Thanks to the fundraising efforts of local parents, the music students at Little Tree Music Together are now learning the magic of gathering through song.
Jill Marie Calitz, a mother with children in class, was inspired by the drumming in a Children’sShowcase performance by Aché Brasil.
“I had mentioned it to (teacher) Maiya (Robbie) and that’s when she said she wanted to get some group drums. I thought that would be fun for the class,” Calitz said.
She sneakily probed about what would be needed to get the drums into the classes. Then Calitz approached the families of Robbie’s students with some pitching in across the valley.
“I was really shocked at how willing everybody was. To me it speaks volumes to what Maiya does for children and the community. So it was a really fun thing, we kept it a surprise and didn’t tell her, nobody spilled the beans. So she was pretty floored,” Calitz said.
Over $300 was raised by around 30 parents. Calitz has two children in Robbie’s classes.
“My almost three-year-old has been in (classes) since she’s been I think six or seven months. She absolutely loves it. She has a bit of a speech delay, but music, she loves the dance, doing the actions, and now she’s picking up the words as well,” Calitz said. “It’s been rewarding for me to see her enjoy it and Maiya is extremely gifted and talented.”
Robbie was not expecting the donations, which were presented to her around Christmas.
“They surprised me at a class with that, it was incredible,” Robbie said.
Robbie’s class is not performance-based, but instead shows young ones the inherent power in creating music yourself.
“The main kind of purpose of the class is to show little ones that our bodies are made for making music. That music is a birthright. It’s not something we need to outsource or just consume. That we also make music ourselves,” Robbie said.
Nicole Huey has had children in Robbie’s classes starting in spring 2015 and was one of the parents who donated to secure the gathering drums.
“(My daughter) loves it. She builds on all the skills with the songs, she sings the songs at home.She totally loves it. She looks forward to it every week,” Huey said. “The kids are just so engaged and look forward to the instrument time, so to have something where a bunch of the kids can gather co-operatively is going to be wonderful.”
Robbie was aiming to get two drums with the funds when a parent with a child in guitar lessons had informed Robbie he was going to match the donations.
“The kids loved it, of course, they jumped right in and played. Of course a couple of the kids were just waiting and observing which is awesome, actually a huge part of class is allowing for all different kinds of a learning,” Robbie said.
Those interested can learn more at www.littletreemusic together.com.