Editor’s note: From Jan 5 to Jan 26, 2022 please remember to check with each business or organization in our story for their hours of operation/virtual services, capacity limits and COVID protocols, since new pandemic restrictions announced AFTER the publication was printed have affected certain industries during that time frame.
Is Your Child Singing The Winter Blues? Then Change Their Tune With Fun After School Activities
It’s a new year! It’s time for a fresh start and some new activities for your little ones. Whereas going to school and working on school projects is important (being a regular, day to day part of life), it’s also important for kids to spend time after school and on the weekends doing something fun, meaningful and productive.
Whether they’re musically inclined, athletic or artistic, we fill you in on lots of extracurricular winter activities and the area businesses willing to help keep your child educated and entertained!
Sing, Sing A Song
Located at 3244 Walker Road, Unit 1 in Windsor, Verellen Music Academy offers unique musical training such as professional song writing lessons, recording sessions and lessons on how to pitch original music to radio station executives!
“We have expert early childhood music teachers and have group classes for young children, based on developmental stages of growth,” says Jacqueline (Jacqui) Verellen, Co-Owner of Verellen Music Academy along with Joey Tyler. “Along with that, we teach vocals, piano, guitar, drums, bass, flute, ukulele, musical theatre classes, rock band classes and more.”
The Rock Band youth program is one of the more exciting classes as kids seven to 15 years of age (Tuesday nights at 7 p.m.) can learn guitar, drums, bass or piano and how to play rock music with others! (Note Rock Band adult classes for those 15 and up are also on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m.)
Verellen and Tyler have more than two decades of teaching and performing experience between them. Tyler works with Universal Records and both hold honours degrees in music.
“Having music played on Canadian radio, both Joey and I started teaching students outside of our performing and touring,” Verellen explains. “We discovered we absolutely loved working with children. After studying childhood psychology and music, I realized children seem to learn best through fun; that is proven neuro-scientifically.” (For more information see: The Power Of Play, in the American Academy of Pediatrics journal, Vol.142, Issue 3, September 2018).
That’s why Verellen Music Academy and their staff of 12 follow the motto — “learning music should be fun!”
“We specialize in helping students learn both the music of Bach and Billie Eilish in one fun and dynamic lesson!” Verellen informs Biz X. “We can guide students from early childhood music, through to a full musical career.”
Since opening in March 2021, Verellen Music Academy has also offered a wide variety of fun programming. They have weekend camps with music, arts and crafts and various themes. They also have private lessons for beginners and advanced musicians. All ages are welcome, even babies!
During the pandemic, Verellen Music Academy is taking every precaution to ensure families feel safe in their studios.
They have all families pre-screened, sanitized, wearing masks and social distanced. And they have a large spacious theatre that allows students to be a part of a community and meet new friends in a safe way.
Edmunds Towers School of Dance offers dance lessons in ballroom, ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe and hip hop for ages two and a half years old and up. As well, each month, they incorporate some of their core values, such as kindness, into their lessons.
“I have danced my whole life and have been teaching dance for 44 years,” says Donna Towers Bolohan, Co-Owner of Edmunds Towers School of Dance, along with her sister Dianne Edmunds. “It’s easy to be passionate about something you love to do. Since we opened 41 years ago, we have been passing on our love of dance to hundreds of children each week.”
Obviously, COVID-19 has forced them to change some of their protocols.
“All classrooms have large TVs for those that are home or can’t make it in — so we connect each class to those at home,” indicates Towers Bolohan. “All classrooms and waiting rooms are spaced out six feet apart. All areas have hand sanitizer stations, we fog our studio and COVID-19 screening is done daily for everyone entering the business.”
All classes are open for registration, come January.
Their Twinkle Tots and Twinkle Tykes programs are always a big hit for children two and a half years old to five years old. Kids love their themed months, props, backdrops and everything that the amazing staff of 30 plans out for them.
The school can be found at 2555 Jefferson Blvd. in Windsor.