Bouncing on Mommy's Knee to Playing the Piano: Part I- A Life of Music, Cora's Story

“Often a single experience will open the young soul to music for a whole lifetime.” Zoltan Kodaly. 

Cora in her 2-3yr old class - Independency!

Cora in her 2-3yr old class - Independency!

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!

Cora enthralled in music & Literature at 5 yrs old

Cora enthralled in music & Literature at 5 yrs old

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.”

Cora delighting in learning whole, half, quarter eighth & sixteenth notes in Music & Me II class

Cora delighting in learning whole, half, quarter eighth & sixteenth notes in Music & Me II class

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. 

Joyfully
Mrs. Kristi!

 

"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

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

Humpty Dumpty Has a New Crash!!

LIVING WeJoySing at HOME!!! Humpty Dumpty has a new CRASH! As this little one walked into Mrs. Karen's class, she proudly announced, "I MADE HUMPTY'S CRASH!" For the last several weeks she has brought her "crash" to class and Mrs. Karen has incorporated it into the lesson! BRAVO! This is what WeJoySing is ALL ABOUT!! Music is a JOYFUL way to learn!!!