"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! 

Lynnette reading 1 yrs.JPG

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!!
Jouyfully,
Mrs. Kristi

Early Music Experiences - Predictor of Academic Success!

Beginning Early...genius!

Beginning Early...genius!

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

Music & Me...Writing Rhythms

Music & Me...Writing Rhythms

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

Mrs. Jo Wichita State University

Mrs. Jo Wichita State University

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

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

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

Response to: Is Your "Emotional Bucket" Empty

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

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

IS YOUR "EMOTIONAL BUCKET" EMPTY?

Juggling responsibilities!!

Juggling responsibilities!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love and La Las,
Mrs. Julie P.