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Published: Wednesday, 4/11/2007

Preschoolers are upbeat for jam session workshop

BY JOE VARDON
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Alex Peres, 3, swings his rythym ribbons to the beat of the music during the music class. Alex Peres, 3, swings his rythym ribbons to the beat of the music during the music class.
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Years from now, Andrew Watkins will remember a different version of the children's song "Wheels on the Bus" than what many adults know today.

The version young Watkins, 4, will remember includes a hip-hop beat, synthesizers, and other modern additions.

Andrew and other youngsters have been bopping to a jazzed-up "Wheels on the Bus" as part of the Musical Jamboree, held Mondays at the 577 Foundation in Perrysburg.

Taught by Elaine Sneider, 53, of Holland, Musical Jamboree is in the middle of an eight-week session, which generally runs once during the winter, fall, and spring.

Grace Ermie, 4, jumps up to touch the parachute as, from left, Laura Griffioen, 4, Ella Griffioen, 3, Luke Ermie, 2, Alex Perez, 3, eacher Elaine Sneider, and Adrew Crouse, 2, with his back to the camera, look on. Grace Ermie, 4, jumps up to touch the parachute as, from left, Laura Griffioen, 4, Ella Griffioen, 3, Luke Ermie, 2, Alex Perez, 3, eacher Elaine Sneider, and Adrew Crouse, 2, with his back to the camera, look on.
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Once a week, six to eight children between the ages of 2 and 4 come to Ms. Sneider's class with a parent or grandparent for about 45 minutes of interactive song and dance.

The children are encouraged to sing along, follow Ms. Sneider's lead on simple dance moves, and bang away on musical instruments.

Andrew's father, Daniel, said his son has benefited from the weekly jam sessions.

"He likes music anyway, and this is a way for him to burn up some energy before we get home," Mr. Watkins said. "Plus, you can see what he's learning here translate at home. He's still singing the songs and he asks his mom to play the piano for him."

Ms. Sneider said the goals of Musical Jambo-



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