STAWELL - Former Stawell Primary School teacher, Maureen Whitehead has combined her passion for music with her vast infant teaching experience to release an educational album for children.
Ms Whitehead, who goes by the name Miss Maureen, has released an album titled, 'I can you can toucan', which features 19 original songs.
Born in Ararat, Miss Maureen lived in Stawell for about eight years in the late 1960s and early 1970s while teaching at Stawell Primary School.
Now based in Melbourne, Miss Maureen retired from teaching about 10 years ago but wanted to continue educating young children.
Miss Maureen has written more than 200 songs for children, featuring unique melodies and clever rhymes.
"I have released the songs at the insistence of principals, teachers and educationalists," she said.
"They all have action videos, because action is very important. The benefits to children are huge. It's fun and enjoyable and fits all the guidelines for children's early learning."
Miss Maureen said the songs and their accompanying videos had instant appeal for young children and that they would have a significant impact in music and literacy, reading, creative writing, poetry and drama.
Miss Maureen said the education packages could be used in schools, kindergartens or by parents at home and also featured illustrated lyric sheets and character outline stencils.
"Any child can get hold of them," she said.
"They're all woven around a character so they're very engaging, which is vital for children."
Yarra Primary State School principal, Tracy Hammill has endorsed Miss Maureen's program.
"(Miss Maureen) fulfils the VELS (Victorian Essential Learning Standards) reading, writing, listening and speaking - the songs cover all of these areas. They also fit in beautifully with the early years model, shared reading, guided reading and literacy groups. I'm a huge advocate!" she said.
"Rhythm is essential for learning to read, and so the idea of having songs that have a fabulous beat, are fun to move to. We know that children learn kinaesthetically as well, so what it's doing is engaging them orally, aurally, physically and they're having a great time while they do it, so I think that's a huge bonus."
For more information or to purchase one of Miss Maureen's educational packs, visit http://missmaureen.com