Best Practice Arts is offering community preview classes for group music and multi-arts programming in Owen Sound on January 11 and 18th. The classes, held at First United Church and led by experienced music and arts facilitator Lauren Best, range from being aimed at families with children age 0-5 to singing and creative wellness for adults. The preview classes in January are offered in a pay-what-you-choose format, and welcome people of all ages to try out the programming and explore their creative side.
Best relaunched her business, Best Practice Arts, in 2017 before beginning her child-focused tenure as Owen Sound’s Poet Laureate. She has been teaching private music lessons in Owen Sound and Meaford, became director of the Meaford Children’s Choir, and has provided music and arts facilitation for local organizations such as Sheatre, Sandcastle Theatre, and the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre.
In September Best launched drop-in family music programming at Frog Ponds Cafe on Monday mornings. The success had led the program to grow and extra times being added for different age groups. “There’s clearly a desire for families to sing together, and the success and positive feedback has been overwhelming” says Best. Every Monday except for holidays, these pay-what-you-choose programs explores singing, rhymes, and movement. Young children, babies, and their caregivers have fun making music together as they sing and learn in a supportive group.
In response to the demand for creative programs for families, Best is expanding family music programming to Thursdays with classes for prenatal/infant, toddlers, and an after-school class for ages 3-5. Classes are offered in a winter session starting in February, with a spring session starting in April.
“Pre-registered classes are different from the drop-in format since they allow for developing musical skills and concepts during several weeks over the session and become a more tightly-knit group,” says Best. “Just like the drop-ins we do lots of singing, but we also use percussion instruments and props such as a parachute, and music and multi-arts encourage creativity and learning through multiple ways of expressing ourselves and exploring the arts.”
Best Practice Arts is also launching group programming for adults with preview classes for Music and Arts for Wellness, and a drop-in “Intergenerational SongShare” program. The SongShare will continue to be pay-what-you-choose each week as a way of encouraging community singing, while the adult and early-childhood classes will continue in a pre-registered format after the pay-what-you-choose preview on January 11 and 18.
Best moved back to Owen Sound in 2015 after years of training and working in community arts in Toronto, where she had relocated to release her debut album. Best completed the Artist-Educator Professional Training Program at the Royal Conservatory of Music with the designations of Mentor/Lead Artist, and went on to become RCM faculty. Her work included curriculum development, leading workshops/classes/camps, and teacher training/mentorship. Lauren’s interest in using neuroscience findings creatively was highlighted in her work with the RCM’s new early childhood learning program “SmartStart InterArts”, which is based on using music and multiple art forms to develop cognitive skills using both arts and cognitive science best practices.
For registration and information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.bestpracticearts.com
Photos from Lauren Best