5 Simple Ways to Make Music with Your Kids

All children are musical!  You can make music together as a family, even if you don’t have formal music training.  Making music with your children when they are young can help them learn and grow, develop a healthy bond with you, and foster a love of music that will last a lifetime.  Here are some simple ways to make music with your kids:

Repeat their noises

This technique works even with the youngest infants!  When your baby coos at you, coo right back and smile.  This helps your baby learn the basics of communication!  Older babies and Continue reading

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,

Lauren

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,

Lauren

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

A Peek Inside an Intergenerational Music Class

Have you considered signing up for a Joyful Melodies Intergenerational Music Class, but aren’t sure if it’s right for you?  Check out this video to get an inside look at a class.

We just finished up an 8 week class semester.  It has been so much fun to watch all the children and older adults come out of their shells and interact with each other more and more each class!

Learn more about Intergenerational Music Classes here.

Our next class session starts on Saturday, August 6th – register by Friday to reserve your spot!

With joy,

Lauren

Parent’s Guide to Toddler Music Classes in Indianapolis

Parent's Guide to Toddler Music Classes in Indianapolis

Are you interested in getting your toddler involved in a music class?  Here are my top 6 favorite options in Indianapolis:

Joyful Melodies Intergenerational Music Classes

Joyful Melodies provides music therapy and music classes primarily in Avon, Indianapolis, and the surrounding areas.  Intergenerational Music Classes bring children 6 months – 3 years old into retirement communities, where they play instruments, sing songs, have fun, learn, and grow!

Check this page to learn about current class offerings.  Drop-in to the current class semester to try out a class!

Location: Hendricks County, Indianapolis, and some surrounding areas

Like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/makejoyfulmelodies

Visit the website: www.makejoyfulmelodies.com (Subscribe to the blog!)

Nurture The Child through Kindermusik

Nurture the Child Through Kindermusik provides Kindermusik classes for children ages 0-7.  Kindermusik is an international music-and-movement program designed to boost children’s development and teach basic music skills.

Locations: Hendricks County and West Side Indianapolis

Like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ntckindermusik

Visit the website: ntckindermusik.yourvirtuoso.com

The Urban Chalkboard

The Urban Chalkboard is a place for parents to bring their children for open play or structured classes.  Their Play Cafe and Learning Studios are designed to help children grow and develop and give parents a chance to relax and connect with other parents.

Location: Carmel

Like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheUrbanChalkboard

Visit the website: www.theurbanchalkboard.com

The Music Playhouse

The Music Playhouse offers early childhood music classes in Carmel and Broad Ripple.  They use The Music Class curriculum, which focuses on immersing children in a musical environment and providing a solid foundation for music education.

Location: Carmel and Broad Ripple

Like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/TheMusicPlayhouseIndianapolis

Visit the website: www.themusicclass.com/Center/Default.aspx

Bongo Boy Music School

Bongo Boy Music School provides music lessons and groups in the Castleton area of Indianapolis.  Their Recreational Music Center offers some early childhood music classes, drum circles, and more!

Location: Castleton

Like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/BongoBoyMusicSchool

Visit the website: www.bongoboymusic.com

Mr. Daniel at Darrin’s Coffee

Mr. Daniel is an amazing musician who provides various types of engaging opportunities for children and families in Indianapolis.  Sometimes he visits Darrin’s Coffee in Clermont to lead a free music jamboree with kids and families.  Check him out!

Location: Clermont

Like the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/mrdanieljamboree

Visit the websites: darrinscoffee.comsmileandsaygoodmorning.com

What else would you add to this list?  Let me know your experiences with toddler music classes in the comments!

With joy,

Lauren

Intervention Spotlight: Encouraging Vocalization Through Singing

Intervention Spotlight-Have you ever seen the  movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

One scene depicts the bad guy trying to get Roger to show himself by tapping the rhythm of “Shave and a Haircut…” on the walls.  Roger tries to resist, but in the end he can’t help but to jump out and complete the phrase: “Two Bits!”

We all have a natural inclination to complete unfinished musical phrases.

Music therapists use this to our advantage, especially when we’re working with clients who need some encouragement when it comes to vocalization.  Watch the video below for a demonstration with my sweet daughter:

I remember being fascinated with this concept in my college music theory classes.  Certain Continue reading