HomeNewsLittle Folkies connects children to the rhythm of music

Little Folkies connects children to the rhythm of music

“If you’ve never done it before, or you can’t sing, if you have no rhythm, just do it anyway,” Alice Hardin said as caretakers and their young children settled onto blankets in a circle around her. 

“Because your kids are going to learn by seeing you. I’m here to teach everybody,” she continued.

As the sun rose in the sky Friday morning, the temperature quickly heated up at Casey Jones Village, where Hardin typically teaches her class. That did not stop the rambunctious group from singing, dancing, and learning. That’s the whole goal of the class, called Little Folkies.

“It is for the kids, but it’s also for the caretakers,” Hardin said, “To learn how to take music home with them. I think a lot of times people who aren’t naturally musically inclined feel intimidated to sing with their kids. The goal is to teach them simple rhythms and things that they can do at home and incorporate it and make music less scary.”

The class was founded in San Francisco by Irena Eide. Now, there are online and in person classes across the country. Alice Hardin’s is one of them. Every month, she welcomes both the “little” and the “big” folkies to her circle.

The songs are a mixture of traditional nursery rhymes, folk songs, and bluegrass songs. Some are meant to introduce the classmates, and others have movements or instrument solos. Each one is catchy, easy to learn, and engaging for the children. 

The kids are able to run and play, catching on when they can. Smaller children giggle while their parents drum on their bellies to the beat of the songs. 

But more than being a lesson, it’s a place for caretakers to connect when that has been so difficult throughout the pandemic, and sometimes even now. 

It’s been a place for people that maybe aren’t religious to come connect because it is a connector. People who are new to town come to class and they make friends that way. They have similar views. They like nature and folk songs. It’s been a great place for people to connect,” Hardin said. 

If you are interested in the Little Folkies class, more information is available at littlefolkies.com.

Julia Ewoldt, julia@jacksonpost.news

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