Music, Art in a Local Preschool

Music, Art in a Local Preschool
A new nearby preschool incorporates music and Elvis into the curriculum.

August, 2013
Article Attributed To: Kayla Bawroski, Editor at Lutherville-Timonium Life Magazine

Situated in the Cranbrook Shopping Center in the heart of Cockeysville is a one-of-a-kind facility for preschool-aged children. The Drool of Rock, as it is called, covers 6,000 square feet with a 2,500 square foot outdoor play area attached. Its logo is an electric guitar colored in patriotic red, white, and blue, and dancing on its strings are figures of small children. “Childcare Center and Kids Music Venue” are the words below the business name and this is an apt description.

The driving forces behind this unique idea where many, but three individual stand out.

All artwork in the building was conceived and created by Jenn Lawson, the enterprising owner whose lifelong artistic talent graces each room. Rick Gabell, Cranbrook Shopping Center’s director of development, helped create the building’s exterior and design and the school’s concept was inspired by Pat Hundley, a veteran kindergarten teacher of 35 years and a singer-songwriter who instilled in his students a love for music. Lawson fondly refers to Hundley as “the teacher every kid wanted to have and no parent ever forgot.”

One look inside the spacious building makes evident the owners’ passion for music and art. Murals in the likeness of Elvis Presley songs — and, of course, the King himself — decorate the walls along with paintings of letters of the alphabet. With studies showing that musical education bears significant fruit in the form of high test scores as well as proficiency in mathematics and language, Lawson and Alicia Redifer have furnished a curriculum infused with daily music education. Where other schools might offer music instruction on a weekly basis, Drool of Rock’s kids receive it every day with the goal of preparing the children for kindergarten. Their goal is to “rock the preschool world a music-infused curriculum,” says Lawson with a smile.

This program consists of daily music, song time, and interactive performances for musicians. Drool of Rock’s little students sing, shake, and shimmy to original songs customized to fit the material current in their curriculum. Instrumental basics, live performance, and movement exercises are among the other innovations in this experience. And how does this go over with the children? “I like it when the kids run to the door when I unlock it in the morning,” says Lawson. “And I love how happy the parents are too.”

Remember being in school as a youngster and how time seemed to stand still when you were confined to the same seat in the same room all day? At Drool of Rock children don’t so much go to school — they “experience” school. On typical day the kids move though the hallway with their teachers to activity rooms where they can read, relax, explore, learn and play in an imaginative and educational atmosphere. The classrooms have such a creative names as Blue Suede Two’s, Bobby McThree’s, and Four-Ever Young, and each is painted in ways to stimulate the learning process. Plus, musicians are often scheduled between 4 and 6 p.m. so that parents and siblings can share in the experience as well.

Four — As a mother of four girls, Jenn Lawson president, of
Drool of Rock, has plenty of personal experience with children.

I am the mom to four girls. I have worked with children my whole life through nanny positions as a young adult, volleyball coach and the building of a small, in-home daycare.

The years of hands-on experience in preschool classroom settings comes from our incredible director and very dear friend of mine Alicia Redifer. When she and I tossed around the idea of opening a center together, I knew it had to be something revolutionary, something unlike anything else available, a place that parents and children alike would fall in love with that first glance. So I began drawing out our classrooms music center. The sketches became walls, and drawings became murals and through our hallways and classrooms are creative and fun, it is our incredible music powered curriculum that truly sets us apart. — Jenn Lawson

Weekend Performances — Live. Love. Learn. Rock

On the weekends, Drool of Rock is a music center featuring live performances. “Saturday Shows,” as these events are called, are hosted by local musicians known for their talent energy and love for kids. Kevin Sherry,Devin Breithaupt, Betz Connor, Michael Vance, Dave Tieff, Maynard Edwards, Andy Belt, Julia McAndrew, and, of course, the aforementioned Pat Hundley, are just some of the names and acts that perform for the children. To promote the facility, Drool of Rock hosts one free concert per month.

“At Drool of Rock, it’s the music program and atmosphere that set us apart from everything else available,” says its website “Live. Love. Learn. Rock” is the schools motto.

Tours can be scheduled by calling 410-628-ROCK (7625).

— Compiled by Kayla Bawroski


Jenn Crawford