Through the collaborative efforts of composers, educators and designers the vision of bringing Mr. Rhythm Musical Plays to life has been fulfilled. Through the Internet this web-based musical education program allows people throughout the world to enjoy the benefits of Mr. Rhythm Musical plays. We would like to honor a special group of Key Contributors that helped make this dream come true.
Jean Clark Laube was a pioneer in developing early childhood education. She developed, owned, and operated two of the first preschools in her homes from 1950 to 1978. Believing in the importance of tailoring the classroom to fit each child’s needs, Jean created an environment that allowed every student to thrive with crafts, stories, playtime, and, most importantly in her frequent parent’s day performances.
Mr. Rhythm Musical plays were born when appropriate material was unavailable for these parent’s day performances. Deciding to create song adventures around a seasonal theme, event, or location, Jean wrote the music and scripts for ten plays. As she always did in her preschool, her music and plays encouraged movement and imagination. Paired with easy choreography, this allowed children to explore new worlds and was fun for all.
In order to bring her Mother’s lifelong goal to fruition, Kay Laube Benson channeled her creative energy from years of work as a professional photographer to produce Mr. Rhythm Musical Plays. She describes this process as “The best gift [my mother] has given me is sharing the past few years in the positive and enriching environment these musical journeys create. I will always be very appreciative for the many wonderful hours we spent together on this project. This time together has been filled with mutual respect, admiration, and just plain fun.”
The Music of Mr. Rhythm Musical Journeys was directed and recorded by Emmy award winning composer Gary Fry. Gary wrote new songs that were both in keeping with the original music and necessary to finish several of the journeys. Children’s music has a special emphasis in Gary’s company, High Touch Music. In addition to producing the music for Mr. Rhythm Productions, he has composed, arranged, and produced albums for Kid Rhino and Warner Kids record labels. Gary's music can be heard daily on the Cartoon Network program, Baby Looney Tunes.
The creators of Mr. Rhythm share a commitment to making this curriculum available to children of all abilities. They enlisted the help of Claire M. Halloran, MA, CCC-SLP, to develop classroom-friendly adaptations that honor the unique developmental profiles of special needs children to foster their full participation in the Mr. Rhythm classroom programs. Claire is a speech-language pathologist who has worked with young children and their families for over 20 years in home, community, preschool, and Head Start, daycare, and clinic settings. Claire holds a Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from George Washington University and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Infant Mental Health from The Erikson Institute. Claire received her undergraduate degree in History from the College of The Holy Cross.