Noah, Music, and Children

Look what came in the mail for Noah, along with a pair of socks!

It reads, “Dear Noah, You knocked our socks off by taking your love of music and turning it into a music program for preschool kids!  Awesome work!”

He did just that, in my class.  Well, also his class many years ago, as a preschooler.  Noah was shy, and he talks about that to this day.  He cried at school… a lot.  I tried everything I knew to help this timid little boy, but without success.  One day I pulled out the autoharp, strummed a few chords, and ta-dah, Noah was immediately captivated.  His tears disappeared, and his love of music began to develop.

I love music, too.  More importantly, I believe it is absolutely fundamental for preschoolers, on many different levels.  Noah is just one example.  Over the years he continued with music; drumming being his passion.  Last year he asked if he could come into my class every few weeks and bring music to the children.  That question was music to my ears (pun intended).

And then, I got to stand back and watch magic happen.  His visits quickly became called, ‘Noah Days’ by the children.   All I had to say was, “It’s a Noah Day”, and immediately children were eager for not only his music, but for him.  He understood children.  He had the touch.

Little did I know that Noah’s college essay would include his music in the Aqua Room!

The theme of the essay was based on Muriel Barbery’s 2004 novel, The Elegance of the Hedgehog, finding beauty in life, and the importance of capturing moments of “always within never”.  Here is an excerpt from his essay:

I wanted to be able to spread my “always” to others and I was able to achieve this by reaching out to a local preschool and organizing a program where I brought instruments into a class for the children. I played the instrument, let all of them try it, and then talked to them about how it worked. At first, I was skeptical of the idea and was worried that I would be turned down, or that the children would not take interest in me, but I remembered how I felt in their shoes, and how I would have loved having hands on music to get involved with at such a young age. Music was the reason that I came out of my shell, and I wanted to be able to give that to someone. Even if it was one child, I would feel like I succeeded. I could always spot the shy children, the ones who may not have the courage to get involved, clinging to the teacher. Sure enough, I was able to get every kid involved and smiling. To me that was a moment of always within never. In all, I am happy I got to share my talent in the sense that, not only did I get the chance to share music with the children, but I also made lasting connections and served as a mentor for these kids.

One of my goals in college is to continue working with children to provide this support system for them, and help them to come out of their shells. Music shaped my life and I hope to give someone else that opportunity because to me, experiencing new things is the only way to find an “always within never, beauty in this world.”

I am so proud of you, Noah!  Thank you for making a difference.


About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
This entry was posted in Early Education, Expressing words and feelings, Giving, music, Teaching young children and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Noah, Music, and Children

  1. Peter Klopp says:

    Wonderful story of how one person with a passion for music can make a difference!

  2. Opher says:

    Fabulous! We need more talented people like that to help our children develop and grow.

  3. Ritu says:

    How wonderful!!!!

  4. Sue Vincent says:

    That’s really beautiful, Jennie. You must be so proud of him!

  5. Dehan Taylor says:

    This is great Jennie! Noah is really a star.

  6. beetleypete says:

    I never cease to be overwhelmed by how your children return to your class as adults. That is indeed the best testament to the effect you had on them. Well done Noah, and well done to you too, Jennie.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  7. Well done to you, Jennie, for setting thing young child on the road to a love of music and development of a talent. Music is such a wonderful thing.

  8. Darlene says:

    What an amazing story! It is so wonderful when young people are willing to give back. It gives one faith in human nature and hope for a positive tomorrow. And it all started with you, Jennie!

  9. I sooooo relate to your post. This young man is on the true path of being a ‘working musician’…the real movers and shakers in the arts.
    And how precious to learn of your influence on him – teachers don’t always get that type of ‘full circle’ experience.
    Kudos to you both!

  10. Tina Frisco says:

    Doesn’t this just knock YOUR socks off, Jennie? To know that one has made a difference in the world is the greatest honor. Wishing you a New Year filled with joy, love, peace, and laughter, my friend ❤

    • Jennie says:

      Yes it does, Tina. Big WOW! I really think this goes to show that each little thing we do for others is really a big thing. One never knows that their words or actions might make a tremendous difference. I had NO idea that Noah wrote about my classroom in his college essay. Big wow, indeed. Wishing you a terrific New Year, my friend. 😍

  11. Norah says:

    This is just wonderful, Jennie. Your stories warm my heart with each one I read. Such a testimony to your teaching is Noah’s return to pay it forward, ripples spreading ever outwards. We may never know the effect of our actions, but when we do, it’s magic. It’s helping each individual find the key that unlocks their potential.

  12. Dan Antion says:

    What a wonderful story of helping others and helping yourself. This is how life is supposed to work!

  13. sjhigbee says:

    What a fabulous example of paying it forward:)). If everyone did the same, the world would be a far better place.

  14. Yikes, Jennie. I wasn’t expecting a tear-jerker. What a beautiful story about the power of music and a wonderful heartfelt letter. So touching. Changing the life of even just one child is a treasure. ❤

  15. I loved reading how your influence trickled down to influence so many more children. That is a young man with great heart. You have obviously touched his heart.

  16. I tested up reading this! Such a wonderful experience. Congratulations Jennie! And to Noah, of course!

  17. reocochran says:

    You started the musical “ball rolling!” You lifted the sad and nervous right out of Noah. 🎶🎼

  18. Lovely! Congrats to Noah and all who benefit from his experience and love for music.

  19. Christy B says:

    This is such great news! Well done to all who are gaining the love now 🙂 ❤

  20. Congratulations to Noah on his well-deserved acceptance. Such a fun touch for them to throw in a pair of socks!

  21. ren says:

    Very special! I do not understand the socks?

  22. Sigh… the joy you spread, Jennie! Purely wonderful. The combination of your introduction describing Noah and what he did, and then the essay. Well done. Hugs!

  23. Such a beautiful story to stumble upon this morning! Thank you 🙂

  24. igotitforyou2 says:

    Reblogged this on You are becoming more each day and commented:
    Angels come in all different ways 💖💖💖

  25. With shy ones, and I was incredibly quiet, a caring adult such as yourself is essential in a child’s development. Where were you when I could have used you? Of course, that would be impossible as I’m sure my ancient self is much older than you. 🙂

  26. willedare says:

    What a terrific story! I found your blog by entering “music” into the search field on WordPress. Three mornings each week I lead Music Together classes in Arlington, MA, and everything you and Noah observed, experienced, acted upon, and then wrote about sounds sweetly familiar. Interacting with other human beings — from tiny babies to folks on their death bed — using music can be a very profound experience for everyone involved… Hurrah for you and your classroom and your autoharp and your open heart — and for Noah, too!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you so much! And, thank you for leading a Music Together class. Music is so important. Children need it every day. Adults do, too. Music (and reading books aloud) is how I really connect with children. My first blog post was about music, and it keeps going. Noah, and of course the autoharp are the best. 🙂

  27. Music and children.. just go together.

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