The Essence of Parenting: Strong Roots Lead to Wings to Fly!

Mrs. Krista and her first born son!

Mrs. Krista and her first born son!

Hello WeJoySing Families!
It is wonderful to be together with you again this Fall!  We missed you and your little ones during the long summer break and it’s a JOY to see those little smiles and hear little singing voices once again!

I am always amazed at how much my little friends grow and change over the summer.   Suddenly those who were just starting class with me as tiny infants are running into the room and talking in complete sentences!  It happens so quickly!  As a mom, I recognize the little heartbreak that comes when your child no longer wants to sit in your lap during class, or wants to play an instrument all by themselves, with no help from you.  My own boys did the same thing!  It’s the first of the many “letting go” moments we experience as parents. It means our children are growing up.   It also means that they are confident enough to try things on their own, knowing that you are there to love and support them as they go their own way.  It’s the essence of parenting – giving our children a strong foundation to build upon, then giving them the independence to fly!

First born son is spreading his wings...COLLEGE!!

First born son is spreading his wings...COLLEGE!!

I experienced a huge “letting go” moment about a month ago, when we took our oldest son to start his freshman year in college.   During the drive, I was thinking about being pregnant with him, and just learning how to be a mom to him once he was born.  And wait, wasn’t that just yesterday??  How could we be taking our baby to college already?  What have I forgotten to teach him?  Is he ready?  Am I ready??   I managed to hold back my tears as I gave him a final hug goodbye, all the while feeling like there was a lump in my throat and a hole in my heart.   Then a sense of calm set in as we drove home without him, because I knew we had given him the best roots we could, and he was ready to soar! 

So, I promise you all, it’s alright if your little one wants to leave your lap during class, and go exploring.  You are giving them wings!  Enjoy every moment, even the “letting go” ones. 

Love and La Las,
Mrs. Krista

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!

Response to: Is Your "Emotional Bucket" Empty

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

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


Calming Power of Music!

Calming Power of Music!

Infant Power
Transitional chatter began as my infant class moved from a dancing experience to the lullaby.   One baby was fussing, another baby was babbling and a couple parents were whispering.  I drew out my autoharp and as I drew my fingers across the strings, immediately a hush fell over the room.  The whole atmosphere was changed in an instant.  It was now calm, soothing and full of awe.  The whole class was engaged, quiet and drawn into the soft melody. Like Magic! WITHIN AN INSTANT!!  That’s the power of music!

Tap Tap here....

Tap Tap here....

Toddler Power
It’s “hammer time!” Parents were asked to tap the steady beat- “big big big big” on the bottom of their toddler’s foot with our soft hammer.  Wonderfully, the parents spoke the rhyme and tapped their child’s foot to the steady beat UNTIL we got to the words, “with a tap, tap, here and a tap, tap there.”  The rhythmic power of the spoken rhyme was so strong it took over our attempt to keep the beat steady.  Our hammers wanted to follow the rhythm of the words.  We began to tap “the way the words go!”  Wow!  Language development!  That’s the power of music!

These "bears" are going under....

These "bears" are going under....

Preschool Power
The preschool class has been reading, singing and moving to “The Bear Went Over the Mountain.”  The book was read and sung the first week. For review, the second week I asked the children questions about the story: what happened first; where did the bear go after he went through the forest; did he go under or over the bridge?  I wasn’t sure how they would answer because a week is a long time for a young mind to “hold” information that has been heard only once!  But, because the story sequence and information was part of the ‘song story’ and we had moved to it and acted it out with hoops, the preschoolers remembered the sequence perfectly!  That’s huge for a four-year-old!  That’s the power of music!

dance with me daddy!

dance with me daddy!

School Age Power
My school age children use songs to memorize really, really hard things.   They can recite the books of the Bible, the US presidents, the periodic table and the states and their capitals.  How?  Because they each are a song or rhyme and utilize melody and rhythm to help retain the information.  Amazing! That’s the power of music!

Parent Power
As a parent, I use music to de-stress and relieve frustration.  Overwhelmed and exhausted by a hard day?  Music can bring joy and peace.  Even Mary Poppins knows that when you need to get chores done, music adds an element of fun.  Try it! That’s the power of music!

Retail Power
Even stores and restaurants know that music makes a difference.  Research has shown that music with a fast tempo makes people move, eat and drive faster.  It actually can alter a person’s heart rate. And music with a slower tempo actually slows down our heart rate and our actions.  Incredible!  That’s the power of music!

Find Your Musical Powers!
Mrs. Julie McFeaters