Little ones explore music with Jump, Jive & Jam
ROXBOROUGH>> Alison Hilley and Vicki Spaeth Nyce love music and love kids. When they put the two together, they created Jump, Jive & Jam early childhood music classes.
“After working for most of the childhood music programs in the Philadelphia area, we both felt a passion for taking all of our experience and creating our own super music program,” Hilley and Nyce said. “Our classes combine all the greatest aspects of the children’s programs we had taught for. The program allows kids to have a ton of fun while learning about rhythm and melodies. Addition- ally, we create kids music that parents can also enjoy.”
Both Hilley and Nyce live in Roxborough. While many other areas of Philadelphia had young children’s music programs, Roxborough did not.
“We really love the ever-growing community here and wanted our neighborhood to have music classes for the kids, too,” Hilley said. “We didn’t want our families to have to drive long distances to get to our classes. We found the perfect location in Levering-
ton Presbyterian Church, 6301 Ridge Ave. Many of our families even walk to class. It is also a bonus that is right across from Gorgas Park.”
Jump, Jive & Jam (JJ&J) offers year-round young children’s music classes for children ages birth to 5. JJ&J’s mission is to introduce children under the age of 6 to the joys of music in a safe, fun and educational environment, one that will be enjoyable for parents as well as kids. Through play and multi-sensory activities, JJ&J teaches children basic rhythmic and melodic concepts, helps them to build confidence in their voices and musical abilities and hopes to foster a lifelong love of music.
Hilley and Nyce say one of their primary goals was to create a program that is fun for both parents and kids. When the kids see their parents or caregivers having fun, they are more likely to get involved and have fun as well, and vice versa.
“We created and recorded songs on our CD that are influenced by bands such as The Beatles, The Ramones, Bob Marley and more,” Nyce said. “We often receive feedback that the parents love to listen as much as their kids. In class, we include fun cover songs that parents and kids will recognize.”
Hilley added by exposing children to a wide variety of different musical concepts at an early age, you can help them to develop better senses of pitch and rhythm as well as confidence in their voices, all while fostering a love of music that can enrich their lives for years to come.
They also use a variety of different props and educational techniques to cultivate a multi-sensory learning environment that caters to a wide variety of different learning styles, as well as help develop fine and gross motor skills.
“The classes are also helpful in encouraging children’s social, intellec- tual and emotional development, through sharing with other kids and adults,” she said.
JJ& J has many new things on the horizon. The program will offer a summer camp for children age 6 and up and is developing new classes including a yoga/music class and a Spanish music class, and Hilley and Nyce are recording a new CD this summer and will have new music as well as videos to boot.
“Our big dream is to one day own our own storefront in Roxborough, which would be a hub for group music classes, private music lessons, hosting musical birthday parties and events and maybe even offering children’s guitars and in- struments,” Nyce said.
Hilley and Nyce have held a number of events in the community, including hosting Jump, Jive, & Jam Storytime at the Roxborough, Chestnut Hill and East Falls libraries and providing live music for community festivals, events, birthday parties and moms groups. Two upcoming community events include a performance at the Roxborough library May 12 and a performance at McMichaels Park in East Falls July 15.
“We love when community members approach us to do events here, and we are always looking for more ways to become involved in the community,” Hilley said. “The Roxbor- ough community is growing so much, and we are so grateful to be a part it.”
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Roxborough residents Alison Hilley, left, and Vicki Nyce created Jump, Jive & Jam early childhood music classes.
A cascade of bubbles gets the tots’ attention during a Jump, Jive & Jammusic class at Leverington Presbyterian Church in Roxborough April 27.
Quinn Foster dances with her egg maracas during a Jump, Jive & Jam music class at Leverington Presbyterian Church in Roxborough April 27.