6 July 2023

Singing in the rain: Kids sure to warm to libraries' winter school holiday fun full of music and food

| Shri Gayathirie Rajen
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woman and two little girls

Riverina Music Therapy music therapist Tegan Sheedy is running affordable vocal, songwriting and musical instrument workshops. Photo: Supplied.

With the school holidays well underway, libraries across the Riverina are offering creative programs to keep children entertained.

Riverina Music Therapy will teach vocal, songwriting and instrumental workshops. Other holiday activities include umbrella art; cake decorating, no-bake treats; a LEGO challenge; sand art; emoji magnets; Pringles tube craft; pompom puppies; and paint and pizza sessions.

Most holiday activities are inclusively priced at $5 or less, with many events free, allowing every child in the Riverina to enjoy some holiday fun.

Riverina Regional Library (RRL) said more than 60 hours of school holiday fun was on offer across 15 library branches, including Cootamundra, Gundagai, Junee, Jindera, Temora, Bland, Adelong, Tumut, Holbrook, Culcairn, Henty, Batlow and the RRL Mobile Library.

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Riverina Music Therapy will be running music workshops at Cootamundra, Gundagai and Coolamon.

Budding singers and songwriters can enjoy songwriting and vocal workshops at Gundagai Library on Monday (10 July) at 9:30 am (songwriting) or 11 am (vocals). Vocal workshops will be held at Cootamundra Library on Fridays (7 and 14 July).

Musicians of all ages can learn to play the guitar or the ukulele at Coolamon Libray on Tuesday (11 July).

Riverina Music Therapy music therapist Tegan Sheedy said singing together built social connection and emotional awareness.

“My goal with children at this point in their life is for them to learn to love music,” Tegan said.

girl with umbrella

Umbrella art sessions are among the wide range of library-based school holiday activities that tap into kids’ creative talents. Photo: Supplied.

“Giving them positive experiences with music can show them how music can help them in their everyday life, whether that’s through songwriting or singing or learning an instrument.

“Music helps with emotional regulation and social skills, it improves confidence and has benefits for mental health.”

Tegan said music therapy was the use of music as a tool to help achieve particular goals.

“I primarily work with special needs and disability and use music as a tool to help with everyday goals,” she said.

“We use songwriting and learning parts on the piano or guitar to help learn or develop fine-motor skills and emotional awareness.”

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From a very young age, Tegan learned music was amazing and powerful, and she had always known she wanted to be a music therapist.

“Through a few discussions with teachers and great people in my life, they told me about music therapy and I should look into it,” she said.

“I want people to learn everything there is to know about music and learn it’s not about sitting down and playing a song … but music can help influence so many other aspects in our life.”

For those who are more artistic, the Junee and Coolamon libraries are offering umbrella art, where children can use paint pens and decorate their umbrellas in fun and colourful designs.

RRL’s holiday programs also include a wide variety of craft activities, including sand art, cake decorating, nail art, tape painting, paper-plane launchers, Harry Potter monsters and shaving cream art.

For more information and bookings, visit the Riverina Regional Library or contact your local branch.

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