Children move to the beat at Carnegie Library

  • Children and their caretakers enjoy an interactive musical show at a recent Music & Movement program at the Carnegie Library. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/CARNEGIE LIBRARY

Recorder Staff
Sunday, February 04, 2018

TURNERS FALLS — Almost every week for the past 20 years, young children and their caretakers gather in one of the Montague area libraries to dance, shake, play along and listen to music.

This week, the Carnegie Library came alive with the clamor of little feet and live music playing upstairs thanks to the Music & Movement for Children program. Dozens of caregivers, parents and young children crowded around two musicians. Some children sat in their parent’s laps, while others sat on the floor watching the show. Some curious babies crawled across the floor.

The event has been led by musical couple Tom Carroll and Laurie Davidson for the past 17 years. Carroll is a professional musician and Davidson is a bilingual educator. While most of the program is in English, Davidson shares her love of Spanish with children by adding in some Spanish songs and lessons.

“It’s basically more of a concert with a lot of audience participation,” said library director Linda Hickman.

Toward the end of the program, children are provided instruments to experiment with. It depends on the day, but a visitor could hear a cacophony of shakers, jingle bells, castanets and “clatterpillars” as children make their own tunes.

“It’s little bit of everything,” said youth services librarian Angela Rovatti-Leonard.

It’s not a small gathering, either. According to Hickman, each class attracts an average of 50 children and caregivers. Recently, the number has climbed to around 70.

It’s a free event, and no sign-up is required.

Participants range from “brand new babies” to their older siblings, said Hickman. During school breaks, older siblings are excited to come back and see Carroll and Davidson.

After the program ends, the library stays open for another 45 minutes so little ones can play in the library’s children’s room, color and check out books. Hickman said it’s also a great time for parents and caretakers to socialize, especially if they’re new in town.

According to Hickman and Rovatti-Leonard, the program seems to have an impact on young residents.

“Sometimes kids don’t seem like they’re participating, but then they go home and sing the songs,” said Rovatti-Leonard.

The next Music & Movement program will be held Thursday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m. at the Carnegie Library.

Reach Christie Wisniewski at:


or 413-772-0261, ext. 280