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


Welcome! Nancy Gillespie to the WeJoySing Staff

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Mrs. Nancy has always loved listening to music and going to live concerts. She even played everything from the oboe to percussion in her childhood; but it was her search for something musical to do with her daughter that brought her to WeJoySing. A friendly neighbor mentioned the local class which Mrs. Nancy l
loved attending weekly with her then 8-month-old daughter Camilla.

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Mrs. Nancy grew up in Northeast Ohio and went to college at The Ohio State University where she met her husband Mike. The two of them lived on the beach in Los Angeles for 5 years after graduating from college. Working, traveling and exploring California during their time there was thoroughly enjoyable. The couple moved back to Central Ohio to be closer to both families.

Mrs. Nancy and her husband enjoy date nights in the Short North and she enjoys working on little interior design projects throughout their home. She likes to do yoga and go for stroller walks and runs in their neighborhood, with frequent pit stops at nearby playgrounds for Camilla, of course!  Camilla, who is now almost 18 months old, is excited to become a big sister when her little brother is born in April of 2019!

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Mrs. Nancy will be serving as our social media marketing coordinator and will be building a strong social media presence for WeJoySing. Mrs. Nancy states, “We have been so fortunate to have been in Mrs. Jo's class in Dublin since my daughter started WeJoySing when she was 8 months old - she is almost 18 months old now. I have gotten to know Mrs. Jo over the past year and this opportunity organically came up in one of our conversations before class. It was naturally a perfect fit for both of us! I'm really excited to share special WeJoySing moments from both class as well as moments captured at home!”


Mrs. Nancy is already hard a work increasing WeJoySing’s online presence, so we are excited to share that WeJoySing is officially on Instagram! Please make sure to follow us: @wejoysingmusic. We will be using Instagram with our Facebook page to share pictures, announcements, teacher spotlights, giveaways, videos and more!  We know you are already taking pictures and videos during class and we would LOVE to have our followers share their in-class and at-home WeJoySing moments with us by tagging us @wejoysingmusic and using the hastag #WeJoySing when you post your memories!

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!!

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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.”

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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!

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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!

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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.”

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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!”

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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!”



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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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!”


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

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!


What Does JOYFUL LEARNING Look Like?

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Excitement abounds when your child eagerly rocks back and forth and loudly sings “The More We Get Together” perfectly echoes the teacher’s singing and movements, or when he proudly plays the drum in front of all the other children when it’s his turn.  I ask you, “Can there be any better confirmation that our children are having fun, learning, and loving music class?!” BUT, does joyful learning always have to look like this?

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My son, Breck, loves to stay close to me during his WeJoySing class, mostly sitting in my lap and prefers to be held during most standing activities.  This is especially true when he’s in a large group!  He hides his eyes when it’s his turn to say his name during The More We Get Together,” and he’s not interested in playing his drum on command when it’s his turn.  He often quietly but intensely watches his teacher, Mrs. Lynnette, instead of playing the instrument in his hands. I have wondered: is he “getting anything” out of class; is he having fun; what is he learning when he isn’t “actively participating” during class?  

Learning Styles: Doers-Watchers-Listeners
A significant portion of my life as an elementary school educator has been spent studying child development. However, I realized that despite what I KNOW to be true about children and the way they learn, I wasn’t acknowledging the fact that each one of us, including my son, has a wonderfully unique learning style.  Some people learn better by watching, some by listening, some by doing.  We all have different strengths and types of intelligence that impact the way we learn.  These components, combined with our personality and temperament, make up the way that we learn best.  

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I needed to consider my son’s learning style and personality when thinking about his experiences in WeJoySing.  At home with his Dad and me he is downright enthusiastic, energetic but, is much more reserved in larger groups and in public places.  He becomes more cautious, careful, and hesitant.  I needed to realize this wasn’t a flaw or something to be worried about, but a special part of his personality that I needed to nurture and BE COMFORTABLE with, instead of feeling the need to force him into active participation.  That would come when and if HE was comfortable with it.

With this new perspective my view of Breck’s WeJoySing experiences began to change. I began to recognize and identify ways in which he has LEARNED, GROWN, and expressed JOY.

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  • Although he doesn’t always sing “la la” when he receives his stamp in class, he will spend the car ride home and the remainder of the night periodically glancing at his stamps and SINGING “la la.”  
  • Although he may simply watch Mrs. Lynnette while we play sticks and sing about Jack and Jill, I often hear him waking up in the morning singing “up, up, up, up, up” as his voice raises in pitch
  • Despite his seemingly disinterest in having a drum “solo” during class, he will pull out his own drum at home and play the steady beat, singing and humming to himself while he drums.  His class time is spent processing all this information!!  Amazing!!


  • Only 12 months ago he would sob when he had to return his instruments.  Now he eagerly walks over to Mrs. Lynette, waits patiently in line with his ready hands, and smiles proudly as he returns to me.
  • Typically, Breck wants to be held during movement songs, but finally, in his 7th week of his 4th WeJoySing session, he held my hand while walking, jumping, dancing, and running to music.  And on the same day, he held the parachute by himself and walked in a circle with the other kids in class!   I celebrated his independency and self-assurance that “I can do this!!”

Expressing Joy…  

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  • Although he is shy when in a larger group, at home he dances, sings, and plays instruments as I practice the songs for my own WeJoySing classes.
  • Although he doesn’t always want to play during class, he finds his bells at home and yells “horse” until I sing “Bell Horses” with him. He even eagerly hides the bells behind is back at the end!
  • Although he doesn’t raise his hands up and perform the motions to the apple tree song, he will shout out his favorite color “PURP!” (purple) when Mrs. Lynnette asks what color the apples should be.
  • Although he will sit quietly in my lap and stare intensely at Mrs. Lynnette as she sings (while other children play their instruments), as soon as the song is over he’ll shout “more, more!”

Uniquely Different
Joy doesn’t look the same for all kids.  Participation doesn’t look the same for all kids. Learning doesn’t look the same for all kids. And praise God, they are not all the same!  Each of our children has a unique way of learning and expressing themselves. How special is that?  It’s our privilege and responsibility as parents to CELEBRATE our children just the way they are.

We can nurture our children’s sense of comfort and participation by continuing to model our enthusiasm for music, by fully engaging with our children even when they don’t seem to be responding, and by celebrating their efforts in all circumstances (even when it looks like non-participation).

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Benefits Galore
Breck is not the kid who “looks” like he is having the time of his life, imitating everything the teacher does during class.  He is not the one who eagerly participates in every activity.  But when I take the time to think about all the ways he has grown throughout his time in WeJoySing, it becomes clear that he IS LEARNING and that he LOVES music.  

My son is not only developing musical skills while in WeJoySing, but he is learning the incredibly important skills of how to listen, how to wait patiently, and how to celebrate another child’s turn.  Breck is developing important fine and gross motor skills, building his vocabulary, and enhancing his verbal abilities.  He is making mind-body connections in ways that only music can facilitate.  He is developing relationships with his teacher and other students, and forging an even stronger bond with me, his mom, through this shared experience.  

I love teaching WeJoySing, but even more than that, I love sharing in the JOY of WeJoySing with my son.  And I love doing it HIS WAY.    

Joyfully to YOU our WeJoySing Family!
Mrs. Megan


Welcome Megan Davenport - Getting to Know You Part II


I was born in Shelby, Ohio and lived in the country where my 3 younger siblings and I loved to play outside.  When we were inside, our favorite pastime was singing and making up dances to songs (and convincing our dad to videotape our dances!)  We moved to Stow, Ohio when I was 9 and I quickly got involved in softball, tennis, choirs, marching band, and community service.  My parents still live in Stow.

Mom sang to me ALL THE TIME and took me to the library story time, where I learned more songs. I have never stopped singing.  I started playing piano and sang in choirs at 5 years old.  I played trumpet, French horn, and mellophone in middle and high school and was involved in concert, marching, and jazz bands throughout that time.  In college, I pursued my interest in singing and was fortunate to be a vocalist in an all-female a cappella group and a bluegrass band.  Currently, I sing with my worship band at church once a month (and with my son every day!)


My husband, Remington, and I are high school sweet hearts who stayed together while attending separate colleges and finally came together in Columbus.  We love living in Columbus!  Brecken, our 2 year old son, is our little miracle and the light of my life.  We all love spending time together playing outside, cooking, reading, singing, and just being silly.  We also have two adorable and loving adopted dogs named Mason and Claire.


I hold a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Educational Studies, as well as a Masters in Early Childhood Education and a Masters degree in education from Kent State University. Over the past 9 years I have been a classroom teacher for students ages preschool-2nd grade at Chapelfield Elementary in Gahanna. Teaching is absolutely my passion and my calling.  I currently stay home with our son and am so blessed to get to teach and learn from him every single day. I am so blessed to get to spend each day with my funny, curious, spunky little boy. I am also LOVING teaching WeJoySing and getting to use my teaching background in a brand new way.  


 My husband and I were heavily involved in CrossFit and Olympic Weightlifting prior to Brecken.  I have always been interested in fitness and joined a gym where I could nurture that interest and pursue some personal fitness goals.  In 2014, I competed in Olympic Weightlifting at the Arnold Classic and qualified to compete in a National Olympic Weightlifting competition in Washington D.C. later that year!  It’s still surreal to think that I got to compete at that level, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to have had the experience. 

I love to cook and wanted to share that passion with friends and loved ones through my recipe blog: Don’t Worry Live Healthy . Although I am not currently active on the blog, I have quite a large collection of recipes already shared and plan to start working on it again in the future.  It’s a fun creative outlet and a way for me to share my recipes with the world! 

Can't wait to get to play with you and your child at WeJoySing!  We'll have a delightful time singing, learning and playing together!
La La's!
Mrs. Megan

"Getting to Know You" - PART I

 "Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you!"  These familiar lyrics from "The King & I" are a great way to introduce  our newest WeJoySing Instructors.  Part I of "Getting to Know You" will feature Kristi Frazier. Her Granville and Childhood League children and families have already begun to bond and share together the delight of learning and growing through musical play.  Enjoy Part I as Kristi shares her life, family, love for education and music!  She writes:

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I grew up in rural Knox County, outside of Gambier, Ohio on a small farm adjacent to my grandparents. I attended Mount Vernon City Schools for my education and obtained my first teaching job there in 2000 after attending OSU-Newark for my Masters in Education. My dream to work as a teacher started with a position as an itinerant preschool teacher where I traveled to pre-school facilities and homes to transition children from Help Me Grow to our District Special Education program. I then served as the teacher and director for our district special needs pre-school which was an incredible journey! I spent one year as a Kindergarten teacher, four years as a First-Grade teacher and four years as a Second-Grade teacher. Each grade level I taught brought about new discoveries about children at that age level and I loved it!

During my childhood, my mother made a point to get me in piano lessons, which I dreaded at the time, but am most grateful for now. I went on to play in the band; clarinet for concert season and trumpet for marching band season. My choral experiences started in the church setting, singing in children’s choirs, soloing and eventually leading the children’s choirs. Choir, praise band, local theater, and belting out songs in the car kept my musical skills fresh. When I taught in the public schools, music was a constant in my classroom, whether it was a transition song to get the kids to line up or the classical music I played for its calming effect; music was ever-present within my classrooms.

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I lived in and taught in Mount Vernon for 11 years before meeting my husband-to-be. He owns a business in Pickerington, so Granville happened to be a great middle ground for both of us. Living just outside Granville makes access to the eastern outskirts of Columbus a breeze, while still providing us with the small-town feel. We currently live on 3 acres with about 2 of it under pasture. We are only pasturing sheep right now, but have had chickens, goats, ducks, cows, rabbits and pigs on our mini farm. Once our daughter Lila, who is just 22 months now, gets older, we intend to bring more chickens onto our mini farm so she can help collect their eggs and tend to them. My favorite animals we have cared for thus far are the goats because they are rambunctious and playful; but chickens come in at a close second.

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            Joining the WeJoySing community with my daughter when she was just 6 months old was an incredible experience. Not only did it provide me with several new songs, bounces and finger plays to do with Lila; it also provided a sense of community with the other moms. We all looked forward to our weekly “La-La” class as the children came to call it! Now when my family visits, my daughter Lila has started passing out instruments to everyone in the room for sing time…perhaps another teacher in the making?!

La La's for ALL!!
Mrs. Kristi

Musical Miracles: The Life Story of Bryn Foyle



“With music, one’s whole future life is brightened. This is such a treasure in life that it helps us over many troubles and difficulties. Music is nourishment, a comforting elixir. Music multiplies all that is beautiful and of value in life.”   Zoltan Kodaly

For Denise and Bob Foyle, this could not be truer than in the story of their darling daughter Bryn. Bryn was a triplet who came 4 months early, born at a mere 23 weeks and 6 days gestation. Bryn’s siblings, Jack and Cate, survived just 5 days before passing. Despite being the smallest of the triplets at just 1 pound 3 ounces, dropping to only 13 ounces on her third day of life; Bryn continued to fight for 3 weeks at Riverside Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.  Bryn was then transferred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital where she endured an emergency surgery for a ruptured bowel that was causing her to go septic and plummeting her survival rate to less than 5%. After another abdominal surgery, a laser eye surgery and a third abdominal surgery to reconnect her bowel and put in a feeding tube, Bryn finally left the hospital at 6 pounds and 5.5 months old.



During Bryn’s stay at the hospital, Denise requested music therapy for her daughter. The same physiological effects that came from skin to skin time with Bryn’s parents were also present during music therapy. The monitors showcased her heart rate lowering and her respirations easing. A program called Sounds of Love allowed Bob and Denise to record their voices singing songs, reading Bible verses and telling stories, which could then be played in Bryn’s incubator at night to provide comfort for baby and parents.

bryn "rocking out" with WeJjoysing hammers

bryn "rocking out" with WeJjoysing hammers

Once released to come home, it was imperative that Bryn be kept safe from germs, which meant limited visitors and only short trips to the doctor. During this time, Bryn’s aunt and uncles gifted her with some Raffi CD’s and videos. Denise noticed Bryn would turn her head toward the music and tended to be most calm when music was playing.  Denise knew that music had to continue to be a part of Bryn’s life so she signed her up for WeJoySing when she was about 13 months old. Though Bryn was not walking yet, she would show her excitement in kicks, wiggles and a smile of pure joy while just pulling in the parking lot because she knew what was in store!

“One of the more miraculous things we saw was, like most preemies, she had a minor speech delay initially; so, she was in speech therapy with Help Me Grow in our home. What we found was she learned to sing before she learned to talk!” Denise recounts that Bryn had a few words like ‘momma’, ‘dadda’, ‘ball’, ‘doggy’ and was not yet able to form sentences, but she could sing the verses to Pony Boy and Dinah Won’t You Blow Your Horn! “I found that so fascinating! My husband and I are not musical, but she has always been able to find the beat and bounce in time!”

bryn accompanying "The more we get together!!"

bryn accompanying "The more we get together!!"

Denise is certain that Bryn’s progress in speech and language development were aided by her time in WeJoySing classes. Bryn’s social skills blossomed as she met children in her classes saying, “they met as one-year-old babies, and now they’re four and a half and still play together.”  Denise also noted that even though attention span is something that children born pre-maturely tend to struggle with, she enjoyed watching the attention span of her daughter grow year by year.

bryn & Mrs. Karen ....quite the loving pair!!!

bryn & Mrs. Karen ....quite the loving pair!!!

While Denise was not shy about sharing Bryn’s story, she noted that she never felt judgement from the WeJoySing community and instead felt a connection with the other mothers. “I didn’t get out a lot while she was little, so it was nice to have a weekly something to do with her to look forward to. And to have the words at home so we could do the songs and finger plays!” Bryn’s instructor, Mrs. Karen, listened intently to Denise when she explained Bryn’s weakened immune system. She was always very careful to sanitize the instruments, give reminders about the sick kid policies and genuinely cared for Bryn’s well-being; so much so that she will still follow-up with Denise to inquire about Bryn!

As Kodaly stated, the treasure that is music has certainly brightened the life of Bryn and her family and WeJoySing classes are here to brighten yours as well. We invite you to come to WeJoySing and together we will multiply all that is beautiful in your life!

Musical Blessings & Miracles,
Mrs. Kristi

Pediatrician Supports WeJoySing's Early Childhood Music Programs!

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As parents, we want to do everything within our power to support our children’s well-being and development.  It can’t get better when we find “a way” to spend quality time learning and bonding with our children in a joy-filled, child-centered, caring and educational atmosphere that is  ALSO recommended by our pediatrician. We’ve “hit the jackpot!”  WeJoySing is exactly one of those “jackpot” programs.

Dr. Brad Dickson of Southwest Pediatrics supports WeJoySing’s early childhood music and movement based programs and firmly believes that music education plays an integral part in a human being’s full academic and learning experience.  His support is based on conversations with his patients who speak of WeJoySing “always with a smile!” and because of people “like Mrs. Kelly, WeJoySing Instructor, who genuinely care for children and have true passion and intelligence for music and teaching.”

Mrs. Kelly recently interviewed Dr. Dickson about his professional take on the value of music programs like WeJoySing in a child’s young life:

Kelly: Why do you think parent involvement and participation (“playing along with”) is important in a child’s development, especially in early childhood?

Dr. Dickson: Parent involvement and participation is important because the child’s social infrastructure and developmental progression is based on the parent’s interactions with the child.  

Kelly: What are your thoughts about using play, singing, music, and movement in a child’s development?

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Dr. Dickson: Brain development is greatly based on forming new “pathways” and to do this we need to try new healthy things every opportunity we can… from simple things like driving a different way to work, brushing our teeth with the non-dominant hand, to something as enriching and complex as learning music in a loving environment like WeJoySing.  

Kelly: How do you think music and singing can be good parenting tools for things like making transitions and stressful times joyful, and creating developmentally appropriate experiences at home?

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Dr. Dickson: Music in the parenting realm is vital because music is one of those rare things that brings our children a “mindfulness” or a true “being in the moment”... you are concentrating on music and therefore you have to be in the moment.

Kelly: We have the classes split up into developmentally appropriate age groups.  What does the term “developmentally appropriate” mean from your perspective?

Dr. Dickson: To me developmentally appropriate means that a child is comfortable with the pace or complexity of what musical experience is happening.

WeJoySing is a powerful program for EVERY child, and Dr. Dickson especially promotes this program for children with complex mental health issues and challenges:

Kelly: What benefits do you see coming out of participating in a program like ours?

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Dr. Dickson: Multiple benefits...especially with a large group of children that I take care of with mental health diagnoses like Autism, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Depression and ADHD.  Children with these diagnoses are invariably super intelligent but have an excruciating time showing their intelligence because of a host of complex is common ground for any of these children.

Kelly: What else would you like to add from a pediatrician’s perspective?

Dr. Dickson: As a pediatrician who has an ingrained passion to help children with complex mental health issues, I just dearly appreciate people like Kelly and programs like WeJoySing for sharing in the passion to help and advocate for any child with challenges.

We sincerely thank Dr. Dickson for sharing his thoughts on the importance of music in human development, for promoting WeJoySing to his patients and for sharing WeJoySing’s passion and devotion to helping young children develop and grow!

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?”

Mrs. Jo
Jo Kirk, President
WeJoySing, Inc.

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