HOUSTON – Lizzie Oretsky wanted to put her love of music into something that would last in people’s lives. That’s why 18 years ago she started Fundamentally Music, a preschool music school to introduce young children to the joys of music.
“When kids are between the ages of 4 months and 4 years they are developing language, they are developing music skills both at the same time. So what we are doing is teaching them through the music speech patterns, rhythm and pitch --all these things that they are going to need later on if they want to dance or they want to pick up a music instrument or just enjoy music for the rest of their lives,” said Oretsky, owner of the music school.
Although the purpose of the class is to stimulate kids at a critical stage in their lives, there are benefits for adults too, specially new moms.
“It’s a great bonding opportunity, I feel like, between the parent and the child, or the caregiver and the child, or all the family, because they take the music home with them, we do activities in class that they can learn to do at home. And then, our infant program for the babies is a great place for moms and nannies, who are sort of isolated because they are with the babies all day, to meet each other and form and group, where they can meet at class, go out for coffee, sing these songs in their cars, sing these songs with dad during the weekend. It’s really great,” said Oretsky, who performed musical theater professionally for 25 years.
And due to the modern family dynamics, parents and anybody who is part of the child’s life are welcome and expected to participate at these mommy and me classes.
“It takes a village to raise a child, especially these days in our economy, we have a lot of working parents, moms and dads. We got a lot of grandparents who are retiring to help out, we have a lot of nannies who are in these kids' lives five-six days a week. So we really try to accommodate for those people,” said Oretsky.
Parents who attend these classes shared how much their kids love this time at music school.
“It’s amazing because she’s so excited. Like this morning, she knew she was coming here and she was like, 'We are going to music class, daddy.' It’s a great opportunity for her to interact with other people, learn some social skills. She’s gotten much better at accommodating other people, not bumping into people, just little things like that, that’s been very useful," said Daniel Swearingen, who is 2 1/2-year-old Cora's dad.
To see the complete interview, watch the video above.