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Thursday, August 13, 2015

SU Entrepreneurship Competitions Winner Opens Toddler Tunes in Salisbury

Toddler TunesSALISBURY, MD---From first steps to dance steps, Toddler Tunes is providing a new hands-on outlet for parents hoping to introduce their young children to the world of music and dance.

Salisbury University alumna Mary-Tyler Upshaw will open the new enterprise this fall following success sharing the idea with business owners and executives during SU’s annual Student Entrepreneurship Competitions in May.

Her idea not only impressed the judges — to the tune of a $1,000 prize in the “Invest in My Idea” round of competition — but caught the attention of SU Dance Company artistic director Mary Norton, owner of the Dancenter Salisbury dance school.

Norton offered to partner with and mentor Upshaw in the new venture, providing, among other things, space for the program at Dancenter Salisbury, 104 Poplar Hill Ave. Registration is open for the first class, starting this fall.

“Music and dance are critical building blocks for young children not only at the cognitive level, but for their social and emotional growth,” said Upshaw. “The idea behind Toddler Tunes is to provide a venue to not only to introduce children to those concepts at an early age, but to allow them to do so while interacting with each other and building their language and literacy skills.”

Geared toward children ages 18 months to 3 years, each 30-minute class features a combination of storytelling, music and physical activities.

Upshaw studied music at Shenandoah Conservatory and SU, and performed with theatre and opera companies including the Washington National Opera and New Orleans Opera Association. She won the Grammy for Best Choral Performance for Britten’s “War Requiem.”

She will perform her one-woman show, The Soundtrack of My Life: According to Leonard Bernstein, which debuted at SU in the spring, at this year’s Charm City Fringe Festival in Baltimore in November. Her students have gone on to work as professional stage directors and award-winning film directors.

For more information call 410-572-5580 or visit Toddler Tunes’ Facebook page at

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