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The More We Get Together: Nurturing Relationships Through Music, Play, Books and Art Review by Heidi Miller-Ford

Gari Stein
RoseyRaeNate Productions
205 Pineridge St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103

Teaching music is not my expertise. My approach has always been to expose my children to it because I know it's good for the mind and that should be enough. Most of us have heard about the benefits of classical music, but not all children like it. Thankfully, the book The More We Get Together: Nurturing Relationships Through Music, Play, Books and Art reveals there are many options to help your child reach his potential, and these options include more than just classical music. And the benefits go far beyond intellect.

The book has two parts. One deals with the research and educational benefits. It covers family relationships, children's personalities, and how music, art, play, and literature all play a role in a child's physical, emotional, social, and spiritual growth. The second part deals with the activities. There is a ton of information in this section. Anyone can learn how to take a song and add physical movement to it to use all learning modalities. Step-by-step instructions are included for a variety of ways to do this.

There is a travel CD included that contains 52 songs and rhymes. Many of these are old favorites you may remember, and some may be new. Either way, the songs are sure to be a hit with your little ones. The rhythm and repetition is inviting from the moment the music starts. An insert included with the CD gives instructions on what movements to use with each song or rhyme. That means that even people like me, with no creativity, have instant ideas about what to do.

The activities are for infant through early elementary age. The book is written for a classroom setting but could easily be used in a home situation. A format is included explaining each step that is involved in running a class. It would be very simple for someone to read these detailed steps and start a class. There is also a section on how to work with special-needs students. A separate section discusses how to have Play Parties using singing games.

This book is not a quick read. There is so much information to learn and glean from it. The abundant references include books, websites, musicians, instruments, and other materials. Scattered throughout the book is helpful information, such as examples, do's and don'ts, ideas, and lists. These were probably some of my favorite parts.

The idea behind the book is to get parents, grandparents, caregivers, and children to make meaningful memories together through the use of music, art, playing, and literature. It's a great way to get your kids away from video games and television to have some family time. What a wonderful tradition to be passed on! The benefits of this book can be read in the many family testimonials included in the book. The More We Get Together definitely inspires you to get more involved with your children and provides you with the tools to do it.

Product review by Heidi Miller-Ford, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2011