Nurturing Relationships Through Music, Play, Books and Art
Hello. I’m Gari Stein, the author of The More We Get Together, developer of Sing With Me and the How to Sing and Dance series. I have been singing and dancing with young children and their families since 1966. I have seen the joy that music brings to young children, how it enhances their sense of self, positively affects their behavior and strengthens their comfort in a social setting.
I’m the founder and director of Music for Little Folks in Ann Arbor Michigan, a music school for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and the grown-ups who love them. I also take my program into local daycare homes, centers, preschools, K-2nd grade, conduct trainings for teachers, administrators and parents, and lead interactive concerts for families.
My degree is in Psychology/Child Development and Dance. As both a clinician and grandmother, I am passionate about providing a rich musical environment for all children.
My philosophy comes out of a Holistic approach to Music Education and Enrichment, taking the whole child into account, with respect for individual differences and learning styles. Children are gently encouraged to explore, move independently, learn to be part of the group, develop confidence, practice motor skills, master competency in feeling and expressing a beat, experience continuous flow and be comfortable with self-expression.
My mission is to include more singing and dancing into early childhood programs and to equip teachers with appropriate materials and support to implement them. The comfort level of the adults who use my program is very important to me. You can have the best materials available, but if you aren’t comfortable in presenting them, what good are they?
I belong to the national, state and local Associations for the Education of Young Children. A member of The Music Educators and Early Childhood Music Associations, The Gordon Institute for Music Learning, Orff and Kodaly, The Michigan Library and Reading Associations, The American Library, International Reading and Infant Mental Health Associations.
I am a keynote and present staff development, workshops and in-service trainings throughout the country, at state conference that include AEYC, Early On, Great Start, Head Start, Infant Mental Health, Family Day Care, NAEYC, Young Author’s Conference, Michigan Library and Michigan Reading Association.
Working with families and students over several decades, I have seen the positive effects music can have on everyone. I have witnessed how music speaks to children regardless of where they are developmentally and how they connect in a way that is almost magical.
With modern technology, children are being asked to grow up all too quickly. Shouldn’t childhood be a journey and not a race? These cherished musical moments help them retain their precious childhood. Families are very busy these days. In these challenging economic times a simple song can help slow things down, bringing everyone together.
I am forever grateful to have the opportunity to give many the gift of experiencing the joy of making music-a gift that will last a lifetime. My motto is: Remember, when all else fails. Try singing and dancing. It really works.