Rockin’ and Readin’ PLUS

Since writing my original post on Rockin’ and Readin’ at the Library, a program where I offer music sessions for babies, toddlers, and children at local libraries, I have gotten tons of emails! The majority of these emails are from other music therapists who are interested in starting  up similar programs in their area. Yay!! I figured that if I have gotten that many emails, there may be others out there with similar questions. So, I decided to address them here for anyone who is interested…

How did you start this program?

It was so simple it was almost too good to be true! I called up the programming director for the Miami-Dade County Public Library System (a quick google search brought up this information for me). I explained to her the idea of providing fun and developmentally appropriate music activities for babies, toddlers, and children. Following our phone conversation, at her request, I emailed her a proposal outlining my ideas for the program. She called the next day saying they were interested!

How is the program structured?

The sessions are divided into three age groups – babies (0 – 19 months), toddlers (19 months – 3 years), and children (ages 3 – 5). Parents and caregivers are always welcomed to join in the fun. Sessions are similar to typical music therapy sessions for young children. We have activities that focus on movement, social skills, communication, and of course early literacy skills.

The programming director set up the sessions at various library branches throughout the county. This means I have to do a bit of traveling, but it’s well worth it!

How is the program funded?

The Rockin’ and Readin’ program is offered free of charge to parents. The Miami-Dade County Public Library System pays me. They have a certain budget set aside for arts program such as music, art, crafts, etc. So my program fits nicely under that category, especially since it is advertised as an early literacy program. They are also able to reimburse my travel costs, which is extremely helpful since I have to travel across the county!

(I would also suggest that even if your library system is unable to fund a similar program, you may want to consider offering one or two sessions free of charge. This is a great way to connect with parents who might be interested in your services. This is also a great way to show the library what an awesome program you have to offer!)

If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comment section below or in an email! Also, please share your success stories!



Image courtesy of [digitalart] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Comments (19)

  • Rachel Smith

    Thank you so, so much for sharing this!! I can’t wait to try it here in Austin!!

    • Amy

      You’re so welcome! Please be sure to let me know how it goes! I hope these programs spread far and wide 🙂 They’re so much fun!

  • Megan

    Wow, Amy! This is fantastic information! I am definitely going to put this strategy to work in the Portland area!

    Thank you soooo much for sharing!!

    • Amy

      You’re welcome Megan – let me know how it goes!!

  • Lillieth Grand

    Thank you SO much for being so generous and sharing your phenominal idea! I am TOTALLY going to do this!!!

    I think that you should present on this idea at the next national conference. Call for papers is due in March. Just sayin’…

    Lillieth Grand

    • Amy

      WOW! I am so flattered by your comments!! Thank you!

  • JoAnn Jordan

    Thanks for sharing more details.It makes me see how easy it would be to implement a similar program here. I often share books or stories in my sessions with preschoolers.

    • Amy

      That’s great to hear! I love doing stories and books with the children I work with as well. 🙂

  • Emily Sevcik

    Thank you for sharing! I look forward to getting in contact my local library! I have thought about this for awhile! I made contact once, but never received a reply. Time to try again!

    • Amy

      Hi Emily, Yes definitely follow up and try again! Check back and let us know how it goes!
      Amy 🙂

  • Kristin Noel Veteto

    This is great! How long are your groups? Do you have some specific resources for those of us thinking of starting a program? Resource books, children books, songbooks?
    Great post!

    • Amy

      Thanks Kristin!
      The groups are 45-minutes long and usually held on a Saturday morning or Tuesday evening.

      I don’t have any resources, per say, for starting a program. I would just say get in there and do some calling around!

      Re: resources and children’s books: I have some blog posts about my favorite Book n’ Songs to use: https://whmusictherapy.com/category/book-n-song/

      I also have something in the works about this topic….stay tuned for details on this in the coming months!

      Hope this helps! Amy 🙂

  • Kristen

    Just called my library and they stressed the importance of our program being different than other music groups or they won’t approve it/pay for it. Looking for key elements that set us apart as music therapists!
    Interestingly, they also said they don’t typically do groups for babies because they don’t get enough numbers. As a Mom I’m looking for groups as the library to go to meet other parents! Gotta sell this one!

    • Amy

      I started a branch-off of the Rockin’ and Readin’ program (which is geared towards children ages 4-7) called Mommy & Me at the Library. We used a pre-formed group of moms that was already coming to the library for story time for their babies and toddlers. Maybe that is a possibility if such a group exists at your library!


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