Comments from Parents

Sarah Ramos

Three young daughters, many years of Musicplay :) Our best memories come from playing and learning under the watchful eye of Professor Bennett.  I believe I got as much (if not more) out of the program as my daughters did. We weren't drilling mundane ditties into tiny heads by rote...we were learning to experience the songs, to "play" with them in a way that was not just educational for the children, but gratifying for all the family and friends that got involved.  I wish we could all still attend! 


Doug, Cheri, Bailey and Brennan Scheck

Music Play provided for our family our childrens' love of music from playing musical instruments (violin, guitar, flute and now tuba (LOL)) to listening to music nonstop. It has become an integral part of our lives; mom and dad included. Thank you for a great opportunity! Bailey and Brennan are now 13 and 11. Time goes by way too fast. Miss you.


Peggi Ignagni

My four children started in MusicPlay as 3 year olds.  At that tender age, they learned to engage their bodies and minds in the musical experience. They were exposed to different sounds and song patterns and were open minded enough to participate in all the lessons. They also developed a level of comfort in the Conservatory of Music that continues to this day. As current 10 year olds, I have one jazz drummer, a cellist, and 2 violinists: MusicPlay started them on a wonderful journey!  Making music continues to be a part of their daily life and we appreciate the fine introduction that Ms. Bennett provided with MusicPlay.


Susan Morrison

MusicPlay has introduced not only our daughter Lia, but the entire family to a whole new way of enjoying all genres of music. We especially enjoyed the parental involvement, and for those of us who are rhythmically challenged, it made for a great time. Thanks for sharing your teaching methods with our family and community!  MusicPlay is an experience we are grateful to have been a part of. Lia is playing the piano and has joined Oberlin Choristers, and your program laid the foundation … no doubt! 


Toni Nicoletti

This program has been one of the most vital developmental activities of our daughter's pre-school years. From beginning to end, Ms. Bennett and the graduate students have provided the highest quality musical program, including the songs the children sang as well as help in reading music, and education in the classical composers. Each time our daughter attended the program, we feel like we were doing something truly good for her -- enriching her in ways that go beyond the musical education she is receiving. 


Erica Drost

Music Play was a fantastic program and my daughter enjoyed her time there very much. When I was a child I attended the program and was very excited to have my daughter attend as well. My daughter made many memories and friends in this program and it helped to build the foundation for her love of music!


Nancy London

MusicPlay provided my child with a way to visualize what he hears in the form of an intuitive musical notation.


Anjanette Heron-Hignett

As a mother, watching James with you and the students in Musicplay for 3 great years, was truly heartwarming. Your sincere enjoyment of music is eagerly scooped up by those children, and your kind and sweet nature brings out the best in people. James would wake up on the mornings after MusicPlay and sing," Hello everybody, yes indeed....." and make me smile.

As a music educator of young children, observing you changed my approach in the classroom in many ways.  Applying your lessons from Playing With the Classics Volume 1 and Playing With the Classics Volume 2 has increased the children’s attention to that genre by leaps and bounds. Your listening maps are creative and accessible. I truly feel to this day I should have been charged a master class fee for all of the great lessons you provided. 


Jeff & Milo Laubscher Bauman

How to briefly capture your unique and wonderful pedagogy?  Not easy. By the time I was twenty, I knew I had to learn to swim (in music); I'm still learning.  Like all children, Una was born floating; MusicPlay taught her she could swim on the first day. Our daughter thrived in the magical cauldron of MusicPlay.  To graduate at age 5 is to cry Puff's dragon tears, knowing the inspirational power of music and movement.  Ready for anything.


Cristal Schaeffer

My two children, Jackson and Ruby, loved MusicPlay!  They loved to sing and move to the music. They loved making new friends and their teachers were amazing!   As a mother, I loved MusicPlay because it incorporated the discipline of a classroom with the love and appreciation of music.  Now they really hear music and appreciate it in all forms.  Thank you for touching my kids in such a positive way!


Deb Mull

It's so hard to put into words how much my granddaughter Kyra and I enjoyed MusicPlay class.  I know we would sing the songs on the way to class and on the way home. One time when Kyra saw a picture of a man from the 1700s with a white wig, she said she thought it was Mozart. We laughed because that's not something you normally hear come out of a 4 year old's mouth. Now that Kyra is in school, I definitely miss our special time together that we would share each Tuesday night at MusicPlay.


Ian Faleer

One of my most enjoyable teaching experiences as an undergraduate Music Ed. major at Oberlin was working with the MusicPlay classes under the expert guidance of Dr. Bennett. In Spring of 2002, I took the “Preschool Music Lab” course as part of my required curriculum, and as a voice emphasis student, I was responsible for participating in most of the MusicPlay sessions throughout the semester. From the beginning, I deeply enjoyed working with these 3-5 year old children as they gained organized musical awareness, practiced social dynamics, and explored an inherent love for making music. I enjoyed being a part of the children's formative musical experiences so much that I stayed on and volunteered as a MusicPlay assistant without any additional college credit for two more semesters.

One of the most fascinating things to observe in MusicPlay was that there was always at least one child who, while behaving well and observing intently, would refrain from actively participating in games and activities for weeks on end. Dr. Bennett would emphasize to each group of parents that each child is absorbing and processing a great deal of content from each class, even if he or she did not seem to want to participate directly. And without fail, the quiet child sitting on the periphery would blossom into an active participant in his or her own time, knowing and singing every song, and demonstrating all of the body motions of each activity. I could relate well to this type of child; I was that child many years ago – always watching, observing, processing, but patiently and deliberately waiting to feel ready to participate.

In the spring semester of 2012 my own daughter, having recently turned three, joined MusicPlay for the first time, and continued classes in the fall. It was a wonderful and slightly surreal experience to come back to the same Bibbins classroom with Dr. Bennett and a circle of preschoolers, but now as one of the parents sitting around the perimeter of the room. I was slightly surprised that my daughter Eva, who is normally very outgoing and spirited, often wanted to sit with me, and would shy away from participating at the beginning of an activity. During some classes she chose not to sing or play at all. But throughout each week she would sing the songs she had learned in MusicPlay at the top of her lungs, and she remembered every motion. She is registered and excited for the upcoming 2013 spring semester of MusicPlay, and I am eager to see how her approach to the group and activities changes now that's she's four.

Through Eva I was reminded once again that regardless of a child's approach to MusicPlay, each young mind is engaged and within each child is a creative spark that is nurtured. In time, all children will express that creativity through their own unique voices, minds, and hearts. It has been an honor and a privilege to experience MusicPlay as a Music Education major, as a music teacher ten years out of school, and as a parent, sharing the experience with my child. Thank you, Dr. Bennett, for being an amazing mentor for me and for my daughter through MusicPlay.


MaryJo DiGiandomenico

As a parent it was wonderful to see our girls (our first daughter was in MusicPlay in 2002 and our twins joined in 2011) interact with the college students and Dr. Bennett. In addition, it was a great experience to see both the college students and my children grow and blossom in front of our eyes.


Andrew and Jennifer Bertoni

I enjoyed watching the kids have fun, not just my kids, but all of them.  I enjoyed watching other people's children as much as or more then my own, and I believe other parents felt the same way. I remember when Nicholas was reading Hickory Dickory Dock and he put in the little "bong." All of the adults laughed, not because it was funny but because it was fun.

All three of our boys really internalized what they learned, sometimes surprising us. Marcus would run around the room during MusicPlay class, and you'd think he wasn't paying attention. But then the next day, he'd be singing all the songs. However much he ran around, he would stop and listen carefully whenever something new was introduced. For Brandon and Nicholas, the idea of play and imagination really fascinated them, especially Brandon. Brandon has really enjoyed the story and make-believe part of MusicPlay. 

We remember the time the Student Teaching Assistant introduced The Blue Danube and then asked the kids to tell what they saw in the water. After children offered several responses (fish,flowers, sticks), Nicholas (then four) said "invertebrates." The students were pretty amused and asked him after class where he'd heard that word, so Nicholas explained that he'd been watching Bill Nye (the Science Guy) videos.

Marcus really enjoyed the music and singing part of MusicPlay. I remember he particularly loved the "Queen of the Night" aria from Magic Flute. He would constantly sing the well-known part where the aria breaks away from the words and is a long melisma. Nicholas got so tired of hearing it that finally one day he yelled out "Curse you, Mozart!" 

Marcus was also constantly offering comments about things that were so surprising. You would often look at me for an explanation, and I would be just as baffled as you. There was the time when you were leading a song, I think “We're Going Downtown,” and you had decided that the kids were going into Gibson's to buy something. So you got answers you would expect: "candy," "ice cream," and then Marcus came up with "beer." To this day, I couldn't tell you why he said "beer." As far as I can remember, we've never bought beer at Gibson's, and I'm pretty sure Marcus hasn't either. 

Jen mentioned that the aspect she enjoyed most is that everything is done in the spirit of play. If one of the children doesn't want to participate there's no sense that they have to. They're free to go sit with Mom or Dad if they'd rather. Also, the songs are used as a jumping off point for games or activities and not as something they need to prove they know.


Dale Preston

My son recently played cello in his first-ever "competition."  Well... he played unbelievably beautifully!  The best he's ever done!  With great feeling and emotion, his head and shoulders moving to the music, his foot tapping the beat.  The music just radiated from him!  When he was done, the judge -- his jaw dropped open -- simply said "I have nothing to say to you!  I'm speechless.  That was absolutely beautiful.  Whatever you've been doing, keep doing it.  Wow!" Another parent in the room turned to my son and said, "That was so beautiful I cried."  And she was crying.

In retrospect, I see a direct connection between my son's musical abilities now (at age 12) with the early music education experiences he had in MusicPlay with Peggy Bennett and her OC students. There's no doubt about it in my mind:  early music education exposure laid the foundation for my son's sense of music and his joy in music both of which continue to flourish and now are at a whole new level.


Liz Overstreet

Just reading that the last day of Music Play was coming up made me so sad. I had been so busy lately, I didn't realize it was coming up so quickly. We are surely going to miss you! I can't express that enough. There have been countless ways that the children have brought Music Play home with them. I would love to share a few more memories with you.

I can remember the first time we met you. After class, Zeali and I had a most splendid conversation about your likeness to Mary Poppins. This is a high honor to be given in our family.:) We knew we were going to enjoy jumping in and out of chalk pictures every week, as she was sure we would be doing at the next class. So precious!

I remember one of Zeali's first favorite's was 'we're going downtown'. She would sing it every time we went anywhere. Zeali loves babies, so as soon as she was given resources for entertaining them, she has used them in all sorts of creative ways. She has several younger cousins, and now brothers and I can remember watching her lead the 'little' ones (funny, because she herself was so little!) around by singing to them 'Come and follow me, in a line, in a line...'. She still does this. It has actually helped coral the children...we just join hands and sing the song and most readily, any little person around is glad to link up, safely getting us to and fro the car in a parking lot. :) So much so in fact, I remember one time at a Farmer's market, we ended up with a little person we didn't even know! How fun to make friends through Music!

Zeali still takes opportunity to do 'Around the world in 80 days' with any little one interested in learning it! One thing I will never forget is during her first season of Music Play, she ran up to me and had written her own 'score'. I was completely shocked she had not only understood how to read a score you made at music play, but had taken that and written her own for a song of her choosing! It made quite an impression on me. She has written several scores since. The kids have posted the scores they receive all around my kitchen and take ample opportunities to read them to any visitor who will listen. It's delightful!

One thing that I love about Music Play is how the children really remember what they hear. I couldn't be more thrilled one day when we were out and an episode of Spongebob Squarepants was playing, a show Zeali had never seen before, to my delight! (not a huge fan myself) Suddenly she exclaims, 'Mamma, mamma! do you hear?! It's the Blue Danube!' and proceeds to stand up and sway and flick water off her fingertips just as she had done in music play. Sure enough, it was playing quietly in the background of the show and she identified it and I could not have been happier.

As soon as Kai was mobile enough to pay attention to her, he readily gobbled up any new fun songs Zeali would bring home and now I enjoy watching them both engage my smallest in the fun. Kai had been eager to join in as soon as he realized what fun he was missing out on every week. I love how it has brought him his own confidence.

I have noticed that Kai readily absorbs his new songs and lights up when he gets to share them with Daddy or other family members. It makes him so proud to have something of his own to share. What merry making music can bring. This is such a precious window of opportunity for small ones to build up a musical treasure trove in their minds. They are so eager to learn and it is such an easy way to engage them.

Just this past weekend, Zeali decided to bring an empty basket to the extended family Easter dinner and taught everyone how to play 'Peter Cottontail'. What joy it brought everyone to run around and be silly with the kids, even the teenagers! Music Play continues to make an impact on my children and I believe it helps lay a foundation for a rich appreciation and love of music. I am truly so thankful for all that it has offered my family.

hank you so much Peggy, for your passion and enthusiasm for sharing music with our children. I can not thank you enough! We truly appreciate this program.

In retrospect, I see a direct connection between my son's musical abilities now (at age 12) with the early music education experiences he had in MusicPlay with Peggy Bennett and her OC students. There's no doubt about it in my mind:  early music education exposure laid the foundation for my son's sense of music and his joy in music both of which continue to flourish and now are at a whole new level.


Xi Chen

I can't say enough thanks to you for giving James and us the opportunity to find out his musical potential. Last week when he came back from MusicPlay, he could not stop humming "Under the Boardwalk" and insisted that Paul (his dad), Shannon (his 8-year-old sister), and I do the dance together with him as you did in the class. I asked him who sang the song, and without a moment of hesitation, he answered "the Drifters"!