March 10 marks the 25th anniversary of the internationally-recognized early childhood music program, Music Together. To celebrate, Music Play Studios is set to host a one hour concert on Sunday at the Monroe Center for the Arts at 3 p.m. Proceeds from the concert will go to the Hoboken Charter School, to help rebuild after a devastating fire last fall. The concert is a part of “The Next Big Thing,” a six-part concert series that was organized by Hoboken Charter School parent Dave Lambert.
“It was kismet that [Dave Lambert] and I talked about this concert,” said Music Play Studios Founder Lisa Orinn. “He said ‘Lisa, I’m putting on a series of concerts for the Hoboken Charter School Fund’ and at the time I was looking for space to put on our twenty-five year concert.”
Meant to be
Orinn is no stranger to the intervention of fate. A bluesy singer from an early age, Orinn was singing in iconic Manhattan venues like CBGB’s as early as eighteen.
“I was a marketing coordinator after that for a magazine, and I was miserable. One day I just walked in and quit,” Orinn said.
Orinn then searched for a way to make money in music. By chance, she found out about Music Together, but thought singing children’s music was not a fit.
“I sat in on a class and I was blown away,” she said. “For me it was magical. Parents and children were interacting musically and I thought how different my life would have been if my parents had sat on the floor with me and sang and played instruments.”
“A lot of my parents call it the ‘magic music’.” – Lisa Orinn
“My parents paid for vocal lessons by junior high, but a lot of the time it was ‘We can’t hear the television’,” joked Orinn.
Once impassioned by the program, Orinn knew within a day that she had to get involved. She credits Lynn Lobban, director of Music Together of Manhattan, for paying the bill for her training to become a teacher.
“I then apprenticed and a spot opened for me to take a class when another teacher decided to study with a guru in India,” Orrin said. “I was so nervous, I wasn’t ready and [Lynn Lobban] was going to sit in on my class. I went in and acted the part. The only thing I had going for me was my voice and my theater background.”
Sixteen years later, Orinn is the founder of Music Play Studios and the Director of Music Together of Hudson County.
What is ‘Music Together?’
Pioneered in 1987, Music Together is a research-based program that offers a curriculum of early childhood music to newborn babies through age seven. It is based on the recognition that all children are musical, and emphasizes parental involvement.
“It is therapeutic,” said Orinn. “A lot of my parents call it the ‘magic music.’ Many of these babies will hear the music at home and suddenly stop crying.”
The core program is mixed ages, from newborn to four years. An average class is six to twelve families. There is also a big kid’s class from age five to seven.
In the area, Music Together has nine locations, said Orinn. Four are in Hoboken, four are in Jersey City and one is in Edgewater.
“The moms and dads are tapping along, rocking the babies, dancing with their child or sitting on the floor using scarves,” Orinn said. “These children are seeing the beat. It’s amazing how the children absorb this. I mean, they hear music in-utero. The children are following along with their parents and they are picking up the disposition to love music.”
Kenneth K. Guilmartin, Founder/Director of Music Together said in a release, “All children have the ability, from birth, to learn music.”
The 25th anniversary will be celebrated by many center directors from all over, Orinn said. Special guest performer Gerry Dignan will be flown in to perform at the Hoboken concert, among others. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children and may be purchased at the door or at musicplaystudios.com/concert-tkts. Juice and snacks for the children will be provided as well as a bake sale put on by Hoboken Charter School students.
For more information, visit www.musicplaystudios.com
Amanda Palasciano may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.