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

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

Music Classes Build Social Skills

Joyful Melodies Music ClassesI had a very proud mama moment in our Intergenerational Music Class last weekend.  My daughter, Mary, attends the class with my husband every week.  This was the sixth music class of the summer session, and Mary has come out of her shell more and more each class.  This class is held in a retirement home, and we call the older adults “grandfriends” and encourage them to join our class every week.  I often ask the children to interact with their grandfriends by waving hello, asking their names, and taking them small instruments.  Mary has always been shy around the grandfriends and has needed to hang onto one of her parents before she would approach a grandfriend.

This time, when I asked her to take an egg shaker to a grandfriend, Phyllis, she happily took it from me, ran over to Phyllis, and plopped it into her hand!  I was so proud of her and happy to see that she was learning to form relationships with her grandfriends.

The other children have been building social skills in the Intergenerational Music Class, too!  It has been wonderful to see them interact with each other and the grandfriends in more and more meaningful ways throughout this class session.

 

Do you have a child who would benefit from this type of socialization?  Sign up for our next session!  We start in August.  Learn more and register here.

With joy,

Lauren

Feel the Beat

Feel the Beat Joyful Melodies Music TherapyI use a lot of improvisation in my music therapy work.  This week I had many music therapy sessions with infants in the hospital who were falling behind on their developmental milestones due to their medical circumstances.  This song, Feel the Beat, stuck with me after it arose spontaneously during a session.

With these infants, I used this song while gently tapping them on various specified body parts.  This helped them become accustomed to positive touch – touch that isn’t painful, like much of the touch they experience during their medical care.

Continue reading

New Music Class for Children with Special Needs

Joyful Melodies Music Therapy Class

I am so excited about this new class!  If you have a child with special needs under the age of 6, this is the summer music class for you!  Music therapy has been used to help children with special needs for years.  We’ll use singing, playing instruments, and movement to encourage children of all abilities to learn, grow, and make new friends. Activities will be adapted in the moment to ensure that all children can participate in their own way.  Parents and siblings are welcome to join in the fun!

Dates: July 25th, August 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29

Time: 9:30am-10:15am

Cost: $84

Location: Bliss Studio, 1620 E Main St, Ste 149, Plainfield, IN

Claim your spot by filling out this registration request form.  You will soon receive a PayPal invoice by email.  Once the payment is received, your registration is confirmed.

Please share this opportunity with your friends who have children with special needs!  We can’t wait to make music with you!

If you have any questions about this class, email me: Lauren@makejoyfulmelodies.com.

With joy,

Lauren