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Sharla Dance is teaching a free Primary Music Workshop May 12-13 at the Rexburg Tabernacle.

May 12, 2017
Writer: David Payne

The Rexburg Tabernacle is hosting a free children's music workshop with a special guest speaker. (See the flyer)

Sharla Dance is a children's music expert. She has had years of experience in music education and received degrees in music from Brigham Young University. Dance has also studied various children's music education methods at Portland State, Pacific University and Appalachian State.

Dance said teaching children music wasn't her original plan, but her last course at BYU convinced her it was what she should do.

"I was in the class three times," said Dance, "I thought 'Why have they not taught me like this before? This is how music should be taught.' Ever since then I've been in children's music."

A big part of these workshops includes Dance's research about children's brains and how music affects them. Dance began studying the brain after doctors discovered her seven-year-old daughter had a brain tumor.

"She was incredibly smart," said Dance. "That summer she had the brain tumor and I had to figure out how to reconfigure the brain because anything radiation touches it kills. I delved into how children learn and what to do and because of that I started applying some of them to music and it worked and it began to be answers to a lot of different people."

Dance has traveled all over the nation teaching these free workshops and has received great feedback.

"The cool thing is, I've had so many people come back and say 'I get it now' and they're starting to learn just by teaching," said Dance. "You learn so much when you have to teach somebody else."

The workshop will be a two-day event. Dance will focus on how to use music to teach children ages 3 to 7 on Friday, May 12 from 7-9 pm and children 8 and older on Saturday, May 13 from 9am-12pm. Grandparents, parents, church music leaders and anyone who will be around children are encouraged to come.

For more information visit Dance's website To Teach a Child a Song.

Click below to hear the full interview.