A West Kildonan music teacher is bringing rhythm to toddlers in north Winnipeg.
Beginning Sept. 9, Joanne Diplock will begin her Little Miracles music program for children under five at St. John’s Presbyterian Church in the North End.
The free classes will run every Monday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and include lessons for 12 children on the xylophone, glockenspiel, various percussion instruments, along with singing and dancing lessons.
"Even babies can keep a steady beat and sing on pitch," said Diplock.
Diplock, who has taught music professionally for 40 years, said the classes will be built on the Baby Suzuki music philosophy, which involves parents and focuses on teaching through repetition and having children learn from one another.
Along with building a foundation for future musical education, the classes will help children build up everything, including their social, motor and literacy skills, Diplock said.
"Your hearing develops in utero, and young children really live in an aural world," she said.
"They really respond well to sound, so what it’ll do for them, it will help them with language, it’ll help them with reading.
"It really builds confidence in these children because they’re developing these abilities," she said.
Ann Brough, who is co-ordinating the program, said the classes are another way for the church to branch out into the community along with its food bank, community barbecue and Christmas breakfast programs.
"This is for low-income children and parents who wouldn’t normally be able to access a music program otherwise," she said.
There will only be 12 spots for the music program and the church is pairing it with a Play and Learn program that will also serve 12 children and their parents. The plan is to bring in guest speakers regularly to talk about child development, nutrition, budgeting, and even offer up cooking classes, Brough said.
"It’s going to start small, but we hope it’s going to take off and we can do much more with it," she said.
Registration for the program begins Fri., Sept. 6, with classes starting the following Monday. Classes will end in June.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church is located at 251 Bannerman Ave.
For more information, call Brough at 204-793-0251.