On Monday, October 1, 2012, PIDF Ka Pa‘alana’s Cheri Richards (Preschool Teacher), Cheryl Kekumu (Infant/Toddler Teacher), Dolly Naeole (Preschool Teacher’s Assistant), and Christine Naone (Preschool Teacher’s Assistant) conducted a 2-hour workshop on the importance of music in the early childhood classroom. The workshop, which was titled “How Music Impacts the Lives of our Keiki and Caregivers,” gathered 15 parent/child participation preschool teachers at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard YMCA preschool. The day began with “E Hui E,” a gathering chant used by ‘Anakala ‘Iokepa DeSantos, to bring the participants together. Ka Pa ‘alana staff then started the circle with their good morning song, “Aloha Kakahiaka.”
Dolly Naeole shared her 20-plus years of developmental experience and knowledge by teaching on how music affects the development of infants. She taught the teachers how singing a gentle nursery rhyme while massaging an infant helps in not only securing the parent/child bond but in helping infant development. Cheryl Kekumu, understanding that the YMCA works with a limited budget, shared ideas on how to create low-cost musical instruments by using recycled materials—metal cans, ice cream container tambourines, and plastic bottle shakers. Cheri Richards shared the importance of using and displaying enthusiasm to involve parents and children in the classroom experience. Christine Naeole shared the importance of not only teaching our children but educating parents to be their child’s first and most important teacher.
The participants really got into pretending they were toddlers when everyone stood up and danced to “Tooty Ta” by Dr. Jean, “We are the Dinosaurs” By Laurie Berkner, “Hawaiian Hokey Pokey” and everyone’s favorite “Super Fun Show” by Sean Brown. It was a day filled with making new connections and learning alongside our fellow early childhood educators. What a great experience!