MusicPlay Classes at Oberlin

Established in 1984, the Preschool Music Lab at Oberlin was one of the first early childhood music programs in the United States to be housed within and supported by a college or university and has been led by only three Directors in its nearly 30 year history. Renamed MusicPlay in 2001, this preschool program is designed:

  1. to engage children (ages 3-5) in developmentally-appropriate musical activities
  2. to permit parents to observe their children function musically in a group setting and to participate in the music education of their children
  3. to offer an on-campus laboratory setting for students in music education
  4. to provide a professional-development setting for the director and other interested educators (frequently there are observers).

MusicPlay classes are offered through the Community Music School and are held at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Oberlin, Ohio. MusicPlay classes are open to all children, ages 3 to 5, and are offered once a week in 45 minute sessions. The Director and primary instructor of the program since 2001 is Professor of Music Education Peggy D. Bennett, who is often assisted by music education graduate and undergraduate students.

MusicPlay classes are offered for twelve consecutive weeks in fall and spring semesters. Class size is limited to 12 children, and two sections, each lasting 45 minutes, are offered each week. Children can participate in the program for a maximum of three years (six semesters).

Parents or grandparents attend class with their children, and of the seven or eight activities occurring during a 45-minute class, parents may be invited to participate in one or two of those activities.

Videos presented in this collection span the time frame from 2001 to 2012, and as you will see in the video clips, goals for children in MusicPlay classes are both musical and non-musical.