Area children to experience music through NIU program

By Amy Callaghan

The sounds of children beating drums and playing xylophones will be familiar at NIU’s Music Building for the next eleven Saturdays.

Through the Community Music School, which is affiliated with NIU, children ages 4 through 8 are learning the basics of music through a “Music for Children” course.

The class will meet every Saturday until Dec. 5 from 11 a.m. to noon. Currently the program has 10 children enrolled and space is limited.

“In the class, children are taught the basics of singing, music listening, improvisation, performance, rhythm and ear training,” said Deborah Booth, director of external programs for the NIU College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Carol Stubbs, who teaches the course, said she is focusing on keeping the children interested in music, for the most part.

“I think it is important for children to have a fun, positive experience with music,” Stubbs said. “Discipline will come later.”

Stubbs also said that when a child is between the ages of 4 and 8, it is very important to develop a child’s ear and expose them to a wide variety of music.

Stubbs also serves as the director and founder of the Northern Illinois Children’s Chorus. She also teaches the Suzuki violin class offered by the school. Privately, Stubbs teaches piano, violin and voice.

Booth said other classes offered by the music school are guitar, West African drumming, adult piano lessons, Suzuki piano and violin and private lessons in voice and piano.