DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — LEGOs and art take center stage this summer at Harmony School of Creative Arts.
“We’re not usually associated with LEGOs and robots, but last year, we were able to host this program, and it was really well received,” said Barbara Bend, Harmony’s executive director. “This year, we’re adding a second week of it.”
The LEGO Robotics and Engineering camp is just one of a plethora of activities Harmony has lined up this summer. And, of course, at the heart of it is the arts.
A lot of arts.
“We have quite a few things this summer for kids and even parents,” she said.
One program that’s grown this past year at Harmony connects parents or caregivers with toddlers through music. Harmony began hosting Music Together last fall, and it’s become one of the most asked about events. Typically a 10-week course, the summer version is shortened a bit. But caregivers and kids don’t miss a beat.
Harmony staff actually received training on how to conduct Music Together classes. The program, Bend explained, is a non-performance-based music education class. The teacher introduces a wide range of musical styles to the youth and their parents.
“It’s 45 minutes packed with a rich palette of music,” she said. “There’s some chants, some modes of music and music from all over the world. Every semester, it’s a whole different batch of music.”
The premise is to introduce music to toddlers as it has been shown to expand their minds, creativity and overall learning. The children get to move around to the music as well as try out some basic instruments.
And their parents or caregivers are right there with them, even doing many of the same things.
“Then, they have this special bond with their children,” Bend said. “It’s just really an incredible program.”
Harmony offers a host of other camps and programs, including dance workshops, private music lessons, music art weeks, piano programs, fiber arts and even Snackalicious.
Snackalicious is a cooking camp for elementary ages in which they learn to make all sorts of healthy, delicious snacks.
While Christmas is still half a year away, the Harmony staff is gearing up for its annual “Fantasy Nutcracker” production. During the Christmas in July camp, kids interested in production or who just want to learn some of the dances from it can do just that.
“It sounds early, but we’re starting to prepare for (‘Fantasy Nutcracker’),” Bend added.
But how do LEGOs fit into this?
Actually, Bend explained, Learning Fun 101 out of Austin approached her last year about hosting the LEGO camp last summer. The Learning Fun staff teaches it.
“We have the space, and it sounded like fun,” Bend said. “It’s a little different for us. The kids get so absorbed in it. It’s so quiet in there, of course, until they get down on the floor with their projects and start (competing).”
Go to www.harmonyarts.org for a full lineup of camps along with dates and times. Call the school at (830) 693-1791 to register or for more information.