Music's Influence on Speech and Language Development with Speech Pathologist, Courtney Jones

Jody with boy on lap.jpg

I LOVE the WeJoySing curriculum.  As a WJS instructor and a WJS parent, I have seen how WeJoySing can make a difference in the lives of children and parents alike.  We strive to create an atmosphere where learning can TAKE OFF! But the best part is – it all happens in the context of PLAY! The children think they are just PLAYING.  When in reality, so much BRAIN WORK is happening! 

I have seen it in action and have read the research supporting our approach, but I wanted to hear from a professional in the area of speech and language development.  A parent in one of my classes, Courtney Jones, is a Speech Language Pathologist.  I asked if I could interview her to get her perspective on WeJoySing and how it helps children in the area of speech acquisition. 

Tell me a little about your family and professional background:I am a Speech Language Pathologist with a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders.  I have spent the majority of my career working with children at the preschool level with speech impairments and expressive, receptive and social language deficits.  My husband, Travis, and I have a 16 month old son Oliver and I am currently a stay-at-home mom.

How did you hear about WeJoySing?  
Once my son turned six months old, I was feeling a need for an activity for him (and me!) since he was so busy.  My friend, who has a daughter a year and a half older than Oliver, told me about WeJoySing.  Oliver and I visited a class last February and have been back every session since.  Because we live in Zanesville, it takes us 40 minutes each week to get to class.  However, because Oliver enjoys the class so much, and I see how impactful WeJoySing has been to his social and language development, the 40 minute drive has been nothing but worth it. 

Why did you decide to sign up for WeJoySing classes?  
I first sought out WeJoySing as a way to add some routine to our schedule and to get us out of the house!

How do you see WeJoySing helping children with language acquisition and development? Have you seen ways that WeJoySing has influenced Oliver's speech and language development specifically?
I have been so impressed by the professionalism of WeJoySing and by the program’s ability to incorporate so many fundamental language components through the use of music. One-step direction following, social engagement, turn-taking, spatial concepts, use of instruments, new vocabulary and established routines are just a few of the things I see WeJoySing implementing to help with language acquisition in these young children. 

The 1 Year Olds like their "La La's" on the Tummy!!

The 1 Year Olds like their "La La's" on the Tummy!!

Throughout the weeks, I saw my son develop familiarity with the songs and routines.  For instance, the stuffed animal dog who greets the children each week and a stamp (or “lala” as they call it in class) the children get on their hands at the end of each class.  Oliver would smile during the welcome song, try to imitate gestures like clapping and waving, “dance” along to the music and would giggle in anticipation of gross motor movements like lifting him up high or swinging him around. I will never forget being home with Oliver and after saying the sounds “lala” to him, he looked at his hand and pointed, making the connection between the sound and meaning of the sound.  It was one of the first times I realized he receptively understood what I was saying!

The WeJoySing instructors are very knowledgeable and friendly and the environment is warm and welcoming.  I feel so grateful to have learned about WeJoySing.

With many thanks to Courtney for her expertise and
word of “wisdom” for our parents and reader!
Mrs. Jody