NO RUSH! Let Them Observe!! Part II Interview

Watching…Watching…Watching! Learning…Learning…learning!

Watching…Watching…Watching! Learning…Learning…learning!

An observer is a person who watches what happens but has little to no visible active part in it.  Parents of an “observer” often struggle to understand why their child “just sits and watches” while others are up and joyfully playing with their parents and the other children.

 Perhaps your little one is an observer and you are wondering if his or her development is normal. If so, you will connect with the parents I’ve interviewed. These four families have been attending WeJoySing for a minimum of 9 months up to 2.5 years and have had a variety of teachers within the WeJoySing program. Two of the children attend the evening sessions and two attend mornings. The parents were asked the same questions and you will see similarities in all the replies which show how your “little observer” is still gaining from his/her WeJoySing classes.  In this two part series, you’ll read how these parents guided their child through this observation process to gain new skills and a greater sense of security to joyfully, on their own, actively participate in class.

Some observers like to be held or stand to the side during movement experiences

Some observers like to be held or stand to the side during movement experiences

YOUR “OBSERVER” IS JUST FINE!!  It is through observation that your child learns…through watching.  As your “little observer” watches the musical activity, he/she is mentally very busy processing all the information he/she is “meeting and greeting.” Your child is getting to know and understand the activity through observations.  This observation process gives your child a greater sense of security once he/she begins to be actively involved with the experience.

Describe the observer behaviors you see from your child during class:
Rylan: My child sits on my lap pretty much the entire time. She watches the other children and teacher but does not really sing along or participate. My first born wouldn’t even go up to get an instrument from the teacher or to get la-la’s. My youngest who is now in class sits close and holds my hand during all walking/dancing; but she will go up and get instruments and la-la’s.
Millie: When we first started attending, Millie was very hesitant about participating. She would not dance, sing, or use the instruments. She would quietly watch the other kids doing those things but would often stand and watch in one spot while I would move around. This was something I was concerned about especially during those first few sessions, but Mrs. Kristi explained these were normal observer behaviors.

 Describe the ways you know your child is enjoying the class.When your child is in a familiar environment what does he/she say or do from WeJoySing class?
Rylan: She is very excited the morning of class and can’t wait to get in the car and go. She rushes up the stairs to class. She talks about the class at home and when we pass by the church she excitedly says, “are we going to music class today?” She repeats several of the songs from class like Uuuuuup the hill and Doooooown the hill. She sweetly said that Mrs. Kristi is a good singer one day in the car!
Millie: She is always excited and willing to come to class. When we pull into the parking lot she starts saying, “We’re here! We’re here! La-La Class!” Millie will sing the songs at home all the time and she likes to dance the movements. She gets really excited if any of the La-La Class songs are on the radio!!

once your observer is comfortable, she will move from your lap to “where the action is!!!”

once your observer is comfortable, she will move from your lap to “where the action is!!!”

 Talk about your feelings as the parent when your child is more of an observer.
Rylan: It can be awkward at times. Others are usually very nice about it, but you can tell they may think it is odd. You want your child to participate more and really show she is enjoying it; however, having been through this with our older child, I know this is something my child enjoys and is a bonding experience for us. I try my best to let her be herself. It is good practice for her to feel out a new setting and determine how she wants to experience it. It’s ok if she wants to sit on my lap or hold my hand…she is still around other children, in an environment away from home, and listening and following instructions from a teacher.
(For what it’s worth, I also have a very active and outgoing child. That also presents its own set of challenges; like chasing them around, trying to get them to share, return instruments even if they don’t want to, etc. The quiet observer offers benefits in that regard—they sit still, listen and follow the rules! There is no ‘perfect’ child and you have to roll with it a bit!)
Millie: Oftentimes I would feel sad for her because I knew she would enjoy participating but for whatever reason is not comfortable in doing so. I don’t want her to miss out on anything, so I love that I now see her taking risks with new activities in class!

La La’s after class…ALL BY MY SELF!!!!

La La’s after class…ALL BY MY SELF!!!!

What changes have you seen in the amount of participation from the beginning?
Rylan: My child started to participate around the start of her second consecutive session (fall and holiday). She is still reserved and mostly sits with me, but she will participate in the dances and walks a little more. She bravely joined in on the parachute and jumps up to put the mats up! She even proudly said her name one time during the introductions!!! We all cheered! She loves getting the la-la’s and proudly shows them to her older brother and sister.
Millie: We reached a point where it seemed like Millie would participate in one new thing each week and it just grew from there. We have been attending for 10 months now and she fully participates in most activities. She especially loves the introduction song and will do the movements for The More We Get Together all the time! As a stay-at-home-with-grandma-while-mom-works kiddo she is also getting extra time around other kids her age which is a wonderful opportunity for social interactions!

 What do you see other parents, kids or teachers do that encourages your children to warm up at their own pace?
Rylan: Both WeJoySing teachers we have had have been excellent at letting my quiet children be themselves and go at their own pace. They include my child, but don’t push when it is clear things are uncomfortable. The teacher responds positively when she participates or feels like moving away from mom. The kindness to me and my child seems to respect that it is OK to be a quiet child who sticks close to mom.



What would you say to another parent with a child who likes to observe?
Rylan: It is a great experience for you and your child, something to do together to build your relationship. Let your child be who he or she is and don’t sweat it if your child isn’t as outgoing or excitable. Let them enjoy it in their own way and know you are there to support them.
Millie: WeJoySing is a wonderful class where students get to engage in music at their own comfort level and ability. Since the activities are repeated week after week kids can get used to the expectations and appreciate the levels of consistency.

WeJoySing’s deepest gratitude goes to the families who participated in this interview!
Your comments have “calmed many” parent’s heart, soul, and mind!!!
La La’s!!
Mrs. Kristi

NO RUSH! Let Them Observe! (Part I)



An observer is a person who watches what happens but has little to no visible active part in it.  Parents of an “observer” often struggle to understand why their child “just sits and watches” while others are up and joyfully playing with their parents and the other children.

I’m here to tell you, YOUR “OBSERVER” IS JUST FINE!!  It is through observation that your child learns…through watching.  As your “little observer” watches the musical activity, he/she is mentally very busy processing all the information he/she is “meeting and greeting.” Your child is getting to know and understand the activity through observations.  This observation process gives your child a greater sense of security once he/she begins to be actively involved with the experience.



 Perhaps your little one is an observer too. If so, you will connect with the parents I’ve interviewed. These four families have been attending WeJoySing for a minimum of 9 months up to 2.5 years and have had a variety of teachers within the WeJoySing program. Two of the children attend the evening sessions and two attend mornings. The parents were asked the same questions and you will see similarities in all the replies which show how your “little observer” is still gaining from his/her WeJoySing classes.  In this two part series, you’ll read how these parents guided their child through this observation process to gain new skills and a greater sense of security to joyfully, on their own, actively participate in class. 

Describe the observer behaviors you see from your child during class:
Kiran: She stares very intently at the instructor and very rarely sings along. She never used to do hand motions and when she did start joining in, it was always about halfway through the activity with tiny movements. She is doing a much better job now with Mrs. Kristi than I have ever seen in any sort of class before.
Ryker: He is a great listener and is quick to collect and return instruments. Early on, he didn’t want to leave my side, but now he is eager to sit up close for the story books especially. He is always paying attention and aware of what others are doing.

kiran (monkey) enjoys the ball with mom & dad

kiran (monkey) enjoys the ball with mom & dad

Describe the ways you know your child is enjoying the class.
When your child is in a familiar environment what does he/she say or do from WeJoySing class?
Kiran: If she didn’t want to go, she would be a lot harder to get in the car! She used to ask me to sing the songs at home, now she sings them herself. As a toddler, she would shout “Stop!” just like the teacher whenever I sang Johnny Works with One Hammer. She loved Minka and would ask for it over and over. Now she asks me to do it with her baby sister. Starting in toddlerhood, she would happily sing the clean-up song from class when we had to put anything away. More recently, she’s been playing with the good-bye song by altering the words. I overheard her showing a book to her baby sister and singing, “Press, press, press the cow. Press the cow together. La, la, la, la…”
Ryker: Ryker always loves to sing the welcome and goodbye songs, and always has a smile on his face while doing so! He gets very excited when the instruments come out. He also runs up at the end of class for his La-La’s and to check out any instruments Mrs. Kristi shares with the class. He plays his instruments at home and remembers several songs from class!

Ryker watching…watching….learning ….learning

Ryker watching…watching….learning ….learning

Talk about your feelings as the parent when your child is more of an observer.
Kiran: When she was younger, I’d get a little exasperated; but I’ve tried pushing and it only made it worse. I don’t want to say I feel ‘embarrassed’, but it does occur to me that other parents may think I’m doing something wrong, or that she’s not participating because she doesn’t understand what is going on. Lots of patience!           

What changes have you seen in the amount of participation from the beginning?
Kiran: The first session we attended had only two other families and the teacher had an enormous bear that Kiran just loved. In this younger class, she wasn’t expected to do much but sit in my lap and be loved! When we moved into the older class and the group was bigger and more boisterous, she clammed up and didn’t want to get instruments or anything. The improvements began when we re-joined in the fall. A big part was that Mrs. Kristi had monkey puppets and an extended monkey theme which happens to be Kiran’s favorite! We were also in a quieter, carpeted room and although the class wasn’t tiny, she knew several other kids.  

Often, a story will draw the child into the play

Often, a story will draw the child into the play

What do you see other parents, kids or teachers do that encourages your children to warm up at their own pace?
Kiran: The parents are always so supportive of all the children when they begin sharing their names at the beginning of class. Kiran clapped after introducing herself at a party the other, and I think it was because everyone always claps for her in WeJoySing class!
Mrs. Kristi does a number of things that really helped Kiran warm up.
1). Those darling monkey puppets and making sure each child had a chance to pick one up each time they were used. Those little delightful things make a big difference.
2). Drawing the kids out of their parents’ laps slowly by enticing them versus explicitly pressuring them to be independent.
3). Drawing them into the joy of pretend. You can tell when my child is really wrapped up in the day’s narrative because she forgets her inhibitions and dives in. Mrs. Kristi sells the daily narratives really well and ties it together seamlessly.
Ryker: Mrs. Kristi and all the parents clap and praise each child as they demonstrate some independence. Whether it be saying their name out loud or playing an instrument by themselves, it is such a warm, safe and inviting atmosphere.

What would you say to another parent with a child who likes to observe?
Kiran: Every child is different, and every class is different make-up; but there are lots of aspects of WeJoySing that can be seeds to a breakthrough! Whether it’s the exciting array of props and instruments, or the introduction ritual, the imaginative play or the La-La stamps; kids can build musicality through observation or from bringing class activities home. One of the best things we have brought home is the Clean-Up Song! It magically transforms putting things away from a chore into a joy…What parent doesn’t need that???
Ryker: WeJoySing is a wonderful program that provides creative movement and play while encouraging learning and individual development. It is an exciting and positive environment that truly encourages the children to do their best and have fun!

WeJoySing sends a huge THANK YOU to the Kiran and Ryker Family!!
La La’s
Mrs. Kristi


Children Tugging at Our Heart Strings



Just about everything we do at WeJoySing is JOYFUL.  Purposely. It’s what we do. Why, it’s even our middle name! But sometimes life is not all joy. Sometimes life stinks. And, music can be there for us in those times, too. In fact, there is a whole genre of music called “The Blues.”

 During the holiday session, I was singing a lullaby to a class of babies.  Lullay, thou little tiny child… (it’s in a minor key).  An older sibling attending the class, left the circle during that song. I thought, “No big deal, maybe she needs to go to the bathroom.” When she returned, I noticed she had been crying. I asked what was wrong. Articulately, the little three-year-old replied, “That song makes me feel sad.”  I love that music is so multi-faceted: that it is both mathematical and soulful, both deep and playful. Lullabies especially bring out the emotional side of music, they often have a slow tempo and sometimes are in a minor key.



  As parents, we try to protect our kids, even ourselves, from heartbreak. We don’t want our children to hurt. That’s why everyone gets a trophy and a valentine. In my family, my husband put his foot down!  We were never getting a dog because of the pain he experienced when his childhood dog died.  His pain was so huge; he never wanted our kids to feel that pain. But I’m going to let you in on a secret: not all of life is sunshine and roses.  There will be pain.  There will be gray skies.  There will be sadness.  As much as we try to protect our children from it, sometimes they will hurt.  But I say, embrace the pain.  Label the hurt as an authentic feeling. Sing some blues. Have a good cry.  THEN … turn the page. Look for the rainbow.  “Weeping may endure for the night, but JOY comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) In my WeJoySing class, that sad little three-year-old asked, “So can we sing a happy song now?”



 Anger sometimes happens, too.  Music can help us express and work through that as well.  For example, during the holiday session, we met a character named Sam. Sam didn’t like to wait.  It took a long time for his cakes to bake.  So, while he waited, he sang a little song.  Wait, Sam, wait, Sam, do di diddle um, do di diddle um. But he REALLY didn’t like to wait. In my classes, he folded his arms across his chest, stomped his foot, put in his angry voice, and sang, Stomp, children, stomp, children, do di diddle um, do di diddle um.  But then, guess what? The timer on the oven rang.  The waiting was done.  He ran JOYFULLY to get his cakes! He made it through the hard time!



 Most often, hard times make us grow stronger.  Do we like struggles? No.  Do we wish pain for our kids? No. But if we never take the risk, we will never see the view from the top of the mountain. Dare to open up. Try something new. Put your heart out there.  Feel the Feels.  And surround yourself with music every step of the way.
PS: We got a dog this year.  😊

 La La’s and Love
Mrs. Julie

"WeJoySing, Refreshment for the Mind and Soul" a parent quote!

“Hello How Are You” - Greet a friend circle game

“Hello How Are You” - Greet a friend circle game

 “We absolutely LOVE our “Music & Me” class with Mrs. Jo! It’s such an amazing program that integrates music skills, motion and all the activities are developmentally appropriate.”  This social media post raving about “Music & Me,” WeJoySing’s school age music literacy program, prompted us to learn more about this family’s experience.

JC has been with WeJoySing for 3 years, starting “HeartString” classes in Granville with Mrs. Jody and then moving to “Music & Me” with Mrs. Jo.  JC ‘s parents described him as a “bright, energetic individual who loves learning new things. Even though JC struggles with Sensory Processing Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Anxiety, music seems to be his forte. The “Music & Me” class has helped build JC’s confidence and taught him to overcome fears, take risks, and he loves to challenge himself by trying new things.”

Singing game that prepares new melodic concept

Singing game that prepares new melodic concept

JC’s mother, Tami, and father love all the benefits they have seen from attending Music & Me. “It has strengthened our family relationship, because Music & Me is very interactive and involves ALL the family members at times. JC loves the dancing and movement that his body requires, especially the ‘wolf game’ as he calls it, where Mrs. Jo ties motion and music together into a fun game of chase.”

Reading & playing rhythms on Tom tom

Reading & playing rhythms on Tom tom

Tami states, “As a parent, my greatest joy of WeJoySing is how the program is so developmentally appropriate. It provides lots of movement, while allowing children healthy learning and interactions. The children are playing instruments while learning musical concepts.” JC chimes in saying, “I like playing the drum really hard! And I love Mrs. Jo and the ‘wolf game’. Can we play that every day?”

JC has developed his musical intelligence as well. He is using music to help him complete school work or soothe him when he is overwhelmed emotionally. JC seems better able to self-regulate when listening to music.  Even JC agrees that Music & Me classes have helped him “learn to do fun games with my friends.”

“Sol - Mi” exercise!! Jumping melody read from staff notation

“Sol - Mi” exercise!! Jumping melody read from staff notation

“By far, this program has exceeded ALL our expectations and more! Mrs. Jo is the most energetic individual I know and her enthusiasm for music is contagious! JC loves her very much. I am especially thankful that Mrs. Jo has taken time to understand our JC.  She knows what his body needs, and addresses concerns he has in a positive way by looking for ‘marvelous musicians’ who make good choices.  I love how she keeps the classroom climate positive in which the kids WANT to be the BEST they can be!”

Refreshment for mind and soul!  How precious!!

Refreshment for mind and soul! How precious!!

When Tami describes why they are willing to drive an hour for JC to attend a Music & Me, she exclaims that it “refreshes our minds and souls” amid a busy life.  JC cheerfully agrees and says other kids and parents “need to know how fun it is!”

Why not take their advice and join us for your own refreshing experience with WeJoySing?  We’d ENJOY having you as part of our WeJoySing “family!”  Message us or call 614-868-0107 for more information and to register today!

WeJoySing Welcomes Samantha Lin to Our Instructor Staff!!

Sam in swing with Elli  CROP2.jpg

Mrs. Sam is a self-proclaimed lover of singing; singing every chance she can get, both alone and with her daughter, Ellie. She and Ellie play, sing and dance a lot at home; but as a Mommy she also wanted her daughter to be with kids her age to share the music experience. She began searching for mommy and me classes and WeJoySing came up both on a Google search and in her Facebook ‘Powell Parents in the Know’ group.

“At our first WeJoySing class, Eleanor’s smiles and giggles filled my heart as we shared in the joy-filled experience together! I quickly learned WeJoySing is not only for the children, but gives moms and dads a chance to bond, let loose and be silly with their children; because let’s face it, taking care of a child is no easy task.”

Sam choir cropped.jpg

Mrs. Sam’s love of music began as a child playing the piano, singing in choirs and joining orchestra and band. She could often be found putting on little shows for friends and family and singing in the car during family road trips! After high school, she majored in piano and minored in voice at Kent State University obtaining a degree in Music Education. As a Preschool teacher, Mrs. Sam incorporated music during circle time and provided private piano and music lessons to many children and centers. Currently, she enjoys sings with the Worthington Chorus!

Sam's dog and cat cropped.jpg

Samantha was born in Akron, OH but lived in Texas for most of her childhood. She recalls going to three different middles schools in three different states; 6th grade in Texas, 7th grade in Ohio and 8th grade in Michigan, finally landing in Westerville.  Samantha and her husband, Alan, lived in Victorian Village then moved to Powell in preparation for their daughter Eleanor. Bo, the Yorkie dog and Dottie the cat are family members too!

Sam & Winnie crop.jpg

In her personal life, Mrs. Sam enjoys organizing her home, she feels that giving everything a ‘home’ of its own is very satisfying! When asked where the family likes to travel, it was without hesitation - Disney was first! “We love all things Disney. I should say, I love all things Disney. It’s a huge part of our life. Alan proposed to me at Minnie Mouse’s house, we had a Disney themed wedding, I celebrated my 30th there and Ellie had her first trip in March to Disney world. We get our Disney fix by going to the Disney store.”

Ellie with goat at zoo.jpg

Locally, Mrs. Sam likes to visit the Columbus Zoo regularly with her family to see the elephants and the Christmas lights. Eleanor’s favorite thing to see at the Franklin Park Conservatory are the butterflies! Mrs. Sam LOVES Target, she says “there’s something so therapeutic just walking through it. I live very close to one, so it’s quite dangerous!”

Sam and husband crop.jpg

Get to know Mrs. Samantha even more during Winter session as she joins the WeJoySing Instructor family teaching classes in Upper Arlington on Saturday mornings and in Powell on Tuesday evenings! “I believe that music and movement is second nature and an amazing way for children and adults to express themselves. Let’s get together, sing, dance, play and make new friends! I look forward to beginning this musical journey together with your family!”

HAPPY NOTES: Singing Accolades for Mrs. Cathy!

I’ll listen and watch Mrs. Cathy!

I’ll listen and watch Mrs. Cathy!

A proud grandma watching her grandson grow and change through the magic of our 30-minute WeJoySing HeartStrings class took the time to share her excitement. A note of joy directed to Mrs. Cathy in Hilliard came via the Contact Us tab on “As Everett’s grandmother, I want to say thank you to Mrs. Cathy for teaching Everett to love music and play with new friends. His little personality has exploded because of her loving personality and singing!”

I’m the “Little Drummer Boy!!”

I’m the “Little Drummer Boy!!”

Mrs. Cathy recalls the ‘happy accident’ that brought Everett and his Grandma into their first WeJoySing class. “They were new in town and decided to check out the community center to see what programs might be available.  By chance, they did this on a Thursday morning, and someone at the center directed them to my class, which, also by chance, was the exact age group for Everett.  They joined in enthusiastically and signed up for the session as soon as class ended.” Grandma Elizabeth pointed out that Everett’s Great Grandfather was a musician and high school band director for years, so it was exciting to share pictures with him of his grandson was learning all about music!!

I’ll figure out how this thing works!!

I’ll figure out how this thing works!!

 This experience for both grandma and Everett was noticeably enjoyable as Mrs. Cathy points out her observations of the duo.  “Grandma Elizabeth is an extrovert in every way.  She played with enthusiasm, encouraged Everett and every other child in the class, and quickly made friends with all the other moms and grandmas in the class. (I think she even organized some field trips and play group time outside of class as well.)  They often arrived early and would go around and greet all the staff and visitors in the Senior Center (where the classroom was located) and then come into my room.  Grandma and Everett would then play a game where Grandma would jump from one carpet square to another, and ask, "This blue one? This green one?" until Everett chose the one he and she would sit on that day.”

“Everett is an observer, so although he participated in class, he initially did so quietly and stuck close to grandma's side.  As he became familiar with the people and environment, he opened up and was all in.  I was honored that he would often come to sit in my lap when it was time to read a story, and sometimes even chose me as his partner for circle games or other classroom activities.” Grandma also noted that “Everett was shy at first but started dancing, playing with instruments, interacting a lot more and knew all the little songs. Eventually he would love to sing for Mommy and Daddy in the evening after class and would often ask first thing in the morning if it was music day!”

Celebrating TOGETHER!!!

Celebrating TOGETHER!!!

 Elizabeth loves that Everett was “learning to respect elders, teachers and other friends along with opening up and discovering the joy of music!  I feel it was a very important first class with such a positive environment as we learn to listen to music, sing, share and follow directions!”  What a fantastic experience for all involved. Come see for yourself, the magic of playful, joyful, musical memory making!

Singing through the Holidays!
Mrs. Kristi


My teddy loves holiday music too!

My teddy loves holiday music too!

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Did you sing this phrase in your head? - If you did, it demonstrated the power of music in your life!!

Few things set the tone for Christmas and Hanukkah like holiday music. Music physically triggers happy emotions and brings back magical memories – the glow of candle lights, the smell of fresh cut pine and Grandma’s special cookies she only made at Christmas time. 

When I look at the traditions of my family, I see that music is the central theme to all of them:

·       Caroling to neighbors (dressed in Santa hats)

·       Singing “Silent Night” at the Christmas Eve Candle lighting service

make it a family affair…share music together!

make it a family affair…share music together!

·       Playing Christmas music in the background while frosting cookies

·       Spinning a dreidel and Singing “Dreidel Dreidel  Dreidel” 

·       Watching “Frosty the Snowman” (and singing along, of course!)

·       Going to the local performance of the Nutcracker Ballet

·       Teaching “Jingle Bells” to a new class of little ones at WeJoySing.
It’s not too late to add to your list of Holiday Musical Memories by enrolling in our HOLIDAY SESSION!!!

These traditions will never fade away, even as our families grow and change. Nostalgia is HUGE! Kids remember these special times fondly even as they are grown adults, and these memories are easily brought back by a simple song, because of the way the brain stores music: FOREVER!

I have my Bells…do you have yours?

I have my Bells…do you have yours?

Dr. Rhonda Freeman, a clinical neuropsychologist, says “Many of us associate [Holiday] music with childhood and a happy time of presents and traditions and all the specialness that happens around that time of year. When the brain makes these associations with something very positive and pleasurable, the rewards system is being activated [which triggers] a number of chemicals including dopamine.”

Traditional Holiday songs are powerful because they’re among the last remnants of what used to be common practice: the passing down of oral tradition.

So, what will you pass down to your children? What were your favorite Christmas, Hanukkah and Holiday traditions growing up? Will you continue to keep them alive? Grab some jingle bells, break out the Christmas, Hanukkah and Holiday music and make some new memories today! And remember, it isn’t too late to sign up for WeJoySing’s HOLIDAY SESSION to add to your Holiday Music Memories!!!

Happy Holidays!
Mrs. Julie

PLAY & Have FUN!!!


“I don’t like to sing” said one child during introductions at our first class together in his morning preschool.  Although, this may have shocked his teachers and even me, just a little, I wasn’t bothered by it.  I simply looked at him smiling and said, “that’s ok, I’m sure we will still have a lot of fun!”

I wasn’t upset by his first comment because I’ve seen and heard this before.  A child is unsure of singing or an activity in class but within minutes, even moments, they are joyfully playing along with their peers.  I’ve also seen kids who stay extremely close to mom during their first class steadily gain confidence and bravery as they begin to play instruments or do movement more independently each time they attend.  I’ve talked with parents who tell stories of their shy little one singing WeJoySing songs “all the time” at home, while in class, they prefer to observe. 

One of the most beautiful aspects of WeJoySing is that the entire 30-minute class is a playful environment for the children.  During class, they are enjoying the story line being told with each activity and they are eager to get to play a part in the story.  The children are doing what comes so naturally to them which is playing.  And, another beautiful thing is that they have no idea how much they are learning about music, language, social skills, math and so much more.  In this video, Landry and Dempsey are learning “expressive speech and the foundations of "sing!"...Yep, it sure doesn't sound like singing though. However, they are exploring ALL the PITCH POSSIBILITIES in their voices! This is the first step to in-tune singing. Research indicates that in order to SING one must be able to explore all the different pitches available in your voice.

Not only have I witnessed the fun other children have while I’m teaching, but I’ve seen it with my own boys.  I love hearing my boys enthusiastic, “yes!” when I ask if they are excited to go to music class.  They practically run towards the building once they are released, yes released, from their seat belts…parents of toddlers, I know you understand.  

What a joy it was to go to our first class this fall, after a summer break, and see both of my boys smiling, singing and dancing, “the more we get together…” as if we had been doing it every day since Spring. 

It is important to note however, that while we have a lot of fun in each WeJoySing class, there is also an incredible amount of learning and growth happening for each child.  The curriculum is loaded with fun and developmentally appropriate activities that teach music, language, math, social, listening and even physical skills.  Children learn how to keep a steady beat which helps develop their language and reading abilities.  They joyfully learn to listen to instructions, stories, and music. They will learn spacial awareness and physical movements while dancing and moving around the room.  They will learn how to help clean up and take turns.  Parents will see their children growing and learning these skills but the children are simply doing what they love best, PLAYING!!!     


While teaching, I truly hope each child learns, grows and develops these various skills.  I love that music makes learning FUN!  Oh, if you were wondering about the child “who doesn’t like to sing”…well, as we continued class and got to our first movement exploration song, “Come children, let us go…put on your running shoes,” I looked over and saw this student moving all around the room with the biggest grin on his face.  

Joyfully Singing on My Way!!
Mrs. Kinsey!!

17 Month Old Re-Enacts WeJoySing at Home -AMAZING!!

“Bounce, Bounce, Bounce….STOP…SHHH,” directed little Elliott as she re-enacted her WeJoySing “Heart Strings” class at home. Mom grabbed her camera, captured these delightful memories and shared them with Mrs. Karen, Elliott’s WeJoySing teacher, and Mrs. Jo, WeJoySing’s President.  They were thrilled to see the tremendous amount of language development and sequencing of thought emerging during Elliott’s musical play.

The power of music during our play time with our children extends far beyond smiles, giggles and bonding. While the child is actively involved in the work of playing; his/her musical, mathematical, language, and emotional intelligences are all being ‘wired’ in the brain.

 Language Development:
*Elliott’s use of the ‘B’ sounds as she bounces teddy and her use of the ‘T’ sound while she taps her leg demonstrates her phonological awareness and approximations towards the words ‘bounce’ and ‘tap’!
*The rhythmic bouncing, stopping and shushing show Elliot’s sequencing skills which will assist her in future sentence construction as she gains more language skills.
* Bouncing an infant or toddler provides an ideal experience of steady beat. “The child must be rocked, patted, bounced to develop a feeling of the beat. Meter and beat are often used in early rhymes and favorite books which will assist in expanding language development.” (Music and Movement for Infants and Toddlers: Naturally Wonder-Full.  By John M. Feierabend, Ph.D.
*Elliot is clearly in the transitional stage of learning where she can now transfer to her teddy bear the things we once did to, for and with her! The class bouncing activities have been internalized by Elliott and she can now ‘do it herself’!

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*The exposure to a variety of vocabulary, both in the action words Elliott is using and in the lyrics she will begin to repeat soon, will enhance Elliott’s future repertoire of vocabulary. “For if you wish for children to develop a sophisticated spoken vocabulary, they must also hear a sophisticated vocabulary.” (Music and Movement for Infants and Toddlers: Naturally Wonder-Full.  By John M. Feierabend, Ph.D.)

 The sheer number of words a baby hears affects his language ability later in life. Notice the graph here as it relates to vocabulary development in children who are talked to and within their formative first years of life.

GRAPH from pg. 40 in WeJoySing manual, From article: Inside Your Baby’s Brain

Elliot’s videos clearly reveal that she is ‘talking’ excessively to her little baby! Wouldn’t you love to know just what she is saying so vibrantly and lovingly to her teddy?  Obviously, her WeJoySing musical experiences have made a lasting impression on this 17 month old little life!

These early impressionable years are extremely important in our little ones’ development. The amazing, joy-filled moments of music and play in their lives have far-reaching effects on their overall development and are happily disguised as play! So Bounce, Bounce, Bounce awaaaay!!

Mrs. Kristi!
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Have you even noticed how children, even infants, are automatically drawn to music?  They instantly respond with energetic movement, dance, and even join in song! Why is this? The answer: music is activating both the left and right hemispheres of your child’s brain. Research indicates that we are not only left or right brain thinkers, but both sides of our brains need to be engaged at the same time to create the best outcomes. Music not only hold words, a left-brain concept, but also rhythm and melody which are right brain concepts.  VOILÁ!!   MUSIC is a SUPER FOOD!!  When your child responds to music, she is busy thinking, moving, playing and LEARNING through this joy-filled musical experiences!

Music is a “Super Food” way to live, love and learn because it holds the powerful element of PLAY. Active music making feels and looks like play to you child. She will stay at a music activity longer because it feels like play.  I mean, how many times have you heard “Sing it again Mommy!” or “More Mommy More!!” Joyful music play causes the child to thirst for MORE therefore, essential early skills are being developed through this joyful musical play. Play is the child’s “work.”  It is how she learns. 

Did you know that we are not born with “skills?”  Skills are taught, modeled and learned.  And guess who is the most important “skill teacher” in your child life?  YOU!! And, the home is your child’s most important learning environment.  So, HELP!  How can we as parents and caregivers teach, model and guide our children to master essential developmental skills using music?  Let’s consider these


1.   Listening Skills
“Listening is the most important skill our children need to be successful in school. Children are coming to school without this skill,” states E. Cunningham Ph. D in her book Book Smart: How to Support and Develop a Motivated and Successful Reader.   My first reaction to this statement was, “Oh My! This is rather disturbing!  What are we going to do?   Answer: Give our children MUSIC a “Super Food.”  But, you ask, “How is music going to teach my child how to listen?”  Glad you asked!  Answer: Music is First a Listening Art!!  Music holds the wonderful element of PLAY that causes the child to thirst to listen.  The music ‘begs” the child to listen because he wants to play the games, sing the song and be a part of the fun. The child must listen to do this. He must listen to sing, move, play, and relate to others.

What to do at home?  Add the “Super Food” of Music to everything you do at home. Build your song and music repertoire by participating in a Parent/Child music class in your community.  Go to your public library and check out high quality children’s literature that is based on Song.  Instead of reading the book, SING the book!!  Sing songs you remember from your childhood. Make-up your own songs. Sing about putting toys away, making dinner, going to bed, counting stairs up and down. Put on some good music and dance or play rhythm instruments with your child.

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2.  Language, Reading & Math Skills
We just learned that singing games, dancing, and playing rhythm instruments, help to develop listening skills and auditory discrimination (the ability to hear differences in sounds) But, did you know that these skills are necessary tools in developing speech, reading and spelling skills.  Many pre-reading skills are part of music: rhyme, sequencing, patterning, word rhythm, prosody, vocabulary, meter and eye-hand coordination, to mention a few.  (Coburn)
 Learning how to speak, read and write are not simple or easy tasks!! But, MUSIC can be a “Super Food” that nurtures these skills for your child.  Studies at Northwestern University found that the following five skills trigger language acquisition: “phonological awareness, speech-in-noise perception, rhythm perception, auditory working memory and the ability to learn sound patterns.  Their research revealed that children who received music training along with reading training performed much better than those who received other forms of non-musical stimulation, such as painting or other visual arts. Each of the 5 skills were exercised and strengthened by music!!!
A study in Germany found that “music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance.” The study also found that students who take music lessons “have better cognitive skills, better school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious. WOW!  I find this amazing!!  (German Socio-Economic Panel)
Here's another mind-boggling fact!  When a child actively participates in music, 90% of the brain is being used and developed.  When the child sings, all 8 “centers” of the brain work simultaneously. These types of experiences build connections in the brain, which can later be used for math, reading, science, sports, and music. (Coburn)

What to do at home?  Sing the Alphabet Song and songs that teach letter sounds. (Ask your preschool teachers…they’ll have a list!!!)  Teach your child finger plays because the finger motions correspond with the words being spoken!  Play rhythm instruments.  Begin by tapping the steady beat (the heart-beat of the song) then progress to playing the rhythm (“the way the words go.”)  Sing traditional folk songs and nursery rhymes with your child because the words of the “folk songs” follow the rhythmic patterns of our spoken language.  Teach your little one tongue twisters and enjoy the laughter!!!

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3.  Social Skills  
Want to help your children become more sociable and friendlier? Give them Music a “Super Food!” Research conducted by the University of Miami found that children in preschool settings become friendlier and more sociable when musical activities are a part of their daily routine, as opposed to schools where it is not.  (Coburn) 

What to do at home?  Instead of “telling” your child to “put your books away,” SING “Books away, books away. Time to put your books away!” Did you know that children listen better if we sing instead of talk!  Amazing!!  I remember my own stressful Mommy days and how the joy of music and singing turned our day around, from stress and gloom to calm and giggles. Enroll in a Parent/Child Music Class where your child will be surrounded by other children. You will find that “something special happens between people who share music together!”  Life long bonds are formed between not only the children but also the parents!  Empathy, emotions and social interaction are modeled and learned in this play-filled musical environment!  Music is meant to be shared with others!!  Making music together is a social event!!  Music is a “Super Food” towards social development!

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4.  Movement Skills
The child’s most favorite response to music is to move. In early childhood music IS movement. They go “hand in hand!”  Music combined with movement helps the child develop gross motor skills, coordination, balance and spatial awareness.  Can you believe that 50% more of a learning experience is retained when a movement is added to the instruction? (Coburn)   Well, just think…  How did we learn “The Ensey Wensey Spider?”…with MOVEMENT!!   Movement helps to make the learning experience more concrete for the child.   What a great “Super Food!!!”
Marching to and keeping the steady beat is not only for the marching band! It’s for “readers” too! Keep the beat help me be a better reader? Yep!  That’s what I said! Northwestern University studies suggests that “moving in time to a steady beat is closely linked to better language skills. “We know that moving to a steady beat is a fundamental skill not only for music performance but one that has been linked to language and reading skills,” states Dr. Nina Krause.

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What to do at home?   Clap your hands, stomp your feet, tap your head, wave your arms, tap your foot, nod your head, jump up high, twist side to side as you sing some of your child’s favorite songs.  Get out your pots and pans and make a “kitchen band!”  Put on some fast-paced marching music and march around the house playing your “kitchen drum!!”  Purchase high quality rhythm instruments for your child to explore.  Encourage the child to tap “big big big big” on his instrument while the music plays or as you sing together!!   Clap the steady beat while you say nursery rhymes or tongue twisters. 

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5.  Self-Control & Regulation Skills
Musical activities help children learn to tell their bodies what to do, when to stop, when to go, and even when to clean up. If the child is moving with the music and the music stops, the child will often STOP more readily than without music.   (Coburn)
Music is a “Super Food!”  It energizes us. It calms us. It can make us happy or sad. It triggers the brain to learn and it helps us deal with the world around us. Coulter states, “Being actively involved with good music is healthy for us on every level: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.  (Coulter)

What to do at home?   Find a variety of musical recording that helps to calm, energize and center your child.  Play these recordings when “the time is right!”  Snuggle with your little one or rock him while filling the room with calm soothing music.  Better yet, start singing your favorite lullabies or cherished songs from your childhood.  Every night after prayers, my Mom would sing to my twin sister and me, “I love you a bushel and a peck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck!....”  Those moments are still near and dear to my heart and those memories are ages ago.  Humm, must be the the power of Music a “Super Food!!”

 Mrs. Jo’s Favorite Books for “Super Food” Music!  

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music for Little people.png


Both of these publications come with a delightful CD so you can learn the music along with your child!!  Trust me! You’ll be humming many of these songs before you know it!!


May your parenting be filled with joy and music as you share, explore and integrated “Music, a “Super Food” into your child’s daily diet. 

Jo Kirk, President
WeJoySing, Inc
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WeJoySing begins each 1-12mo and 13-24mo class with a "bounce!" We've known that bounces help to regulate your child and develop language, listening and movement skills. Resent research by Laura Cirelli at the University of Toronto, Mississauga is discovering that bouncing our babies is one aspect in developing their pro-social behaviors: taking actions that help others and benefit the group.  READ MORE of this NPR Report! 

More Than "Cute"...This Is AMA'SING'!!

“Aaaaw! Isn’t this video cute!?”  Yes, it is! BUT it’s MUCH MORE.  It’s actually AMA’SING!!’  Let’s look at this marvelous video through the lenses of “childhood development” to identify what is “really” happening as Eli sings.  I think we’ll discover that his little mind, voice and body are extremely busy.  He is spontaneously creating, thinking, working and organizing thoughts, movements, words and music.  So, what is Eli doing “on stage” and “behind the scene” in his mind and body at the ripe old age of 2 years old?  Let’s “break it down” to see what is happening:

To begin, Eli decides to:
         1.  make up a song – demonstrating that songs contain words and melody     
         2. use a guitar to accompany himself – demonstrating that instrumental harmony can be                                       added to create more musical interest
         3. position himself on a chair for greater success and comfort – demonstrating                                                       understanding of his physical abilities and comfort.

To create his song, he must have:
         1. a working knowledge of the English language
         2. an understanding that a song has words
         3. an imagination that helps to form the text/story of the song

To play the guitar, demonstrates his subconscious understanding that:
         1. instruments can accompany one’s singing
         2. instruments add a harmony to the song
         3. playing the guitar while sitting is easier than standing
         4. one hand strums the strings, the other hand fingers the chords
             “my hands are not doing the same thing!”  
  (parents - do you grasp the complexity of this?)
         5. One hand will be strumming the “steady beat” – or something close to it

To sing while playing the guitar, his little mind, body and voice are busy:
          1. Selecting the words for the text    
          2. Deciding the rhythms to use with these words
          3. Choosing the melodic pitches for his melody
              Research in early vocal development indicates that the child has a personal pitch
              center.   Eli’s melodic range is very narrow because it is centered around his personal pitch.                        4. Putting words, rhythm and melody together, ALL at ONCE!    
          5. Adding the guitar sends this creativity to a NEW LEVEL!      
          6. Safely holding the guitar    
          7. Strumming the guitar to add greater interest/harmony

This little fellow is Ama’SING!!!’  One could say, he is doing at least 10-part harmony with himself during this creative process…so many things are happening, layered one on top of the other…all at the same time!!  Ama’Sing’!!!    


WeJoySing's Zebedee Muller now Singing BASS!!

Zebedee at age 5

Zebedee at age 5

It was a surprise and blessing when Zebedee’s mother, Mary, contacted Mrs. Jo 15 years after “little” Zebedee first stepped foot into a WeJoySing class! Mary called to invite Mrs. Jo to Zebedee’s Vocal Ensemble concert with Bexley High School.  “We don’t have extended family that live here; they live in Australia. I started inviting people from our church; but I got so excited watching Zebedee develop and really have a passion for the music he is singing. It brought up the memory of WeJoySing, where he started and I wanted to share with you ‘Look! This is where he is today!’ The work that you do Mrs. Jo is extraordinary, influencing people and children in their lives…it’s so worthwhile…and here we are!”

“I wanted to share the news and get the word out that [WeJoySing] is GREAT!” Mary, Mother of Zebedee

Oh My! Look how Zeb has grown...age 16

Oh My! Look how Zeb has grown...age 16

In Zebedee’s younger years, Mary wanted all of her sons to have some musical exposure and Zebedee did not seem overly interested in any particular instrument; so after doing a good deal of research, Mary discovered WeJoySing! The sessions were mostly attended by Zebedee and his father, Tim, at Capital University.

Tim recalls, “We looked forward to walking to class and having our own little adventures while getting there. We got to know other families and enjoyed some fellowship as we were all there for a common purpose. Some of our favorite memories were the catchy songs, the ones that stayed in your head. Something about a pram, still sticks in my head. Oh a Hunting We Will Go..We’ll catch a lamb and put him in a pram…Oh we liked those catchy tunes, even making up some of our own words to the song!”

The Muller Family - Music is Important

The Muller Family - Music is Important

Zebedee remembers his father coming with him, cheerfully recalling, “He certainly liked to sing too. And he’s very bouncy…and hyperactive…and a little crazy..yeah, very crazy! Probably one of the reasons why I’d keep on singing the songs at home is because he’d keep on humming them, knowing they’d get stuck in my head!” Mary chimed in to add that Zebedee is a little more critical of Dad’s humming now a days as he says, “That’s not quite how you sing it, Dad!” Zeb stepped in to add, “No, I tell him that’s completely off!”  Zebedee still recalls the details of the room, doing all kinds of rhymes and different fun songs. “It was always a joyful experience! It helped me to become a better singer. It was the highlight of every week, like a break from everything else!” Mary reiterated that WeJoySing was FANTASTIC for Zebedee in that he got very involved, dancing and humming. “He would come home singing and that continues to this day…He has never stopped singing!”

“WeJoySing was a major part of encouraging Zebedee’s interest in singing. Thank you, Mrs. Jo for WeJoySing and for developing it!” Tim, Father of Zebedee

Zebedee, now 16 and a sophomore, auditioned for Bexley High School’s acclaimed Vocal Ensemble. He stated that the auditions were very competitive, and he was thrilled to be invited to the ensemble where he now sings bass. Zeb is also currently taking voice lessons. When asked about his passion for singing and performance, Zebedee noted there was a gap between WeJoySing classes and singing in formal settings. “I started to sing again when one of my friends encouraged me to join the 5th and 6th grade choir, then I joined the Middle School choir for 2 years. In my Freshman year, I started to get into music more and my friends wanted me to get into the Vocal Ensemble. I didn’t know if that was one of my goals, but I auditioned and got in! The songs we perform are a mix including Mozart, folk songs, South African songs. It’s an interesting experience and always enjoyable. This year the Vocal Ensemble will be traveling to Prague, Austria and Germany singing mostly at churches and outdoor concerts. We’ll be singing several selections in the country’s native language!” Zebedee noted that music is a part of his life as he practices for his performances, but also when he is irritated or in a bad mood, he finds music to ease those feelings.

One of many beautiful photos by Zebedee

One of many beautiful photos by Zebedee

Zebedee plans to attend either a college in America or Australia and major in Biology or some kind of Environmental Science. His great interest in ecology and photography are explored through another passion of his, wildlife photography.

Mary feels strongly that music must be a part of a child’s growing up experience and WeJoySing provided an amazing start! “It was joyful. It was exciting. Zebedee truly looked forward to going to lessons each week. It’s a really good program and I have never had ANY regrets for starting Zebedee out in WeJoySing.” She continues on to encourage other families who are looking for a place where their child will develop a love for singing, playing instruments or just a value of music to sign up for WeJoySing! “Some years down the track, this is where your child could be!”


"Rover" Sparks JOYFUL CREATIVITY in 2-3 yr Class!

I Found Rover!!!

I Found Rover!!!

Don’t you just love the creativity of 2 and 3 year-olds?  This week in the 2-3’s class, we went searching for Thumbman’s dog, Rover, who was hiding in the mulberry bush.  In our efforts to find Rover, we began to walk around the “mulberry bush,” which was a hula hoop on the floor. Suddenly, Samantha declared that she had found Rover.  I clapped and celebrated with her.  Then we continued with the game. She interrupted me to tell me again that SHE HAD FOUND ROVER, inferring that, clearly, I did not understand that there was no need to continue searching for him! 

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Not to be outdone, Hadley announced that she had found a chicken in the mulberry bush; and then the floodgates opened, and everyone was calling out what they had found in the mulberry bush, including birds, other dogs who are friends of Rover, and various other farm animals.  Then Luke joyfully announced that he had found a SKUNK in his mulberry bush!  Well, it seemed to me that the prudent thing to do at that point was to run (in place) to get away from the skunk. So, that’s what we did! 

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I must admit, I was giggling all the way through this, because their ideas were so creative, and their enthusiasm purely contagious!  I hope you had as much fun with Rover this week as I did! Who knows what we might find in the mulberry bush next week!  COME JOIN US and FIND OUT!!!

With Great LOVE for my Creative 2-3 year olds!
Mrs. Cathy

Bouncing on Mommy's Knee to Playing the Piano: Part I- A Life of Music, Cora's Story

“Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime.” Zoltan Kodaly. 

Cora in her 2-3yr old class - Independency!

Cora in her 2-3yr old class - Independency!

Jill and her daughter Cora can attest to the fact that their decision to join WeJoySing classes, about 6.5 years ago, opened Cora’s young soul to a love of music. When Jill and her family had just moved to Columbus, Jill searched the internet for quality music classes for toddlers and was wisely guided to WeJoySing classes with Mrs. Jo Kirk.  Jill recalls “I began the class because they sounded like fun, because the website explained Mrs. Jo’s background in music and early childhood education, and because I wanted some new ideas for ways to play with Cora.” 

Sibling Classes Opportunities for Pretend Play
Cora has taken classes since she was just 1.5 years of age. When her younger brother was born, Cora accompanied him in his classes too. She brought a doll and pretended to be the mommy playing with the doll through the whole class!

Cora enthralled in music & Literature at 5 yrs old

Cora enthralled in music & Literature at 5 yrs old

4 Reasons to “Stick with It!”
Jill states that they have continued the classes through the years because:

1 "Cora loved them – during class, she often just observed the class, but when we were at home she would reenact the class and sing the songs."

2 "I felt like Mrs. Jo got Cora - she understood Cora’s need to watch and process the class and helped me to understand that was part of Cora’s learning style." 

3 "I learned a lot as a parent - going to the class was like getting a cliff’s note version of an early childhood development class."

4 "Above all, Mrs. Jo is one of those rare persons who adores each child as an individual - it’s not just that she loves children generally, it is that she loves my child specifically for who she is, and each other child in the class for who he or she is. Number 4 is above all the most important, and I get the sense that WeJoySing chooses teachers who share that quality with Mrs. Jo.”

Cora delighting in learning whole, half, quarter eighth & sixteenth notes in Music & Me II class

Cora delighting in learning whole, half, quarter eighth & sixteenth notes in Music & Me II class

Incorporate Music in Family Life
While music instruction was not the main motivation for joining the classes, Jill notes that the entire family has a greater appreciation for music now and they have incorporated music into several aspects of their lives. Music has helped encourage Jill’s reluctant toddlers to get coats on, has enhanced bedtime routines and Cora now loves singing, dancing and playing piano and states she wants to learn every instrument.  When asked what encouraging statements Jill would offer to other families contemplating WeJoySing, she answered, “There are lots of classes that kids can take, but very few have the same caliber of teachers, and that is what sets WeJoySing apart.”

Stay Tuned for Part II: when you'll SEE and HEAR Cora and Simone play a piano duet!!   Great things develops....when a child has music in his/her life at an early age. 

Mrs. Kristi!


"Exhale Worry, Inhale Joy & Peace!"

Cheryll & daughter

Cheryll & daughter

Parents often share as they enter the classroom that they were up late, didn’t get much sleep, haven’t had the best of mornings and need more coffee; but amazingly as they exit, the ambiance is entirely different. It’s as if, WeJoySing had changed their day and empowered them to play, sing, laugh, love, and learn with your child.  Cheryll Pillitteri is one of the mothers who has raved about WeJoySing empowering her to be a more joyful parent. I asked Cheryll to explain, it in her own words, her perspective on being a WeJoySing mama!

How did you learn about WeJoySing? 
I was just scrolling through Facebook, and the spouse of a friend who moved to New England a couple years ago shared a photo of a session of WeJoySing with the comment “one of the things we miss most about Columbus,” and something compelled me to reply to her along the lines of “Wow, that’s a big statement!” She assured me that it was a load of great fun that helped her days pass way more peacefully with her kids, and she deeply missed the chance to continue the experience. So, I had to look into it! 

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What encouraged you to sign up? 
I called and asked a couple questions, and was informed that I could come observe/participate in a trial session that would be free – and if I wanted to register afterward, the fees would be prorated to only include the remaining sessions in the season…This demonstrated that the business side wasn’t about making loads of profit; it was about making huge fans and happy hearts, and as a mom, committing to new things with kids is sometimes scary. Thankfully, the WeJoySing team was nothing but gentle with us!  

Let's play!!  Pull boy, pull low!!

Let's play!!  Pull boy, pull low!!

How did you feel entering your first observation class? How did you feel leaving it? 
Gotta say, prior to walking through the door, I was VERY nervous. We’re not really musical people at home, I don’t have the best voice, and I generally feel super awkward in social situations. Not to mention, we were pretty new to this part of town, and I hadn’t really been successful at fitting in to things that the other moms here were so effortless at doing – plus I had an unpredictable 3 year old with me! But during the class, everyone just focused on making the kids happy, and we were sort of basking in the fun of being young and making a loosely coordinated (but joyful) noise. There was a very thoughtful balance of high-energy songs and calm-down songs, and we were still humming the tunes in the car on the way home. I gave a big sigh of relief, and welcomed the priceless opportunity to exhale my worry about the things that didn’t go well that morning or that week and breathe in the peace of seeing happy kids just glow with fun and love… so, obviously, I was hooked. 

sharing with a new friend

sharing with a new friend

What benefits did you see in your daughter after attending several sessions? 
I didn’t even realize we were missing certain things in our life, but I definitely noticed them when they entered – Alice started listening better to adults, engaging with other kids, playing peacefully on her own, and is so much more curious overall about music and lyrics and dancing as ways to learn. I can’t believe she would remember songs after singing them just once! I also believe it came to us right at the timing of a developmental milestone where toddlers start to observe and interact with people (other than mom), and participating in this group activity launched her over that transition like a firework. I know it probably would have come eventually, but WeJoySing really lit the fire of personal connection in her, which was in my heart, the biggest benefit. An example I’ll carry forever is that she remembered one of the boys was too shy to play along with a certain song, and when he finally tried it, she turned to me and said, “yay, he did it!” with genuine support and excitement. If that’s not worth the price of registration, I don’t know what is!!! 

Just you & me!!

Just you & me!!

How did WeJoySing benefit you as a parent?  
Alice is our second child, and it’s painfully true that second kids sometimes get a watered-down version of a weary momma. Going to singing sessions with her helped me show her that there were going to be some things she could do with me while her older brother was off doing his own thing (in our case, kindergarten.) So, it definitely gave me an easy way to do something special and memorable with her. However, the most amazing benefit of WeJoySing to me over some other weekly routine was the toolbox it offered me to rescue our days from a rough sea. Through the power of song, dance, and simple connection, I finally realized that my relationship to my kids was not a one-way street; I was in the habit of giving and doing things for them so much that I hadn’t realized that there are things that they give and do for me. Fresh infusions of fun, joy, love, and perspective is the big shiny gift I won from participating with this program. It might seem out-there, but when I’m feeling depleted or frustrated, I can call on one of the sweet easy songs we learned through WeJoySing, and my daughter will join in and blast that heavy burden away. Major lifesaver. 

Bring It on!!

Bring It on!!

What would you say to other families contemplating WeJoySing? 
WeJoySing isn’t like rigorous singing lessons – the aim isn’t to turn little darlings into pop idols, but if that’s in the cards for you, it’s not a bad first start, either. For kids who are shy, it’s great; for kids who are NOT shy, it’s also great. For first time parents who need to get out of the house, it’s great; for been-there moms who need to do something with a younger sibling to deepen connection, it’s also great. For families who haven’t had a lot of group interactions through preschools or other clubs, it’s such a warm, welcoming and easy way to break that shell. I believe that the world today is gasping for joy, which starts in families, and the tools and methods learned here are as good as any others out there. I feel better equipped to summon joy    now than I did before, and for that, I’m eternally grateful! 

Thanks you Cheryll!!
Mrs. Kristi

I’m a Believer and There’s Nothing Quite Like It!

It was obvious that I believed in the power and importance of music when I chose to pursue music education as my profession, however…

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I’m A Believer…Music for Babies
I’ve always been a believer, BUT I wasn’t quite sure what to expect the day I taught my first WeJoySing class of “wee one.”  I was a bit anxious because the youngest children I had taught were 5 years old.  This would be different, no doubt, and it was different, but it was FUN!  On my third day at one of our child care centers I had my first “ah-ha!” moment as I watched the little ones crawl and scoot towards me. They recognized me and my fun bag, full of instruments and manipulatives!  They joined me in celebrating the end of a song, bounced and danced as we sang, and clapped their hands joyously at the end of our time together.  Slowly, I was beginning to see firsthand the miraculous ways even infants learn and enjoy life through music.

I’m A Believer…Music a Key for the Hesitant
I’ve always been a believer, BUT now I’ve heard some of the most shy and timid 2 and 3-year-old children, sing tunefully with a smile across their face.  I’ve seen little ones play their drums right on beat and stop together, waiting and anticipating, celebrating their beautiful playing together.  I’ve witness a child, who has physical challenges, gallop correctly for the first time ever, as his classroom teachers cheered him on triumphantly.  

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I’m A Believer…Music for My Children
I’ve always been a believer, BUT then I watched my own boys, sing, dance, and play as we participated in our first WeJoySing classes.  I couldn’t stop smiling the first time my boys and I sat together with Mrs. Krista. I watched their smiles brighten as we walked towards their WeJoySing class and they realized where we were going. I’ve witnessed them singing and playing at home together.   

I’ve always been a believer, BUT then my 3-year-old started to sing and my 9 month old, began dancing in his high chair with his smile just beaming.  I’ve used the “toys away, toys away, time to put the toys away” song at home, silencing the whining and then celebrating with them, once we’ve finished! 

I’ve always been a believer in the power of music but now I’ve witnessed its’ power in my children’s lives and there’s nothing quite like it.

Joyful Believer!
Mrs. Kinsey

How to Guide Your Child to be "Forever Young!"

Bob Dylan’s song, Forever Young, nearly captures everything I’ve ever wished for my children:  abundant blessings, the fulfillment of dreams, strength of character, happiness and love. (In case you’re too young to remember Bob Dylan, Blake Shelton has done a very nice re-make of this song and Simon & Schuster have publish a Children’s Book of the song.)

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May God bless and keep you always.
May your wishes all come true.
May you always do for others,
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars,
And climb on every rung.
May you stay forever young.

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May you grow up to be righteous.
May you grow up to be true.
May you always know the truth,
And see the light surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
And may you stay forever young.

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 May your hands always be busy.
May your feet always be swift.
May you have a strong foundation,
When the winds of changes shift,
May your heart always be joyful.
May your song always be sung,
And may you stay forever young.
May you stay forever young.

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But I also think this song speaks to us as parents.  It’s easy to go on auto-pilot when we’re with our kids because we have “real-life” things to think about.  But it’s important for us to spend time with our children in their world, not just drag them along in our adult world. We need to teach them that to be forever young is to be young at heart: to run and play and giggle and sing and act silly. These are the things that make for wonderful memories and precious bonding moments with your children.  And as a WeJoySing teacher, I hope that the songs, stories and games and that make up our WeJoySing classes are the tools that you will take with you, to help make ordinary days special for you and your child. 

It seems to me that the last 3 lines of the song sum up the essence of  WeJoySing.  As we approach the holidays and the start of a new calendar year, this is my wish for all our WeJoySing families:  May your heart always be joyful, may your song always be sung, and may you stay forever young.

Forever Young & Young at Heart!!
Mrs. Cathy!