The open room bursts with energy. Parents clap and sing with their children to music from all different cultures. Even infants start to kick and wiggle along.
This is a typical class session for families enrolled in the Music Together program, but now all locals have the opportunity to join in the celebration.
To celebrate 25 years of making music and building community, Music Together of Fairfield County is hosting a sing-along concert and fundraiser Saturday, March 23. The event is open to all families, especially those with children ranging from birth to 8.
The concert will take place in Norwalk in the hall of the United Church of Rowayton, allowing plenty of room for energetic singing, dancing and playing. And, unlike other concerts for children, parents should expect to want to join in on the fun.
"It will be like a big party Music Together class," said Jackie Jacobs, Music Together of Fairfield County director. "It's very infectious, it's very contagious. We really want to celebrate life with this concert."
Music Together is an early childhood development program that focuses on music and movement skills. It maintains that all children are musical and can develop their capabilities, especially under the guidance of their parents and caregivers.
"It's really about helping us all to be the musical beings that we are and to have every child be able to express what they have inherently, which is just this music-making capacity," Jacobs said of the program. "We're all musical. Could you imagine a world without music?"
Jacobs first became involved with Music Together as a parent. After enrolling in a class with her son Daniel, an infant at the time, she quickly realized that "it was far and away a different level of what was being offered to parents and young children in terms of early childhood experiences."
When Jacobs and her family moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Fairfield, she brought Music Together with them and became the first certified instructor in the state.
Jacobs hopes that the concert this weekend will attract even more families to Music Together.
"It's about a really amazing experience that everybody has the right to have, to be able to celebrate life and enjoy making music," she said.
Saturday's concert will feature musician "Uncle" Gerry Dignan, one of the founding members of Music Together. He also performs on the Music Together CDs played during classes and distributed to families in the program.
This concert is one of four that Dignan has slated for this weekend with different Music Together branches in the area.
Jacobs stressed that the goal of Music Together was never to make a profit, and Dignan's presence at the concert is proof of this; he volunteered his time to take part in the celebration.
She added that the United Church of Rowayton also "very graciously" provided their hall for a significant discount.
Because of these money-savers, Music Together is able to donate the proceeds of the event to the Sandy Hook Promise organization. Sandy Hook Promise is a nonprofit started by the families of the victims of last December's tragedy in Newtown. Their goal is to prevent future acts of violence by inspiring change in the culture of violence.
United Church of Rowayton, 201 Rowayton Ave., Norwalk. Saturday, March 23, 4:30 p.m. $15, $10 children. 203-256-1656, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ctmusictogether.com.