DeVinney Family and Music Together of Vienna
by Melanie DeVinney
Recently I walked into our usual Friday Music Together of Vienna class to find there was a substitute teacher setting up. After the Hello song which starts every class, Miss Anne started playing the first song from this session’s Tambourine collection. Suddenly I was flooded with an enormous sense of déjà vu, and I asked if she was the teacher at the Hunter Mill location 9 years ago. She said, “Yes! That was where I taught when I first started! I was just learning to play the guitar!”
I attended that class with my oldest son, Wade, who was just 1 at the time, and the collection of songs was the Tambourine collection. The current session, which also happens to be the Tambourine collection, is the last for our family since my youngest son, who is 4, will be attending school 5 days a week next year. Since that first Music Together class with Miss Anne nine years ago, we moved to the Vienna Community Center location with Miss Linda to be closer to our house, but we have never missed a semester. I have three sons who are now 10, 8 and 4, so there was never a gap between semesters. Wade and I took that first class when he was one, and Dale and Anson both joined their older sibling’s class shortly after they were born. Music Together is the background music for their early childhood years. Enjoying it at mealtime, listening to it on long car rides, and singing the songs ourselves at bedtime has brought us endless hours of joy and entertainment.
Both my older boys love music, and I attribute much of that to their experience with Music Together. They both play piano and love to sing, and my oldest will be learning the saxophone in middle school. Music Together gave them the building blocks to understand and appreciate music and exposed them to many different styles of music from all over the world. It made them strong singers and gave my shy guys the confidence to perform in front of others, which has made them competent public speakers as well. At the time, they thought they were just having fun, dancing, singing along, playing instruments. In reality, they were amassing a huge catalog of songs that would shape their musical knowledge, and were developing skills that have helped them excel academically and socially.
My youngest and I couldn’t be sadder that this is our last session of Music Together. The class is such a lovely oasis away from the everyday grind of carpool, shuttling to activities, and “Get your shoes on!!!” It’s not just an activity for my son, but a time when we can sing and dance together, cuddle up during a lullaby, or laugh hysterically with each other. We can be silly and let loose, but at the same time know we are learning something valuable. The special moments have been countless and I will miss it dearly.
Over the nine years, Music Together classes have made me a better singer, which is nice for when we’re playing around at home, or those pesky moments at baseball games when everyone can hear you struggling through the national anthem! I chose Epiphany Preschool for my boys because at the time it offered Music Together (through Music Together of Vienna), so I knew my son would feel at home, and we have loved it there. I have made many close friends through Music Together, since moving here 10 years ago. It connected me to a community of moms that made a new town feel like home. My boys and I will treasure the memories of our Music Together classes, and because it is music, we can keep it with us always.