Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you were able to enjoy some time with your loved ones on Mother’s Day!  My oldest and I got matching hair cuts on Saturday and spent some quality time with my mom.

On Sunday, we went to Eagle Creek Park, where we (accidentally) saw the end of the Big 10 rowing championship, played on a playground, and had a picnic in the back of my car.

We also got to watch the reptiles get fed at the Earth Discovery Center.  Who would have guessed that my 3 year old would be enthralled with the snake?

I hope your Mother’s Day weekend was filled with love and laughter!

With joy,


Musician Spotlight: Mrs. Ashley’s Music Circle

You don’t want to miss this interview with Ashley Robertson of Mrs. Ashley’s Music Circle!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I have 3 education degrees from Ball State in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Deaf Education. I taught for 4.5 years prior to staying home with our children and loved managing the classroom. I have two daughters; ages 2.5 and 4.5. My mother is a music educator, so I grew up playing piano, viola, and learning all the insider tips on managing chaos.

What made you want to make music with children?

When my youngest was a couple months old, I researched music class options in our area and was shocked by the prices! I feel that early access to quality programming should be available to Continue reading

Musician Spotlight: ShooBeeLoo Music and Movement

Indianapolis is home to many great children’s musicians and music classes.  We interviewed Michelle Marti of ShooBeeLoo Music and Movement to learn more about what she offers.  Check it out!

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I was born in Australia but I have travelled all over the world, living in Australia, Singapore, England, and the USA for extended periods. I have worked as many different things, from barista to window display artist, but all the while music has been my passion. It has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I have played in many bands over the years, have recorded albums, filmed videos, and toured all over Europe with a couple of bands. Now I live in Indianapolis with my husband and four children.

What made you want to make music with children?

I never imagined myself as a children’s musician, but when I had my own kids everything changed. Continue reading

Music Tip: Picky Eater

Do you have a picky eater in your house?

I know how frustrating it can be when your child refuses to even try certain foods!  In this video, I explain how to use a silly song to encourage your kid to eat.

The sillier you are, the more likely it is that your toddler will play along.  And I don’t want to hear you say, “Oh, I don’t have a good voice…” because you don’t need a beautiful or trained voice to be silly with your kids!  Just give it a try.  You can do it!

Do you ever sing songs at the dinner table?  Let me know in the comments!

With joy,


Always Listening

I was recently reminded of the fact that my two year old is always listening.

Now, when I say “listening,” I don’t mean “following directions.”  I mean she hears what I say.  She is soaking everything in, even if she doesn’t act like she’s listening.

My daughter, Mary Mae, sometimes comes with me to my Monday Joyful Melodies groups.  We have the 10:15am Intergenerational Music Class, and then the 12:30pm Toddler Music Jam.  In the Intergenerational Music Class, we sang “The Bear Went Over the Mountain.”  I introduced some simple motions to go along with the song, and we sang it a few times together.  During class, Mary Mae sat quietly and did some of the motions with me, but didn’t sing along.

Later that day, as we were cleaning up from the Toddler Music Jam, I heard Mary Mae singing something quietly.  She had her hand up to her forehead.  When I leaned in to hear what she was singing, I heard, “And all that he could see…and all that he could see was the other side of the mountain.” She knew all the lyrics and motions, even though she hadn’t sung along or done all the motions in class.

When I start new class sessions I often have the parents recite a pledge.  It goes like this:

I, (name), promise never to be embarrassed by the behavior of my child, and promise never to judge other parents based on the behavior of their child.

Children might appear not to be paying attention in music classes.  They might run around, sit still and refuse to participate, or do the opposite of the leader’s instructions.  But later that day, or weeks later, you might find them singing the songs you thought they were ignoring.  Kids are always listening!

Have your kids ever surprised you by repeating something they heard?  What was it?  Share in the comments!

With joy,




A Special Moment

We have been having so much fun in our Intergenerational Music Class!

We have a fantastic group of grandfriends at the Hearth at Prestwick, where our 10:15am class meets on Mondays.  I love these classes, because there are always special moments when you get older adults together with young children. Recently, we all colored heart shaped Valentines for each other and exchanged them.  It nearly made my heart burst with happiness to watch the grandfriends and young children wish each other a happy Valentine’s Day and give each other handmade Valentines.  The smiles on the faces of the older adults were priceless.  The kids are getting more friendly with their grandfriends every week.

Would you be interested in a weekday evening Intergenerational Music Class?  There may be one in the near future.  If Monday mornings works for you, join us at the Hearth at Prestwick at 10:15!  Register for the remaining classes in the session, or simply drop in for $15.  We’d love to have you with us!

With joy,


Fun at Darrin’s

Have you been to Darrin’s Coffee Company in Clermont?  Darrin is a great guy who loves to host fun events at his coffeeshop.  When I told him about Joyful Melodies, he invited me to hold music groups there.  It’s been so fun!

If you have young kids and are free at 12:30pm on Mondays, come check out this group!  We sing songs, dance, play instruments, and have a great time.  Grab yourself a delicious coffee and watch your kids make new friends, practice social skills, and burn off energy just in time for a good nap.  🙂

Hope to see you soon!

With joy,


Free Music Events for Toddlers!

Joyful Melodies will be hosing some free events soon!  Have you considered getting your young child involved in a music class?  Try one out at Darrin’s Coffee Company on Monday, January 16 at 12:30.  Feed your kids lunch and then bring them over to Darrin’s to get them good and tired out, ready for a great afternoon nap.

Joyful Melodies is known for our Intergenerational Music Classes!  There is something magical Continue reading

Advocating to Staff

Music Therapy Staff Members In my experience, there are three main components of successful advocacy: educate by demonstrating, know your audience, and make personal connections.  I’ve found that presentations can be a great tool for advocating, but the best way to really help people understand your work is through 1:1 interactions.  In the next three posts, I’ll focus on how I advocate to different types of people.  This post describes my advocacy approach to staff members and colleagues.

Educate by demonstrating

I’ve found that simply demonstrating what music therapy can do can be much more effective than giving lengthy explanations.  For example, before any music therapy session in the hospital, I approach the patient’s nurse (let’s call her Ashley)  to get her permission to enter the room.  I could walk up to Ashley and say, “Hi!  I’m a board-certified music therapist.  I was referred to see your patient because of pain.  Music therapy can help with pain in a variety of ways, such as providing alternative engagement to decrease perception of pain and promoting relaxation.  Is Continue reading

Your Guide to Advocacy Zen

January is Social Media Advocacy Month for music therapists!

The following post is an introduction to advocacy for music therapists provided by the Certification Board for Music Therapists.  I will be participating in Social Media Advocacy Month by focusing on my own journey as a music therapist advocating for her field.  I hope these posts help you to get to know me and my style of advocacy and to gain a better understanding of the field of music therapy.  Thanks for reading!

With joy,

Lauren Continue reading