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Today's Family Magazine

Sing and Swing helps children discover music and yoga while helping familes find quality time together

By Laura Lytle

For 10 years Sing and Swing NEO has been helping families enrich their daily lives with music. Every day, trained music teachers sit with families as they embrace the many benefits music has for children in their early social, emotional, cognitive and physical development.

“We wanted to bring the Music Together curriculum to families in our community.  Rachel and I started with a few classes in 2008, and now have daily sessions on the east and west side of Cleveland.  It is most rewarding to see children discovering music and families getting quality time together,” said Jen Woda, co-director of Sing and Swing NEO, LLC.

Integrated music classes for newborn, toddlers and children up to 6 years old and their parents feature singing and dancing while having fun, learning and playing together.  The babies’ music class is designed for infants under nine months to open up the world of music learning.  Everyone is encouraged to join in the fun of the class regardless of age.

“Parents can be insecure at times because we sing and dance in a group, but you don’t have to be an expert.  It’s all about enjoying the music experience together.  Our classes are a great opportunity for parents to socially connect with others outside of a digital world. We have seen many parents become friends and come to back sign up for the next class together,” says Woda.

Generations Music Class brings together children birth through five and their parents, as well as seniors from area residences. The Generations class is as socially beneficial to the “musical grand-friends” as it is for the children.

“Sometimes the integrated music class can appear to be chaotic with infants tasting instruments, toddlers spinning in the corner, and 4-year-olds making up their own words but in tune.  While it is entertaining, the children are always learning.  They are developing early music skills, nurturing their creativity, self-expression and gaining confidence,” said Woda.
Recently, the music classes have expanded to include yoga in Sing and Stretch Yoga.  A two-hour class is held at various locations throughout the week and combines music and yoga to bring families together in harmony.

Sing and Swing NEO also travels to area preschools where the Music Together program is uniquely integrated into the preschool curriculum. Music teachers visit the classroom once a week and leave behind activities and music for the students to practice in school and at home.

“I feel it’s important that parents sing and dance with their children.  Parents are the best developmental models for young children; they copy everything we do.  Engaging a young child with music, enriches that child for life,” added Woda.

Families are always welcome to try a class for free before committing to the 10-week session.  Woda is also available by appointment to discuss how Music Together can be integrated into your preschool.

Spring music classes will begin in March. Register for a Sing and Swing class in your community online at or call 216-321-SING (7464).  Classes are offered seven days a week in Avon, Rocky River, Lakewood, Tremont, Cleveland Heights, Lyndhurst, Beachwood, Solon, Mentor, Concord and Broadview Heights.

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