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Gill takes child's play seriously

Award-winning children's musician Jim Gill says that when he writes his songs, he tries to imagine what the song would be like in a room with 15 families -- including a kid with special needs, a kid without special needs, moms and dads, grandmas -- and how it would look if everyone was singing and playing it togeth-er.

Since releasing his first collection of "play songs" in 1993, Gill's repertoire of child-centered and participatory ditties has taken him to libraries and schools across the country. Five more CDs and two decades later, his music still stresses early childhood development for all kids, regardless of their abilities, by encouraging musical group play with the adults who love them.

The credentialed early childhood specialist brings the same emphasis on family play to his concerts -- rather than performing for children and parents, he leads them to sing and play together.

Gill's Contagious Tunes Tour will stop at Northwest Library, 2280 Hard Road, Friday, Aug. 1. The tour celebrates the 20th anniversary of his first album, Jim Gill Sings The Sneezing Song and Other Contagious Tunes. In addition to The Sneezing Song, you can bet that the set list will also include favorites Silly Dance Contest and Can't Wait to Celebrate.

As parent-child interaction is the heart of Gill's popular music, and concerts, come to the show prepared to play hot foot and follow-the-leader, plus "snow walking" and "sleep walking" and much more.

Gill's show, the final performance in the library's summer concert series, will start at 7 p.m.

In celebration of the end of the Summer Reading Club, there will be face painting, a Frisbee toss and bubble station, plus games like Jumbo Tic-Tac-Toe and Memory, starting at 6 p.m. Look for a dunk tank, too, weather permitting!

Hillary Kline is communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.

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