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Welcome to WeBop: 5 reasons jazz is good for kids

Posted On Sep 3, 2019, 09:55 AM by Kamrin Baker

Do you remember when you learned to decipher the sound of a drum? What about the first time you saw someone tickle the ivories? Now is the time to form those special musical memories with your kiddos.

Starting September 23, our newest session of WeBop kicks off. WeBop is an early childhood education program for children ages 2-5 and their parents. They can all stomp, strut and swing to the joyous rhythms of jazz together. The eight 45-minute classes were developed by Jazz at Lincoln Center and offer an outlet to explore jazz through movement, songs, storytelling and play.

Whew! We are so excited.

This session’s curriculum is “Meet the Jazz Band” and will focus on the exploration and appreciation of jazz instruments. Time to tune the piano and clean the trumpet!

Of course, WeBop is an outstanding way for parents and guardians to connect with their little ones through music, but did you know that jazz is educationally and developmentally beneficial for you and your child?

I dove into the research about the educational benefits of jazz—and then I called my mom to ask if she played Louis Armstrong on a loop when I was learning to crawl…

Children smile during a WeBop class

1. Jazz, and its history in America, are amazing avenues to learn about diversity and inclusion.

Jazz is an art form product of the multicultural richness that stems from New Orleans, Louisiana. It became an intersection for different cultures (especially between those who came to the U.S. by force or by choice) to express themselves musically. Therefore, it’s an excellent tool to spark a conversation about diversity, integration and democracy.

A mother smiles as her two children play with small instruments

2. Music is a playful way to access learning.

Early childhood learning often emphasizes play as an educational tool, because it is so accessible to children. Since musicians play instruments and performers dance to the beat, jazz is a wonderful way to reach kids. Plus, rhythms help toddlers learn how to count!

Child plays with an instrument during WeBop class

3. Jazz promotes stress reduction.

Not only will parents who enjoy WeBop have a little break from #ParentLife, but their little ones can develop relax and develop happy memories during this time.

A little boy plays the drum in WeBop

4. Learning jazz is one of the best ways for young minds to develop.

Researchers have found that jazz band students are high achievers, because their training in jazz has shaped their brains to rock at things like hand-eye coordination, memorization, discipline, patience, critical and creative thinking, intellectual engagement with others and confidence. OK, where do I sign up?!

A parent and their child dance along in WeBop

5. Jazz might just be good for your heart.

Getting up to move and groove with your kiddo? That will raise your heart rate, lower blood pressure by expanding blood vessels by up to 30 percent and boost productivity! What a perfect way to teach them a lesson about taking care of themselves — and having fun while doing it. While there is not much research with conclusive evidence about jazz keeping your heart healthy, we think WeBop will pump up the jam enough to get you moving!

To learn more about WeBop, visit OmahaPerformingArts.org/WeBop!


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