"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!!
Mrs. Kristi

How to Guide Your Child to be "Forever Young!"

Bob Dylan’s song, Forever Young, nearly captures everything I’ve ever wished for my children:  abundant blessings, the fulfillment of dreams, strength of character, happiness and love. (In case you’re too young to remember Bob Dylan, Blake Shelton has done a very nice re-make of this song and Simon & Schuster have publish a Children’s Book of the song.)

baby lower leg.jpg

May God bless and keep you always.
May your wishes all come true.
May you always do for others,
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars,
And climb on every rung.
May you stay forever young.

Silly parachute.jpg

May you grow up to be righteous.
May you grow up to be true.
May you always know the truth,
And see the light surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
And may you stay forever young.

Daddy & Daughter touch elbow.jpg

 May your hands always be busy.
May your feet always be swift.
May you have a strong foundation,
When the winds of changes shift,
May your heart always be joyful.
May your song always be sung,
And may you stay forever young.
May you stay forever young.

Mother Gooney Bird.jpg

But I also think this song speaks to us as parents.  It’s easy to go on auto-pilot when we’re with our kids because we have “real-life” things to think about.  But it’s important for us to spend time with our children in their world, not just drag them along in our adult world. We need to teach them that to be forever young is to be young at heart: to run and play and giggle and sing and act silly. These are the things that make for wonderful memories and precious bonding moments with your children.  And as a WeJoySing teacher, I hope that the songs, stories and games and that make up our WeJoySing classes are the tools that you will take with you, to help make ordinary days special for you and your child. 

It seems to me that the last 3 lines of the song sum up the essence of  WeJoySing.  As we approach the holidays and the start of a new calendar year, this is my wish for all our WeJoySing families:  May your heart always be joyful, may your song always be sung, and may you stay forever young.

Forever Young & Young at Heart!!
Mrs. Cathy!


What Does JOYFUL LEARNING Look Like?

the more GIRLS.JPG

Excitement abounds when your child eagerly rocks back and forth and loudly sings “The More We Get Together” perfectly echoes the teacher’s singing and movements, or when he proudly plays the drum in front of all the other children when it’s his turn.  I ask you, “Can there be any better confirmation that our children are having fun, learning, and loving music class?!” BUT, does joyful learning always have to look like this?

fingers over eyes.JPG

My son, Breck, loves to stay close to me during his WeJoySing class, mostly sitting in my lap and prefers to be held during most standing activities.  This is especially true when he’s in a large group!  He hides his eyes when it’s his turn to say his name during The More We Get Together,” and he’s not interested in playing his drum on command when it’s his turn.  He often quietly but intensely watches his teacher, Mrs. Lynnette, instead of playing the instrument in his hands. I have wondered: is he “getting anything” out of class; is he having fun; what is he learning when he isn’t “actively participating” during class?  

Learning Styles: Doers-Watchers-Listeners
A significant portion of my life as an elementary school educator has been spent studying child development. However, I realized that despite what I KNOW to be true about children and the way they learn, I wasn’t acknowledging the fact that each one of us, including my son, has a wonderfully unique learning style.  Some people learn better by watching, some by listening, some by doing.  We all have different strengths and types of intelligence that impact the way we learn.  These components, combined with our personality and temperament, make up the way that we learn best.  

Stop & stare.jpg

I needed to consider my son’s learning style and personality when thinking about his experiences in WeJoySing.  At home with his Dad and me he is downright enthusiastic, energetic but, is much more reserved in larger groups and in public places.  He becomes more cautious, careful, and hesitant.  I needed to realize this wasn’t a flaw or something to be worried about, but a special part of his personality that I needed to nurture and BE COMFORTABLE with, instead of feeling the need to force him into active participation.  That would come when and if HE was comfortable with it.

With this new perspective my view of Breck’s WeJoySing experiences began to change. I began to recognize and identify ways in which he has LEARNED, GROWN, and expressed JOY.

Drum by self.JPG
  • Although he doesn’t always sing “la la” when he receives his stamp in class, he will spend the car ride home and the remainder of the night periodically glancing at his stamps and SINGING “la la.”  
  • Although he may simply watch Mrs. Lynnette while we play sticks and sing about Jack and Jill, I often hear him waking up in the morning singing “up, up, up, up, up” as his voice raises in pitch
  • Despite his seemingly disinterest in having a drum “solo” during class, he will pull out his own drum at home and play the steady beat, singing and humming to himself while he drums.  His class time is spent processing all this information!!  Amazing!!


  • Only 12 months ago he would sob when he had to return his instruments.  Now he eagerly walks over to Mrs. Lynette, waits patiently in line with his ready hands, and smiles proudly as he returns to me.
  • Typically, Breck wants to be held during movement songs, but finally, in his 7th week of his 4th WeJoySing session, he held my hand while walking, jumping, dancing, and running to music.  And on the same day, he held the parachute by himself and walked in a circle with the other kids in class!   I celebrated his independency and self-assurance that “I can do this!!”

Expressing Joy…  

brochure possibilities 020.jpg
  • Although he is shy when in a larger group, at home he dances, sings, and plays instruments as I practice the songs for my own WeJoySing classes.
  • Although he doesn’t always want to play during class, he finds his bells at home and yells “horse” until I sing “Bell Horses” with him. He even eagerly hides the bells behind is back at the end!
  • Although he doesn’t raise his hands up and perform the motions to the apple tree song, he will shout out his favorite color “PURP!” (purple) when Mrs. Lynnette asks what color the apples should be.
  • Although he will sit quietly in my lap and stare intensely at Mrs. Lynnette as she sings (while other children play their instruments), as soon as the song is over he’ll shout “more, more!”

Uniquely Different
Joy doesn’t look the same for all kids.  Participation doesn’t look the same for all kids. Learning doesn’t look the same for all kids. And praise God, they are not all the same!  Each of our children has a unique way of learning and expressing themselves. How special is that?  It’s our privilege and responsibility as parents to CELEBRATE our children just the way they are.

We can nurture our children’s sense of comfort and participation by continuing to model our enthusiasm for music, by fully engaging with our children even when they don’t seem to be responding, and by celebrating their efforts in all circumstances (even when it looks like non-participation).

brochure possibilities 011.jpg

Benefits Galore
Breck is not the kid who “looks” like he is having the time of his life, imitating everything the teacher does during class.  He is not the one who eagerly participates in every activity.  But when I take the time to think about all the ways he has grown throughout his time in WeJoySing, it becomes clear that he IS LEARNING and that he LOVES music.  

My son is not only developing musical skills while in WeJoySing, but he is learning the incredibly important skills of how to listen, how to wait patiently, and how to celebrate another child’s turn.  Breck is developing important fine and gross motor skills, building his vocabulary, and enhancing his verbal abilities.  He is making mind-body connections in ways that only music can facilitate.  He is developing relationships with his teacher and other students, and forging an even stronger bond with me, his mom, through this shared experience.  

I love teaching WeJoySing, but even more than that, I love sharing in the JOY of WeJoySing with my son.  And I love doing it HIS WAY.    

Joyfully to YOU our WeJoySing Family!
Mrs. Megan


DON'T GIVE UP!! Patience is the Key!!

Look at those eyes!! What's going through this little one's thoughts??!!

Look at those eyes!! What's going through this little one's thoughts??!!

Have you ever been at the end of your rope? Has your little one's behavior made you want to leave WJS class early, or not attend class at all? Read on for a story that lets you know you're not alone.
At the start of my classes this session, I met a wonderful family at Arts in the Alley.  They enjoyed playing with the instruments and discussing how our WJS classes are structured for fun and fostering all of the skills that our little ones are developing.  Mom and dad understand how an early childhood class like WJS can ignite the desire for joyful learning, for years to come. The dad was super excited to bring his son to WJS, as music is a huge part of his family's lives.

Rhythm Sticks SAVE THE DAY!!

Rhythm Sticks SAVE THE DAY!!

Dad and son came to their first 2 - 3 year old's class, where the little guy proceeded to joyfully "squeal" and run around non-stop for the first part of class. Dad felt bad and tried everything to help his son to calm himself, but he just couldn't keep his excitement contained! After dad took his son out in the hall and he still couldn't calm himself, dad was about ready to give up and take him home. 

Luckily, right at that moment, I was ready to pass out rhythm sticks. I popped my head out and told the little guy that Jack and Jill needed help getting up the hill, and we were going to help them with our sticks, and could he pleeeease help us? He said yes, and bounded back into class. I could see the look on dad's face, of "ok, we'll give this one more try" and he followed his little guy in, where he participated joyfully for the rest of class. He still squealed and ran around some, and he also focused and joined in too! 

Dad didn't give up and now we play our Sticks at home!  

Dad didn't give up and now we play our Sticks at home!  

After class, dad and I talked about how it gets better each week. I assured dad that all the parents have "been there" and most of the children didn't start out sitting and participating right away. Many are observers, some have to be moving constantly....every child learns differently. Because dad was patient and didn't give up that first class, I am so happy to report, as you can see in the picture, that dad and son have continued playing in my class, and are even playing "Jack and Jill" at home with their own sticks!!   The message here?  "Don't give up!!

With love and la-la's,
Mrs. Kelly

Sing the Winter Blues Away!


Brighten Your Day with SONG!.  And many of our WeJoySing families DO just that!
How do I know?

Lisa wrote this week:   We have always loved to do the words and sing the songs at home together. Our children get so excited and say “Again ...Again!”  Sometimes when we are singing, I forget words from the class so it's very nice to be able to listen to them on the WeJoySing website! Thank you!

Ashley wrote: “Cold weather and colds are keeping us inside today!  Singing is making us all better!”

You too can fill the winter days with SONG!  ”But Mrs. Jo, I can’t remember the words of the song.”  Never fear wonderful WeJoySing parents!  The words and audio are on our website at www.wejoysing.com.  Simply click on “WORDS,” select your child’s age group and click!  If you have forgotten the password, email me real quick at wejoysing@wejoysing.com and we’ll send it to you pronto!!   HAPPY SINGING!!


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.

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!).

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 AM BLESSED to…    

Love & LaLa’s,
Mrs. Karen