Article Attributed To: Nick Gestido, Editor at Hunt Valley Patch
Kids, before we get started, there’s just one question I have for you.
“Are you ready to rock?”
That’s the philosophy behind Drool of Rock, a new preschool learning center in Cockeysville, with a curriculum focused on teaching kids about the power of music.
“We are a music-powered learning center for preschool aged kids with a curriculum that stresses the power and impact of music education,” Jenn Lawson, the preschool’s president, said. “There’s music every day for our kids.”
Lawson, 33, and longtime friend Alicia Redifer, 37, the center director, opened Drool of Rock after working together running a home daycare.
“While we were doing that together, we were discussing how to make it cooler, better, bigger,” Lawson said.
Lawson, a musician and artist, and Redifer, who has years of experience working and and operating daycare facilities, were inspired by a Towson-area kindergarten teacher who always put music first, Lawson said.
“There was a kindergarten teacher named Pat Hunley who taught at Stoneleigh Elementary,” Lawson said. “He wrote music and performed every day it was the most incredible kindergarten class I’ve ever seen.”
“He would expose the kids to this music-powered curriculum. Not a single kid would forget him. If there was one teacher you remembered when you were 70, it would be Pat Hunley,” she said.
Of course, not every kid can have a teacher like that but Lawson thought “it would be really cool to build a center where every kid had Pat Hunley.”
So with that vision in mind, the duo opened Drool of Rock at 532 Cranbrook Road in April.
The brightly colored preschool walls are covered with images of musical instruments, vinyl records, ticket stubs and lyrics. The 64 preschool aged kids enrolled have some sort of music-related activity every day, from break dancing instruction to live performances.
“We have a break dancing instructor on Tuesdays. He gets the kids to stretch and circle up. They take turns getting in, he teaches them different cool moves. It’s really cool that our 2-year-olds get into it,” Lawson said.
“We do movement exercises: move, stretch, dance, and play games to music … It’s fantastic for preschool aged kids. Good for them developmentally and physically.”
Lawson said that Kevin Sherry, a local children’s author, writes songs and performs pop music in costume and another performer writes songs that coincide with the curriculum.
The kids get to perform, too.
“Parents are so stoked about it; kids are so happy there,” Lawson said. “Every Friday, the parents, siblings can come and see our performances … it’s awesome to watch your kids get so into it.”
On the weekends Drool of Rock also plays host to the community for free family-friendly concerts.
“I always say kids don’t go to our school, they experience our school. It’s like nothing else available,” Lawson said..