WeJoySing FUN with Columbus East FIT4MOM

Today Is Monday - Come and eat it up!!

Today Is Monday - Come and eat it up!!

Do you know about the Columbus East FIT4MOM?  What a fabulous group of moms, children and instructors! Last week, Mrs. Jo was invited to do a FREE DEMO CLASS for the Gahanna based FIT4MOMs and their children.  The hour went so fast and was filled with joyful and fun-filled music and movement marking!   If your ORGANIZATION is interested in a FREE WeJoySing DEMO CLASS, contact Mrs. Jo or the WeJoySing office at 614-868-0107 to book a date!  We'd love to come and meet MORE WONDERFUL PARENTS and your delightful children!

The More We Get Together the HAPPIER We'll Be!!!

The More We Get Together the HAPPIER We'll Be!!!

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HAMMER TIME!!!  "Rat-a-Tat-Tat!!!"

Summer Memories with WeJoySing!

Early this summer, Mrs. Jo hosted an "end of the year" party at her home for the Music & Me Level II families.  It was a delightful evening of conversation, fabulous food, friendship, and it was "topped it off" by a marvelous musical demonstration by the Music & Me students!!  Of course, the demonstration included the parents' involvement in the games!  

The recorder demonstration by the students was the highlight of the evening!!  YEP!  Now that they can read & write "drm sl" (solfege) on the staff and have a strong understanding of "re," the students were introduced to "absolute note names" (better known as "A B C's" note names).  We were ready to perform "HOT CROSS BUNS and several other "mrd OR BAG" songs when WHAT SHOULD APPEAR OVERHEAD but a beautiful hot air balloon.

The program abruptly stopped so ALL could gaze at the balloon.  Soon it passed over and the program commenced once again.  HOWEVER, 10 minutes later, the balloon turned its course and headed back toward Mrs. Jo's home!  The EXCITEMENT ERUPTED!  The children shouted and encouraged the pilot to land the balloon in Mrs. Jo's back yard.  In the end, it landed two houses down!!   Now tell me, HOW AM I GOING TO TOP THAT NEXT YEAR!!!??  

One can never tell what will happen as friends make music together!!!  It was a glorious time!

MUSIC & ME: WeJoySing for School Agers

a JOY-FILLED way to learn to read, write and sing music!

a JOY-FILLED way to learn to read, write and sing music!

Great News!  Your joy-filled music experiences with WeJoySing do not have to end because your child graduated from our early childhood Heart Strings program.  We invite you and your child (5.5-10yrs) to a FREE Music & Me Introduction and demo: 
Upper Arlington -Tuesday, August 22
Northwest Christian Church, 
1340 Fishinger Road, Columbus, OH
Room 12 from 4:45-5:45pm.
Reynoldsburg – Monday, August 21, 
Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church,
1636 Graham Rd, Reynoldsburg, OH, 
Room 113 from 5:00-6:00pm.
Music & Me, a high energy, experience-based music literacy program utilizing the Kodály Method to music literacy.  This logical, sequential, hands-on, learning experience is designed for children ages 6-10 years.  Check the Fall Schedule for exact Upper Arlington and Reynoldsburg class time. 
Through joyful singing games, folk songs, instruments, and movement, your child will learn to read, write, sing, and play music while developing the foundations for good singing. 
 For more information about this fun-filled music literacy program, visit our website at Music & Me or call 614-868-0107.  
Registration is $145.00 (9 week session) BUT register NOW and pay only $135.00 with a this promotion Code M&M17.
 Can't wait to see you there!
"Sing"cerely,
Mrs. Jo

Early Music Experiences - Predictor of Academic Success!

Beginning Early...genius!

Beginning Early...genius!

“Neuroscientist and music teacher, Dr. Martin Gardner, thinks music is the key to getting kids on the path toward “genius.”  Mercy!  THAT got my immediate attention. I stopped and watched Through the Wormhole, a TV series on the Science Channel. Martin stated, “Music provides a fantastic opportunity to strengthen your mind.  It’s one of the most marvelous inventions of humanity.”

Music & Me...Writing Rhythms

Music & Me...Writing Rhythms

Dr. Gardner tracked children’s academic achievement as they grew from age seven to thirty-five.  His decades of research found that the strongest predictor of academic success is whether the student received musical training at an early age.  As an early childhood specialist and music educator, I was elated to hear this and  jumped for joy! 

Mrs. Jo Wichita State University

Mrs. Jo Wichita State University

But, it got even better.  Martin believes one specific musical teaching system “hits all the right neurological notes.”  He identified the “system” as the Kodály Method.  I’m glad you weren’t in my living room to hear my “WooWhoos”.  You see, I am a Kodály specialist and hold my Master Degree in Music Education with an emphasis in the Kodály Method.  But BEST of ALL, WeJoySing’s Hearth Strings and Music & Me programs are based on the philosophy and pedagogical principles of Zoltan Kodály.  Since the late 80’s, my summers have been spent teaching graduate level Kodály Methods at six Universities across the US.   Obviously, I’m “SOLD” on this methodology. 

It is with great enthusiasm I share this episode of Through the Wormhole “Can Music Help Make You a Genius?”

"Sing"cerely,
Mrs. Jo
Jo Kirk, President
WeJoySing, Inc.

"Long Lonely Days" - Not at WeJoySing!

 “We have all known the long loneliness,
and we have found that the answer is community.” – Dorothy Day

I happened upon this quote while surfing social media and it immediately made me think of WeJoySing and parenthood.  As parents, don’t we all know the “long loneliness”?  While the years may be short, the days can definitely be long.  We are overwhelmed by to-do lists that come along with raising little humans.  These tasks have to be checked off the list by YOU, the parent.  They are done in the dark early morning hours before your children wake, or long after they’ve gone to sleep.  Some days,  hours pass without speaking to another adult.  It can be LONELY. 

friendship & community at WEjoysing!

friendship & community at WEjoysing!

I remember taking my first-born to Mrs. Lynnette’s class for 13-24 month-olds.  We were new to the area and I couldn’t take another second without some form of human contact (besides my needy toddler!).  As I sat in her class for the first time, I nearly wept from the relief and joy I felt.  Wow- here are some other moms JUST LIKE ME with toddlers who have the same needs as mine! Life outside of my four walls actually DOES EXIST!  Friendships grew with these parents who brought their children each week. Playdates were made. Community was built.  Imagine how powerful it is for children to be a part of a larger community!

And now as an instructor for WeJoySing, I have had the privilege of watching these communities of families grow together. I hear parents talking before and after class about those nagging parenting issues that keep us all awake at night. I see parents filled with pride and joy as they watch each of the children reaching different milestones.  What an honor and a blessing it is to witness these relationships growing over time.

You see, WeJoySing is more than just a music class.  Yes, children do develop lifelong skills from these classes. But I want you to know that these classes are so much more. They have been for me, and they can be for you, an answer to the “long loneliness”.  What a gift!

Not Lonely!
Mrs. Jody

Response to: Is Your "Emotional Bucket" Empty

This is too good to keep to myself!  I must share this response to a recent blog "Is Your "Emotional Bucket" Empty?"  Thank YOU Paly!

Thank you Mrs Jo!!!   The article describes how I feel perfectly!   I hope it encourages more families to keep coming to WeJoySing and to keep the joy going at home.  We sang "The More We Get Together" for the first time with Mary last week.  Annie and George were all smiles as we all sat in a circle together for music time.  With the birth of Mary, I haven't made the time to sit and play with them as much lately.  But I was the most excited of all of us.  Holding Mary, just one month old, in my lap and swaying back and forth to that oh so familiar song... Her head flopping back and forth as we sang and my other children grinning.  I took a deep breathe as I tried to take it all in.  And instead of feeling overwhelmed and tired as I often do, I just felt... Joyful.  And so blessed, to have these children and to have these tools you have shared with us. I hope you know that what you have created is so very special and unique.  It truly changes lives.  I am forever grateful.
With love,
aly

Humpty Dumpty Has a New Crash!!

LIVING WeJoySing at HOME!!! Humpty Dumpty has a new CRASH! As this little one walked into Mrs. Karen's class, she proudly announced, "I MADE HUMPTY'S CRASH!" For the last several weeks she has brought her "crash" to class and Mrs. Karen has incorporated it into the lesson! BRAVO! This is what WeJoySing is ALL ABOUT!! Music is a JOYFUL way to learn!!!

THE BOX SHOW: WeJoySing Partners with Columbus Children's Theatre

WeJoySing has been working closely with the Columbus Children's Theatre as they endeavor to create and perfect theatre productions for the very young, 18 months to 3 years old.  

Share this DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE with your child!

Share this DELIGHTFUL EXPERIENCE with your child!

WeJoySing is proud to announce the opening of The Box Show. You and your toddler will be enthralled by this delightful story of a toddler who finds herself surrounded by boxes. She begins to search for her favorite toy. When she does not find it, an imaginary friend appears to show her how to make the ordinary extraordinary. Whimsical music and other magical sounds accompany as the two friends explore the boxes and transform them into an adventure of endless possibilities. It is a 30 minute, 1 Act Play with music designed for the Young Theatre Goer, 18 months to 3 years old!!

Performances will be at the Park Street Theatre, 
      512 Park St. Columbus, OH 43215
Dates: March 2 - 12 
     Thursdays and Fridays at 10am
     Saturdays at 11:30am and 1pm
     Sundays at 1pm
     Sensory Friendly Performance
        Saturday March 4 and 11 at 10am
Tickets may be purchase online or call:
       CCT Ticket Office
       614.224.6672
      CAPA Ticket Office      
      614.469.0939

When I Grow Up...

He put the piece of my dream together

He put the piece of my dream together

Children can say things that stop adults in our tracks and cause us to think about how blessed we truly are. I had such an experience last week. 

A 5 year old boy walked into class about 15 minutes early.  He quickly busied himself with the floor mats, taking them apart and putting them back together, creating new color patterns.  Seeing he was happily occupied, I turned to “organize my thoughts” for the upcoming class when he thoughtfully asked, “Mrs. Jo, what did you dream you wanted to be when you grew up?”  I have no idea what caused him to ask that question, but I DO know it stopped me in my tracks! 

Mrs. Jo demonstrating "Snail Game" to Wichita State University grad students

Mrs. Jo demonstrating "Snail Game" to Wichita State University grad students

Every emotion and thought in my brain SHOUTED, “I wanted to be a music teacher!  And LOOK where I am and what I’m doing!  I AM A MUSIC TEACHER and so much more!!”  His simple question caused my life to flash before me in seconds, vividly remembering as a little girl the times I prayed, “Lord I wanna sing like my Mommy!”, in Jr. High praying, “Lord, I want to be a music teacher!”, and in college praying, “Lord I can’t wait to finish this degree so I can do what I’ve always dreamed about…Teaching Music!”  

I slowly turning to the young boy and softly answered, “I wanted to be a music teacher.”  The boy briefly looked up from his mat puzzle and said with a lovely smile, “Well, I guess your dream came true, didn’t it Mrs. Jo?”  As his words softly filled the room, I realized that my “dream” had come true and had flourished into something bigger than myself.  God has blessed me abundantly and beyond my simple prayers to be a music teacher.  What a JOY!!! 

Arizona  Early Childhood Educators learn new activity during Mrs. Jo's  Professional Development seminar 

Arizona  Early Childhood Educators learn new activity during Mrs. Jo's  Professional Development seminar 

Enjoy the photos of Mrs. Jo's "and so much more!"  (mouse over picture for description.) 

Sing the Winter Blues Away!

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Brighten Your Day with SONG!.  And many of our WeJoySing families DO just that!
How do I know?

Lisa wrote this week:   We have always loved to do the words and sing the songs at home together. Our children get so excited and say “Again ...Again!”  Sometimes when we are singing, I forget words from the class so it's very nice to be able to listen to them on the WeJoySing website! Thank you!

Ashley wrote: “Cold weather and colds are keeping us inside today!  Singing is making us all better!”

You too can fill the winter days with SONG!  ”But Mrs. Jo, I can’t remember the words of the song.”  Never fear wonderful WeJoySing parents!  The words and audio are on our website at www.wejoysing.com.  Simply click on “WORDS,” select your child’s age group and click!  If you have forgotten the password, email me real quick at wejoysing@wejoysing.com and we’ll send it to you pronto!!   HAPPY SINGING!!

IS YOUR "EMOTIONAL BUCKET" EMPTY?

Juggling responsibilities!!

Juggling responsibilities!!

As parents and teachers, we’ve experienced the wonderful affect that WeJoySing has on our children’s development. We see 1 year olds become more verbal and develop fine motor skills as they explore rhythm instrument, 2 and 3 year olds learning to take turns through musical games, 4 and 5 year olds exploring their singing voice while reading melodic notation, and infants soaking in every musical sight, sound and movement,  creating connections in their brain that will foster endless future learning. But, have you ever thought about what can WeJoySing do for YOU...the parent.  Paly, a mother of three, has and wrote WeJoySing to share her delightful thoughts and memories.  In her reflection she wrote:

               I have woken (every Friday for the last 4 years) with JOY! Coming to your class every Friday was such a vital part of my week. It was a gentle reminder for me to love, cherish and enjoy my time with my children. It is so easy to get into the habit of throwing toys at our children and letting them play while we catch up on our emails or chores. But at WeJoySing each week for 30 minutes you teach us to play with our children. And more importantly how to truly ENJOY it.

Mrs. Krista takes control...give Mom a Break!!

Mrs. Krista takes control...give Mom a Break!!

I will be the first to agree with Paly, parenting can be the most wonderful, terrifying, joyful, stressful, emotionally draining and fulfilling job there is. I remember as a first time parent being so nervous about everything. ‘Am I doing this right? Am I doing everything that I can to help this little one grow into the amazing human being that they have the potential to be?’ I read every book that there was, but sometimes the advice in the book did not work with my little one….and then what?  We quickly learn that trial and error and relying on the support of family, friends and those around us help to get us through.  WeJoySing aims to provide and create that community and support for you. We LOVE each and every child in our class and want to see them develop into the amazing human beings that we know they can be. But, we also want to be here for YOU, the parents, as well. We want to be a support for you when you don’t know what to do. To give you that time during the week in which you don’t have to worry about laundry or potty training, but you get to be joyful in play with your little one.

What Paly said it SO right. We live in a day in age in which we feel like we constantly have to be on the go; doing something, working on a project or calling someone back. We can so easily forget to take time to PLAY. Albert Einstein once said that “Play is the highest form of Research’. That is what our children do every day. Through play they are researching the world around them and soaking in every single thing that they can. The best thing that we can do as parents to foster the development of our children is to LOVE them and PLAY with them. These are 2 core values of WeJoySing.  When playing with our children, we forget about the stresses of the week, the bills that need to be paid, the appointments that we need to made or conference calls we have.  Those 30 minutes of class each week are designed to not only foster the development of your child, but to fill your emotional bucket as a parent as well. In her note Paly wrote:

               Your 30 min class rejuvenates me for the week – we sing your songs, read your books, play your games at home. I sing to them whenever I remember to and forget how tired I am or that I have other work to do…..and I have so much fun with my children when I do this! I think WeJoySing has single handedly kept me sane as a stay at home mom. It has given me the tools and inspiration to do this job right.  Thank you for sharing your love, joy and songs with us each week.  It means more to us than you will ever know.

What an amazing testimonial. We have been so blessed to have Paly as part of our WeJoySing family for 4 years, but what an even bigger blessing she is to her two wonderful children. Through her time at WeJoySing, she has seen the value of play, experienced the joy of time given in one on one interaction with her children and seen their lives changed for the better. It’s all about community, love and supporting parents. We are SO thankful to have each and every one of you as part of our WeJoySing family and are humbled that you allow us to be a part of the circle that helps support YOU and your family.

Love and La Las,
Mrs. Julie P.

MUSIC Eliminates “Drill & Kill”

Do we have to do it again!  I'll just cover my ears and then she might STOP!

Do we have to do it again!  I'll just cover my ears and then she might STOP!

I know how frustrating it can be to practice sounds with a child. You see, my child had a speech delay.  At best, I could get him to do a few repetitions before receiving one of three reactions…crying, blank stare, or walking away.  Then I found “Music!”  Implementing music into our practice made it fun and a joyful way for him to gain speech and communication skills.  Music helped to eliminate those dreaded reactions and made speech practice fun! It was delightful, motivating, and captivating.  Why?  Because, music activates multiple regions of the brain and it creates play-filled opportunity for numerous repetitions without the monotony of “drill and kill!”  

Speech Example - Straight from Songs
“Oh My Grandpa Had a Car” (sung to the tune of “Old MacDonald”) was a favorite during WeJoySing’s holiday session.  The lyrics were:
                      Oh my grandpa had a car, E-I-E-I-O….
                          And on his car he had:
                                         
A horn, with a beep, beep, here and a beep, beep there.
                                       
Some wipers, with a swish, swish here and a swish, swish, there.
                                         
A motor, with a bbbbbbbbb (lip raspberry).
                                         A radio, with a la la here, and a la la there.

MUSIC make SPEECH  and Language development FUN!!

MUSIC make SPEECH  and Language development FUN!!

The “beep beep” of grandpa’s horn guides the child to imitate and practice the easier frontal sounds “B” and “P.”  This is wonderful for the emerging talker who is just learning and fun review for those who already have it. 

From there we move on to the wipers that have the hardest sounds for little developing mouths, the “sw” and the “sh.”  This provides the grown-ups with the perfect opportunity to model these blended sounds for their children.  Your children will watch your mouth. They listen and they learn without even realizing it. Plus, they have FUN exploring and developing the sounds because the sound is attached to something “concrete” in their understanding of the world - “Grandpa’s windshield wipers!” 

I'm playing with my "favorite toy"...My Dad!!

I'm playing with my "favorite toy"...My Dad!!

Me, Sing?
So, you’re thinking, “But I cannot sing!”  Let me point out that it really doesn’t matter!  Your children aren’t paying attention to how well you sing or even if you are singing on pitch. They are having FUN with YOU!  What an absolutely wonderful way to learn and gain new speech and communication skills!


There’s MORE!
Grandpa’s motor is my favorite!  Lip raspberries, better known asrazzies, lip bubbles, or lip trills, are a wonderful tool for the voice.  As a matter of fact, every morning before I teach, I warm-up my voice with a series of lip bubbles.  They help relax my lips, take pressure off my vocal chords, and focus my awareness of my diaphragm.  

“Raspberries” for Volume and Pitch
Lip razzies do a bit of the same for your child, plus more.  They teach and guide the child to regulate their voice, how to turn it on and off, and change its volume and pitch.  For example, in order to get louder the child’s diaphragm must be engaged. The child learns how to use the diaphragm while controlling his/her lips and tongue.  

They are watching your lips....."bbbbbbb"  and  trying to figure out "How is she doing that?"

They are watching your lips....."bbbbbbb"  and  trying to figure out "How is she doing that?"

“Lip Razzies” for Little Ones
For the littler ones, lip razzies develop lip tension. This is important as our babies start eating and drinking so they will have the appropriate lip tension to create a seal for cup drinking.  The jaw workout with lip razzies  encourages lip development independent of the jaw and tongue, a crucial skill for eating with a spoon and eating chunkier foods.

Why the “La La’s”   
Finally, we get to Grandpa’s radio.  The “L” sound can be a frequent trouble maker for beginners.  The radio “La La’s”  are simple and straightforward, as well as fun to sing and easy to model. 

WeJoySing is all about the JOY of learning and developing essential skills through music!  It’s wonderful that your child has these play-filled and motivating experiences easily built in every lesson! What a JOYFUL way to learn!   So, GO and make silly sounds and sing about “Grandpa’s Car” knowing that you are laying the strong foundation for your child’s speech, communication and vocabulary!

Musical Blessings!
Mrs. Juliette

Music's Influence on Speech and Language Development with Speech Pathologist, Courtney Jones

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I LOVE the WeJoySing curriculum.  As a WJS instructor and a WJS parent, I have seen how WeJoySing can make a difference in the lives of children and parents alike.  We strive to create an atmosphere where learning can TAKE OFF! But the best part is – it all happens in the context of PLAY! The children think they are just PLAYING.  When in reality, so much BRAIN WORK is happening! 

I have seen it in action and have read the research supporting our approach, but I wanted to hear from a professional in the area of speech and language development.  A parent in one of my classes, Courtney Jones, is a Speech Language Pathologist.  I asked if I could interview her to get her perspective on WeJoySing and how it helps children in the area of speech acquisition. 

Tell me a little about your family and professional background:I am a Speech Language Pathologist with a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders.  I have spent the majority of my career working with children at the preschool level with speech impairments and expressive, receptive and social language deficits.  My husband, Travis, and I have a 16 month old son Oliver and I am currently a stay-at-home mom.


How did you hear about WeJoySing?  
Once my son turned six months old, I was feeling a need for an activity for him (and me!) since he was so busy.  My friend, who has a daughter a year and a half older than Oliver, told me about WeJoySing.  Oliver and I visited a class last February and have been back every session since.  Because we live in Zanesville, it takes us 40 minutes each week to get to class.  However, because Oliver enjoys the class so much, and I see how impactful WeJoySing has been to his social and language development, the 40 minute drive has been nothing but worth it. 

Why did you decide to sign up for WeJoySing classes?  
I first sought out WeJoySing as a way to add some routine to our schedule and to get us out of the house!

How do you see WeJoySing helping children with language acquisition and development? Have you seen ways that WeJoySing has influenced Oliver's speech and language development specifically?
I have been so impressed by the professionalism of WeJoySing and by the program’s ability to incorporate so many fundamental language components through the use of music. One-step direction following, social engagement, turn-taking, spatial concepts, use of instruments, new vocabulary and established routines are just a few of the things I see WeJoySing implementing to help with language acquisition in these young children. 

The 1 Year Olds like their "La La's" on the Tummy!!

The 1 Year Olds like their "La La's" on the Tummy!!

Throughout the weeks, I saw my son develop familiarity with the songs and routines.  For instance, the stuffed animal dog who greets the children each week and a stamp (or “lala” as they call it in class) the children get on their hands at the end of each class.  Oliver would smile during the welcome song, try to imitate gestures like clapping and waving, “dance” along to the music and would giggle in anticipation of gross motor movements like lifting him up high or swinging him around. I will never forget being home with Oliver and after saying the sounds “lala” to him, he looked at his hand and pointed, making the connection between the sound and meaning of the sound.  It was one of the first times I realized he receptively understood what I was saying!

The WeJoySing instructors are very knowledgeable and friendly and the environment is warm and welcoming.  I feel so grateful to have learned about WeJoySing.

With many thanks to Courtney for her expertise and
word of “wisdom” for our parents and reader!
JOYFULLY!
Mrs. Jody

The Gift of MUSIC!!

The Wide mouth frog

The Wide mouth frog

LOOK EVERYONE!  Mrs. Kelly is always excited to come and loves to play with us at the St. Stephen’s Childcare and Community Center downtown Columbus!!   

At St. Stephens Childcare, Mrs. Kelly and the children’s program volunteers from the Christ Child Society work together to support and encourage the children’s play-filled learning and joyful motivation toward the development of essential early skills through music and movement experiences. It’s an exciting and fun-filled time of learning as the children play instruments, sing, read stories and dance!

Here I come with my little tom tom!

Here I come with my little tom tom!

Mrs. Kelly reports that, “The children loved going to "Music Land" and their favorite activities were helping me with the voices while reading "The Wide-Mouthed Frog" and playing the drums!

Contact WeJoySing at 614-868-0107 for more information about WeJoySing's Child Care, Preschool, and Montessori music and movement based programs. We'd love to be a part of your child's child care experience!  MUSIC, It's a JOY-FILLED way to learn