WeJoySing begins each 1-12mo and 13-24mo class with a "bounce!" We've known that bounces help to regulate your child and develop language, listening and movement skills. Resent research by Laura Cirelli at the University of Toronto, Mississauga is discovering that bouncing our babies is one aspect in developing their pro-social behaviors: taking actions that help others and benefit the group. READ MORE of this NPR Report!
“Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime.” Zoltan Kodaly.
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!
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.”
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.
As noted on the WeJoySing website, “songs, movement and musical games of childhood have been called “brilliant neurological exercises” that introduce children to speech patterns, sensory motor skills and essential movement skills.” This movement that looks like play to adults is serious work for our children. Erika Wills, a Physical Therapist Assistant at Licking Memorial Health Systems, provides her observations of the benefits of WeJoySing classes on gross motor development.
How long have you attended WeJoySing with your son?
“I have been attending WeJoySing classes for about a year with my son Sawyer who is 2 ½ now. As a teacher of the arts, I appreciate the structure and fun WeJoySing provides for children of that age group. Not all classes for that age group have such luck staying structured but playful.”
As a Physical Therapist Assistant, what do you see in WeJoySing classes that meets gross motor needs?
“I appreciate that each age group targets specific skills and can be modified by a teacher who is knowledgeable. The rhythmic movement is so valuable to the young ones. Movement in WeJoySing classes is inspired by the need to move towards friends or instruments which is much more organic. I also like that it gives parents ideas for movement at home.”
The awareness of the body as it exists in personal space as well as how it functions in movement and coordination is the Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence in Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences. Music and movement are so closely tied together in WeJoySing classes and all children benefit from developing that intelligence. As stated by Zoltan Kodaly, whose methodology drives the WeJoySing curriculum, "Movement is the child’s most favorite response to music. Movement is the body in melodic and rhythmic exploration."
Watching children of all developmental levels achieve motor skills within the WeJoySing class is yet another perk added to the list of benefits from attending. So, as you and your young child bounce, shake, turn, march and slide through class together, revel in the brilliant neurological work that is being done in your child’s brain!
Moving Right Along!!