For Sarah Hruska Olson, her earliest experience working in an early childhood setting was volunteering in her mom’s Head Start classroom when she was in middle school. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Sarah has been in the Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® program at MacPhail more than 14 years, having taught every class Sing Play Learn with MacPhail® offers, as well as in two of the school partnership programs. She helped to create and revise curriculum for all the classes and wrote the original curriculum for Family Music class, and served as the curriculum coordinator at MacPhail.
Sarah is a trained singer with Bachelor of Arts/English degrees from Lawrence University; Master of Music in vocal performance from the University of Michigan, Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Minnesota; and certification in Orff Schulwerk levels 1, 2 and 3 from the University of St. Thomas. She also plays the guitar, piano and recorder, and is proficient with the entire classroom instruments used in Orff Schulwerk.
Besides credible research to support the idea that active music making with children supports the developmental literacy in addition to other crucial early learning skills, Sarah says she has seen the joy that music brings to children and the adults who love them. And what distinguishes MacPhail’s program from others, Sarah says, is the teachers who have been selected not only for their strong understanding of child development, but also for their musical skills and education backgrounds.