As a teaching artist with the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, I have worked with teachers of students in preK and Kindergarten to provide arts-based teaching strategies in a professional development residency format. In other words, I go into these teacher’s classrooms and share songs, games and exercises that the teachers can then continue to use and modify. One of the criteria for the strategies I pass on to the teachers is “age-appropriateness” (if that’s a word, probably not, but you get the idea). The effort to develop and pass on age appropriate arts-based teaching strategies has been eye opening and at times humbling. Children in the preK and K age range are all SO DIFFERENT! (come to think of it, all kids are…hmmm). It’s really challenging to find common ground in a classroom of these enthusiastic young learners. We focus on objectives like steady beat, recognizing patterns, gross motor skills and phonemic awareness.

Natalie Elizabeth Weiss started Baby DJ School in September 2013. She introduces parents and their infant children to the art of computer-based mixing using digital controllers and software. She has composed songs that help deliver the content in an engaging, age appropriate way. In a lot of ways, her work is comparable to the work I do through the Wolf Trap Institute. My own personal opinion is that Natalie is doing some cool work. What do you think?

About The Author

Max is a professional beatboxer and teaching artist. He enjoys teaching and performing for audiences of all ages.

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