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Out & About: Kids Get Rhythm at New Upper Valley Music Center Program

  • Parents and children take part in a Music Together Rhythm Kids session at the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News — Liz Sauchelli)

  • Parents and children take part in a Music Together Rhythm Kids session at the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News — Liz Sauchelli)

  • Parents and children take part in a Music Together Rhythm Kids session at the Upper Valley Music Center in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News — Liz Sauchelli)



Valley News Calendar Editor
Monday, January 08, 2018

Lebanon — On a cold Saturday morning, a group of parents and children gathered in a room at the Upper Valley Music Center, the sun streaming through a row of windows. 

The weather outside may have been bitter, but the group of children inside showed no signs of being affected by winter doldrums as they participated in a Music Together Rhythm Kids class led by instructor Gary Barton.

“Hey, hey what do you say,” Barton sang at the beginning, encouraging everyone sitting in the circle to sing along while they kept the beat on various drums. As the song went on, each participant was introduced.

Rhythm Kids is the latest Music Together program being offered by the Upper Valley Music Center this winter. The program includes a mix of singing, dancing and drumming for children ages 4-5. 

And what fun the participants seemed to have during the 45-minute session. There were songs about snowflakes and elephants, and a line-dancing activity that had the entire group laughing. 

“Watch the elephant swing his trunk,” Barton sang at one point. The group used their arms to mimic elephants. They stomped their feet, tiptoed and jumped up and down. Toward the end of the song, Katie Kitchel, Music Together director at the music center, issued what became the favorite instructions of the song. “Elephant stampeding — run away!” The circle scattered around the room, adults chasing children and vice versa. 

While there were instructions associated with each song, kids weren’t corrected if they didn’t follow them to a T. Instead, they were left to explore the music and experiment with rhythms in their own way, Barton’s and Kitchel’s enthusiasm encouraging them along.

Editor’s note: There are two 10-week sessions — one starts on Saturday at 10:15 a.m. and the other on Sunday at 3 p.m. The class fee is $170, with tuition assistance available. For more information or to register, visit http://www.uvmusic.org or call 603-448-1642. Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.