Breaking the mold and going far beyond the dynamics of the average teaching methods, a former couple of the Winchester area brought music to the classroom. After having no luck finding a song about volcanoes, Virginia Deal Largent ’90 began to think outside the box. Being thoughtful and creative, Largent wrote and sang a song about volcanoes to the tune of “Pop Goes the Weasel.” After singing to her class, Largent says, “The kids absolutely loved it.”
Along with her husband, Steve, a graduate of James Wood High School, Largent founded, owns and now operates, The Virginia Beach School of the Arts (VBSA) located in Virginia Beach, Va.
VBSA has been running strong for over a decade.
One mother says, “My daughter has been going to the VBSA since she was an infant. We attended Music Mommy and Me classes until she turned three then she started art classes in the summer and finally preschool there. She loves it and so do we!! The teachers are trustworthy and caring. It’s amazing the things she shows us when she comes home.”
The Largents say, “The brain is wired through music. You can literally teach a child anything when it is set to a song.” After discovering learning through music from that one instance, Virginia and Steve took advantage of that discovery and did not let it sit dormant. Writing over 2,000 songs in 30+ subject areas to the tunes of various childhood melodies such as, “Amazing Grace,” “Jingle Bells” and “Old McDonald,” the Largents launched their new website Acadamiacs.com.
Largent and her husband have created a world-class idea that can be used by all. She attributes much of her success to the foundation she received at Shenandoah.
“SU was the foundation of my musical career. It prepared me in every way for future endeavors,” Largent remarks. “Having world-class teachers and small classes fostered creative opportunities and thinking that made SU the best choice for me.”
Acadamiacs.com features all of their educational songs and videos with interactive lyrics. These videos include hand motions that allow the participants to not only learn, but also to be engaged in the learning process. While benefiting preschool and elementary age children, this site targets college students as well. There is a section on the website that has over 450 songs for those studying college biology, chemistry, anatomy and medical terminology. A mother of two, Kristen Zagorsky says, “Acadamiacs is the best thing I’ve ever done for my kids! My sons are academically years ahead of their peers.”
As you can see, this loving couple has touched not only the lives of the children in their classrooms, but also is sharing their gift with the world through their website.
View the website HERE.
- – Written by Myles Hairston ’14