• The Apple Tree Learning Centers

  • Infant Childcare Programs

Welcome to Mr. Ray’s Music!

| Admin
Arizona Tucson Day care

Appreciation of music starts early

The Apple Tree Learning Centers welcomes Mr. Ray’s Music to its school curriculum! Ray Funk will offer an all-inclusive music program at The Apple Tree Learning Centers. Mr. Ray is a classically trained musician (voice and guitar) and a graduate of Northern Arizona University’s School of Music. He has 40+ years of professional musical experience including 22 years as a staff singer with Arizona Opera. Mr. Ray has been teaching in Tucson preschools for 23 years.

Numerous psychological studies conclude that children learn best during the early stages of development (1 – 5 years) and music greatly facilitates this necessary growth. Music lessons at these ages actually “wires” young brains connecting neuro pathways (of which there are trillions)! Early Childhood Learning Standards include five areas of development: adaptive, social-emotional, communication, physical and cognitive. Included in Mr. Ray’s vast repertoire are songs that facilitate independence and personal responsibility (adaptive) and identify emotions and increase knowledge of self (social – emotional). Singing requires listening to words and repeating them which enhances oral language development, speaking and (communication) skills. Many songs involve actions and movement (physical). Math skills are addressed in the areas of number sense, patterns and geometry. Finally all songs work on a child’s ability to recall information (cognitive).

Mr. Ray’s approach starts with the “Book of the Day” from a great collection of song based story books. Mr. Ray discusses whatever the subject matter is and he talks about the pictures and ideas in that particular book as he sings. There are many opportunities for the children to sing along. This is always a big hit because “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Whenever possible, monthly curriculum themes are included in the lessons.

Mr. Ray occasionally incorporates a piano as part of the music experience. He plays “Name That Tune”, count notes, sing and match notes, compare higher or lower sounds and do general ear training. The keyboard is always a big hit! All ages really seem to focus in and stay centered. Typical attention spans are greatly expanded with these exercises.

Next, it’s time for some guitar music! Sometimes the children make requests and sometimes Mr. Ray picks the songs from a huge repertoire of material! Many songs are Echo Songs which are easily singable. Mr. Ray usually does several of those and then it’s time for dancing/movement. The kids do lots of jumping and dancing. Many of these songs involve taking directions for movement.

Finally, Mr. Ray winds the kids down (and stay friends with the teachers) with some finger plays and maybe a sleepy time song.

Mr. Ray’s Music is included in the children’s tuition at The Apple Tree Learning Centers. Stop by and hear the children and Mr. Ray sing and dance!