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

Want POWER! Try MUSIC!

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

 

 

My "TO DO" List...A BLESSING!? Ugh!

Wejoysing staff retreat 2016

Wejoysing staff retreat 2016

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Fall brings cooler temperatures, sweatshirts & jeans, pumpkin spice and everything nice and Thanksgiving! Plus it brings me back to my WeJoySing families! It also brings new commitments, more schedules, more running, and more chaos. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the “have to’s” of life. I am so busy that I forget to stop and take a breath. I forget to stop and realize my “have to’s” are my blessings. 

lookk who's in the laundry basket!

lookk who's in the laundry basket!

As we were preparing for the fall session at our staff retreat, Mrs. Jo asked us to  “Make a list all of the things you have to do today.”    Well, as a wife and mom, I have to do laundry. I have to clean the kitchen. I have to put away clean clothes. I have to clean the bathrooms. I have to get the girls to school, WeJoySing, gymnastics, AWANA, etc.. I have to give the dog a bath. I have to go to the grocery storeI have to go to work. The list could go on and on (I’m sure you understand!). 

Next she asked us to, “Use the same list, but change the words ‘have to’ to “get to.” My head turned a bit. “Huh!”, I thought. Well that certainly puts a different spin on my list. I get to do laundry. I get to clean the kitchen. I get to put away clean clothes. I get to clean the bathrooms. I get to take my girls to their activities. I get to give the dog a bath. I get to go to the grocery store. I get to go to work! 

She went on to ask us to change “get to” to “I choose to” and then finally, we heard, “Now change your “choose to” for “I’m blessed to.” In that moment, my head turned a bit more, and then my eyes started getting misty. 

Mrs. Karen with daughter

Mrs. Karen with daughter

I am BLESSED to do laundry
(I have a family!).

I am BLESSED to clean the kitchen
(I have somewhere to store and cook food!).

I am BLESSED to put away clean clothes
(my family has clothes to wear!).

I am BLESSED to clean the bathroom
(I have a roof over my head and running water!).  
I am BLESSED to take my girls to their activities
(I have the children for whom I prayed so desperately!).

I am BLESSED to give my dog a bath
(I have a furry little creature who snuggles me!).
I am BLESSED to go to the grocery store
(I have a way to get there, and enough money to buy food for my family!).
I AM BLESSED TO GO TO WORK!!! 

Mrs. Kanen in "action!" 

Mrs. Kanen in "action!" 

New friends often ask me where I work and what I do. I love responding, “I don’t go to ‘work.’ I get to PLAY!” I truly am BLESSED to have WeJoySing on my “have to” list. There is no better job in the world, because it provides me the opportunity to share one of my greatest loves with you… music! I am so thankful to have those precious 30 minutes with you and your children each week! 

As busy parents, we know that getting to class is not always easy. Many of us are stressed and running in as we hear “The More We Get Together.” But, then we sit down. We take a breath. We realize that this experience is beyond a "have to." We get to go to WeJoySing. We are blessed to go to WeJoySing! 

count your blessings!!  

count your blessings!!  

When those overwhelming days come and you are staring at your “have to” list, trade your words and see how it changes the view! 

I HAVE to…
I GET to…
I CHOOSE to….
I AM BLESSED to…    

Love & LaLa’s,
Mrs. Karen