First Adventure in Music Concert

The importance of music

Monday, December 24, 2012

On December 13th  the YM&YHWA of Washington Heights and Inwood on 54 Nagle Ave was filled with excitement and joy as our nursery school children proudly presented their achievements to the filled auditorium of families and friends.

Our guest , Ydanis Rodriguez, spoke with enthusiasm about how important music education is for the young children.

 Through a grant from our City Councilman, Ydanis Rodriguez, the nursery school has partnered with Midori and Friends to provide a resident artist to work with two of our classrooms providing an enriching music experience for our children.  Each Tuesday, Hector Morales, a drummer, percussionist, composer, recording artist and educator from Peru visited our classrooms to work on the elements of music, instrument families, composition and orchestration with our children.  Hector’s background in Afro-Peruvian music as well as Jazz and Latin Jazz has allowed him to provide our children with an exciting multicultural musical exploration by exposing them to a variety of musical sounds, genres and tempos.


Hector began his program by introducing the children to percussion instruments such as the Cajita and the Cajón and comparing the percussion families to the strings and horns and then moved on to working with the classes on using lollypop drums, hand bells and desk bells while incorporating a variety of beats, tempos and dynamics. He also introduced the children to the scale, the notes and their letter names through a Latin Jazz beat.   Eventually classes were divided into sections to play different parts of a composition similar to a real orchestra.

Studies suggest that music experiences with children strengthen listening, motor skills, language, problem solving and literacy skills including memory and auditory discrimination.  They also provide opportunities to practice social skills such as cooperation and taking turns as well as helping children to focus and concentrate.  Music is also energizing, creative and fun!

The Y is grateful for the collaboration with Midori and Friends , which allows us to expose the new generation of young children to the world’s music and provide new musical offerings to a wider audience.

To find out more about our nursery school programs please contact Susan Herman at


written by Susan Herman

photography by Roj Rodrigez