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SRU students encourage children’s love of music Saturday

From left, Everest, 5, Oakley, 2, and Cassandra Eisenreich participate in Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth. The free event was held Saturday, Feb. 10, at Swope Music Hall on the Slippery Rock University campus. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle

SLIPPERY ROCK — Slippery Rock University students and children alike sang, danced and played together for an interactive music education event held on campus Saturday morning, Feb. 10.

Swope Music Hall was filled with the rattle of percussion instruments shaken by tiny hands, as the student teachers at “Sing, Move, Play” provided an immersive experience for all ages.

Cassandra Eisenreich, associate professor of flute and music education at the university, said the event was completely free to attend for anyone in the community, as the goal was to expose children to a wide range of musical opportunities.

“Everything we do is interactive,” she said of the activities. “Everything is play-based, because that’s how children learn.”

Jenna Diem and Chrystal Sircely, music education and performance majors, led the class while decked in Valentine’s Day gear, and used the power of song to mesmerize the tiny students.

Diem said the volunteer-based classes have two aims: to promote exploring and fun.

“The goal of Sing, Move, Play and all of our community events is to provide musical experiences in the area,” she said.

“I think we just want them to have a musical experience that they remember,” Sircely said.

All of the music education programs put on by the department are structured similarly, according to Eisenreich. Sing, Move, Play began with Diem picking up a ukulele and serenading the children with a “Good Morning” song.

The Valentine’s Day theme flowed through the songs and activities. Throughout the half-hour program, Diem and Sircely taught dance moves for practice in counting, played with the beats of songs, used egg shakers, and even played call and response songs.

According to Eisenreich, the activities teach basic music skills as well as hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Following the music portion, the students gathered into groups with the children and completed crafts, from constructing butterflies out of paper to creating Valentines.

Eisenreich said surrounding babies with music has its benefits, even if they can’t speak.

“Even though they are not able to sing, they hear the voices live, not a recording. A big first step is being immersed in music making,” she said.

Some SRU student volunteers were learning as much as the children by attending the program. One of them was Cooper Sluka, a sophomore.

“It’s very high energy,” he said. ‘It’s so cute to see everyone running around.”

Sluka plans to teach middle school music, and he said seeing the organization of the lesson was helpful as he moves forward in his education.

Sierra Turici said she and her son Zander, who is nearly 2, had never experienced a children’s music class until Sing, Move, Play.

“I’m always looking for something like this to do with him,” she said. “I hope they do more. We’ll definitely come back.”

Angela Smith, of Butler, said she and Brielle, 6, enjoyed the class as well. She added that Brielle was especially fond of the percussion portion of the class.

“Anything she can bang on, she’s doing it,” Angela laughed. “It reminded me of Kindermusik. I thought it was so cute. I loved it, she loved it.”

Eisenreich said she felt her students did an excellent job with the Saturday program, and that it taught them valuable lessons and fostered their creativity.

Sing, Move, Play is one of many programs put on by SRU music education students, Eisenreich said. Their next event, Tuneful Tales, is an interactive concert experience for children taking place April 6. Tickets are free and can be reserved by visiting sru.edu/tickets.

Sing, Move, Play was held in the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. It is an initiative aiming to bring enjoyment and education in music to youth. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Sing, Move, Play was held in the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. It is an initiative aiming to bring enjoyment and education in music to youth. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Sing, Move, Play was held in the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. It is an initiative aiming to bring enjoyment and education in music to youth. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
From left, Everest, 5, Oakley, 2, and Cassandra Eisenreich participate in Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
From left, Everest, 5, Oakley, 2, and Cassandra Eisenreich participate in Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Angela Smith and daughter, Brielle Johnson-Jetter-Smith, 6, participate in in Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
From left, Everest, 5, Oakley, 2, and Cassandra Eisenreich participate in Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Everest, 5, and Oakley, 2, Eisenreich shake egg shakers during Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Angela Smith and daughter, Brielle Johnson-Jetter-Smith, 6, participate in in Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Zander Turici, 1, follows his mom, Sierra, during Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Zander Turici, 1, looks at art supplies during Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Zander Turici, 1, colors a coloring page after Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Oakley Eisenreich, 2, dances during Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Oakley Eisenreich, 2, colors a coloring page after Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Oakley Eisenreich, 2, colors a coloring page after Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Oakley Eisenreich, 2, walks in a circle with his balloon animal during Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)
Angela Smith and daughter, Brielle Johnson-Jetter-Smith, 6, participate in in Sing, Move, Play, an initiative aimed at bringing enjoyment and education in music to youth, which was held at the Swope Music Hall of Slippery Rock University on Saturday, Feb. 10. Morgan Phillips/Butler Eagle (2/10/2024)

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