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‘Macaroni Soup’ a Hit at SIC

Southeastern Illinois College was privileged to host Miss Carole and Clarence of Macaroni Soup. Carole Stephens, “Miss Carole” to her students, joined families from the Mary Jo Oldham Center for Child Study. performing a singalong concert. Steffanie Ferrell, Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Pre-K lead teacher, says the event was a great benefit to the students.

“I was so excited to be able to bring Carole Stephens from the Chicago area to the Mary Jo Oldham Center for Child Study for a private concert just for our families,” Ferrell said.

Stephens began writing children’s music and creating music classes to meet the needs of her own two children. She has been performing as the duo, Macaroni Soup since 1989. Macaroni Soup provides musical entertainment and education to children ages one to 10 years old. Ferrell believes that music is a necessary component of educating children.

“Music is an important part of any early childhood curriculum,” Ferrell said. “I believe when children sing, dance, play instruments and listen to a variety of music, it can help develop their rhythm and rhyming skills needed for learning to read, help with language development and can promote self-confidence.”

Stephens’ music has won awards from Parents’ Choice, the National Parenting Publications Awards, Children’s Music Web Awards and several others. She also presents concerts and workshops across the United States. With Stephens’ high level of renown, bringing her to Southeastern was a concern for Ferrell.

“Normally there is not a budget for someone this famous to come from so far away,” Ferrell said. “But this year, since our ISBE Pre-K program was in good standing, Pre-K was able to write a grant specifically for a literacy/music event for our families.”

Stephens’ highly acclaimed music covers various topics. These topics include active music for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarteners, the connection between active music and early literacy and developmentally appropriate music for children and teachers of all abilities.

Stephens considers it a great privilege to work with young children and those that care for them.