Sing n’ Sprout creator to open studio for classes

By Rosemary McCoy

The creator of a music-and-movement curriculum for children is opening a studio where instructors will offer classes.

Sing n’ Sprout Studio will be at 5000 S. MacArthur Lane, which is west of the Hy-Vee at 57th Street and Cliff Avenue. A half-dozen instructors will offer classes beginning in December, and owner Jenni Auvenshine is hiring more.

Auvenshine started Sing n’ Sprout in 2001 because she wanted parents and other caregivers to have an affordable option to help children in their early development. She created the curriculum and sold it to churches, parent groups and individual instructors. Now, she’s expanding her business model to make it easier for instructors to connect with families in the community.

“There are windows of opportunity for wiring the brain, and that is what our studio is helping to do,” she said. “It’s like a brain gym.”

From birth to age 5 also is an important time for children to connect with their caregiver, Auvenshine said, and the other valuable piece of Sing n’ Sprout is that moms and other caregivers benefit from getting out of the house and being around other adults.

“When I was a mom of under-5 kids, that was the hardest time in my life,” she said.

Auvenshine continues to develop curriculum for Sing n’ Sprout. While it started as a faith-based program, the business is moving to a more secular model. Some of the 45-minute classes are still based on Bible stories like Jonah and the whale, but the majority use themes from best-selling books like “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Each month, there are classes that match the season, like Jingle Bell Jive in December and a Dr. Seuss “Green Eggs and Ham” offering in March.

In Sioux Falls,  instructors have been teaching classes out of church classrooms, dance studios and other spaces. Auvenshine said she reached out to them to gauge interest in having a central location and registration process, and many of them embraced the idea.

“We pay them per class they teach, about $17 an hour,” she said of the studio instructors. The goal is “to have moms be able to work less and have that higher pay, so they have time to be home with their families.”

Parents and caregivers will be able to access a calendar on the studio’s website or use the MindBody app to sign up for offerings such as Bouncin’ Babies, Music Mania and God is Love. There also will be a book club for the adults.

For $75 a month, the parent or caregiver and child can attend unlimited classes. Other options include weekly and single-class fees and a punch card. Discounts are offered for more than one child in a family. Every week, there will be about two dozen classes, Auvenshine said. Class sizes typically are 10 to 15 children.

Early-bird registration has started with a 20 percent discount on class packages through Oct. 31.

Auvenshine is passionate about using music and movement to help children develop and she said research shows the benefits.

“Music and movement increase serotonin levels, helping you feel good and less stressful,” she said. “With inactivity, cortisol builds up, and that hinders growth and development.”

The studio is a concept that could be taken to other cities, Auvenshine said. Her hope is to expand it as a franchise.

“The need is so great for kids to develop and caregivers to connect,” she said. “We need these all over the place.”

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Sing n’ Sprout creator to open studio for classes

The creator of a music-and-movement curriculum for children is opening a studio where instructors will offer classes.

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