By Emily Olmsted
My name is Emily Olmsted and I’m a Washington, DC native and current Southwester bringing the joy of children’s music and movement classes to the Southwest Waterfront community!
I am the owner and teacher at City Sing And Play, a new licensed Music Together® center in the heart of the Southwest Waterfront community. Music Together® is an internationally recognized early childhood music and movement program for children ages birth through grade two. The Music Together curriculum was co-authored in 1987 by Kenneth K. Guilmartin and Rowan University Professor Emeritus of Music Education Dr. Lili M. Levinowitz. The program offers families, schools, at-risk populations, and children with special needs in more than 3,000 communities in over 40 countries an opportunity to learn through music. I am passionately committed to bringing children and their caregivers closer through shared music-making while helping people discover the joy and educational value of early music experiences.
I was first introduced to Music Together® classes as a caregiver myself. My charge and I attended the program for nearly two years (5 song collections). From the first semester, however, I was immediately hooked! I was especially intrigued by the program’s variety of musical styles, rhythmic chants, dances, instruments, and concentration on informal music education for both children and their caregivers. Once the child I had watched started attending school, I knew my next step would be to continue my Music Together® journey as a teacher of the fantastic program. After having taught the program for 4 years on Capitol Hill and in Bloomingdale with a different center, I decided to open her own center and pursue a career with Music Together® in my own neighborhood in Southwest.
Having been in DC my whole life, I’ve watched the Southwest Waterfront community change and evolve. Ever since moving to the neighborhood in 2016, I have seen drastic changes and revitalization of the neighborhood. With all the new developments, I saw the need for more activities for babies and children in the community and acted on it accordingly! With City Sing And Play open, the Southwest Waterfront community finally has the world renowned Music Together® program right in its metaphorical backyard. Children and families, alike, have the opportunity to sing, dance, play, and learn all while staying in our beloved Southwest neighborhood.
I truly believe that all people possess the capacity to be musical and hope to encourage the love and wonder of music that is in all of us!
One of the core tenets of Music Together® is “music learning supports all learning”— a statement I whole-heartedly adhere to. Through music we learn history, language, literacy, mathematics, science, technology, sociology, and so much more. And like any language or concept, the earlier children are exposed, the more facile and comfortable they will be with the subject growing up. Our world could use a little more empathy and joy and music-making with kids is about the purest form of magic there is.
Mixed-age classes for children ages 0-5 and their parents or caregivers are held for 10-week long semesters. Classes are offered Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings at 10 a.m. at St Matthew’s Lutheran Church at 222 M St. SW. Try a class for FREE any time to see firsthand the magic of Music Together®!
Visit www.citysingandplay.com for more information.