College/Back to School
Silver Lake programs attract national interest
Pre-natal program creates bond between infant and parents
They have traveled to Manitowoc from Argentina and Australia,
Malaysia and Singapore. And, whether they are educators, health
professionals or entrepreneurs they leave pronouncing the
ground-breaking work of Silver Lake College's Sr. Lorna Zemke
nothing short of remarkable.
Sr. Zemke is the developer of LOVENOTES, an instructional program
for expectant parents utilizing music and movement to create an
early and lifelong bond between infants and family members. The
prenatal program, conducted both in face-to-face setting and
available as a self-contained, instructional package (video and
audio tapes with accompanying print materials) leads to the Music
for Tots sessions offered for birth to five-year-olds. The
sequenced programs draw hundreds of participants to Manitowoc
each school year and during the summer months.
In more recent years, the Tots program has been established at
other sites in Northeastern Wisconsin, affording even more
families the opportunity to give their children a foundation
which manifests itself in mastery of disciplines, academic and
psychosocial. The sessions also provide college students and
colleagues of Sr. Zemke with ample evidence, through research,
documentation and fist hand observation, that the intentional
stimulation of pre-born and very young children is integral to
tapping into the most fulfilling elements of human existence.
Recently, more international visitors spent time at the college
campus, sitting in on Sr. Zemke's summer class, talking with
other advocates of this kind of early childhood programming and
considering how they may be able to transplant this pedagogical
approach within their own cultures.
Petar-Kresimir Hodzic, who in September will become a fully
licensed medical doctor, and his wife, Rafaela Mrdjen-Hodzic, a
musician and career molecular biologist, believe that an early
introduction to music is "healthful" for both mother and child
and "helps to build the family unit."
The Croatian couple discovered the work of the Manitowoc-based
member of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity on the
Internet, then began corresponding with Sr. Zemke before their
visit to Silver Lake College this summer.
For Petar, the exchange helped to focus his medical career. He
has decided to take a position in his country's largest center
for obstetrics, the Petrova Institute in the capital city of
Zagreb, where more than 3,000 births occur each year. Dr. Hodzic
hopes to introduce the concepts espoused by Zemke.
In the same summer class was Allen Oh, president of Sangjiwon,
Inc., the largest publisher of instructional music materials in
Korea. Oh hopes to translate and market the materials associated
with the LOVENOTES and Music for tots programs in his homeland of
more than 40 million people and perhaps reach into other Pacific
Rim countries as well.
"What Sr. Lorna has developed here (at SLC) is so well organized
and universally appealing that I would be willing to stake my
company's reputation and resources on bringing it to people in
That 'need' according to Oh, is among people who culturally and
intergenerationally tend to view childbirth very clinically and
with a certain amount of detachment.
"Everything about Dr. Zemke's approach speaks to the emotional
richness and sanctity of the birthing and family bonding
experience," said Oh.
He acknowledges the work of other pioneers working in the field
of multisensory, human development including Dr. Mary Wilson of
Miami University, who recommended that he visit Silver Lake
College and Sr. Zemke.
"I sense that the world's transformation has begun with respect
to empowering individuals at a very early age," he said.