have expanded to include yoga in Sing and Stretch Yoga.  A two-hour class is held at various locations throughout the week and combines music and yoga to bring families together in harmony.

Sing and Swing NEO also travels to area preschools where the Music Together program is uniquely integrated into the preschool curriculum. Music teachers visit the classroom once a week and leave behind activities and music for the students to practice in school and at home.

“I feel it’s important that parents sing and dance with their children.  Parents are the best developmental models for young children; they copy everything we do.  Engaging a young child with music, enriches that child for life,” added Woda.

Families are always welcome to try a class for free before committing to the 10-week session.  Woda is also available by appointment to discuss how Music Together can be integrated into your preschool.

Spring music classes will begin in March. Register for a Sing and Swing class in your community online at www.singandswingneo.org or call 216-321-SING (7464).  Classes are offered seven days a week in Avon, Rocky River, Lakewood, Tremont, Cleveland Heights, Lyndhurst, Beachwood, Solon, Mentor, Concord and Broadview Heights.

 

Click here to view the article online.

 

Spring Pre-Registration and Open Registraiton are coming!
By Jennifer Woda on February 23, 2018

Currently Enrolled Famlies

Families who are currently enrolled in the Winter Session of Music Together have a special PRE-REGISTRATION period from 2/25-2/28. During this time, these families can use a special pre-registration code to enroll in the spring session before registraiton opens to the general public on March 1. Check your email on 2/25 for the code.

New and Returning Families

Open registration begins on March 1 for the Spring Session. Classes will run from March 18-June 2. Check our schedule page for class start dates. All registration is done online at www.singandswingneo.org.