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