Written by Kim Lomax, WeBop instructor and mom
“I love WeBop!” ... the words of my 3-year-old son.
He and I are both pretty stoked that the next session of WeBop at Omaha Performing Arts begins soon. I have the unique perspective of being both a parent participant and a WeBop instructor. I get to share my love of jazz with children hoping they go home with their families and find ways to incorporate the material into their day-to-day lives. As a mom of a WeBopper, I also get to experience the joy my son derives from attending class and from incorporating WeBop with our family at home. He pretends to lead our “class,” identifies the instruments he hears on the radio and requests to play air bass while listening to Lionel Hampton’s “Hey, Ba-ba-re-bop.”
Kim Lomax not only teaches WeBop classes at OPA, but also attends them with her 3-year-old son. Together, they explore jazz music through song, dance and play.
WeBop is a special curriculum. It was developed by the folks at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City in conjunction with Teachers College at Columbia University. It caters to the way kids learn in a totally fun and playful way. It honors the child and the family and is led by people who value the music and who want to share an honest and musically authentic experience with the next generation. Perhaps most importantly, WeBop encourages creativity. It mirrors an experience one might have in a jazz ensemble, where there is an understood structure and knowledge of said structure gives participants the freedom to contribute to the ensemble in their own special way.
Other WeBop parents share what they love most about the program.
I love my son (duh!). I love jazz and, like my son, I also love WeBop. Teaching WeBop has allowed me to nurture in others a celebration of improvisation, creativity and of family. With WeBop, you participate right alongside your child or children. It is an experience I would not trade – getting to see him gain confidence, imagine, and play – an experience I would miss if it was simply a drop-off program. I get to take home the memory of each class and the knowledge that my son can appreciate jazz and music in general in a way he would not without it.
I hope you’ll consider jamming with us this fall!