|Teacher Thoughts: Lap Songs|
|By Amanda Campbell on April 03, 2018|
Music Together Vivo director Cheryl Sabo recently sent out a pre-class e-mail to all families enrolled in classes for our Spring 2018 collection - Triangle. In it, she discusses the "framework" of a Music Together® class - the song slots that provide an overall structure to each class - the Hello and Goodbye songs, the playalong, and lullaby. There's another "framework" song slot in class for me, and that is the lap song/dyad. This song typically happens towards the beginning of class, and its primary focus is the bond between caregiver and child. Lap songs tend to have a lot of bouncing/tickling/hugging, while dyads - where pairs are created either from caregiver-to-child or caregiver-to-caregiver - tend to have movements like joining hands to rock/row or play pattycake. There are so many fun songs throughout the Music Together collections that serve the lap song/dyad purpose well - "Trot, Old Joe" from our winter session's Bells collection, I know, is a favorite of many!
As a newer teacher, I must confess that I found myself getting into a bit of a personal rut with lap songs. I'm entering my 9th semester of teaching with Triangle (the last collection that I've experienced as a parent, but haven't previously taught!), and I found myself wondering if I was doing this slot in the lesson plan justice. Don't get me wrong, I could see my families were having fun with them each week - their laughs are infectious! My doubt isn't a reflection on them at all, but a bit of my own teaching insecurity. So I decided to challenge myself!
The workshop went very well, and I had a blast leading "Allee Galloo" - but it wasn't until an experience I had a couple of days later that I really felt like my "challenge" was complete. My daughter was home on spring break, and she'd asked Alexa to play Music Together music. "Allee Galloo" is one of the songs that Music Together Worldwide has available for free streaming on Alexa, and it came on while we were listening. My daughter got the BIGGEST smile on her face! For those of you who don't know me, my daughter is non-verbal at the moment, and uses an iPad with a speech application to communicate with us. She is 5 years old, and currently has a grid of about 24 buttons/folders that gives her access to hundreds of words now - but this access is fairly recent. She's never really been able to tell me her favorite songs, things to do, etc. I could guess, of course, but it is a whole different world when they can tell you! So when she got this big smile on her face, I made sure she had her iPad and asked her if this was one of her favorite songs. She said yes! When I asked her why she loved this song, her response was simple:
Wow. I really was a bit speechless in the moment. And it still makes me tear up a bit as I'm writing this. Talk about a "from the mouths of babes" moment! In just 3 words she showed me how much I was overthinking, and put the most important thing front and center - the bond between caregiver and child! Challenge over, lesson learned for me! It may have felt too repetitive, or not "enough," to me - but that repetition and that bond with me is precisely what my daughter loves - even now at 5 years old! (And yes, as soon as she said that, we absolutely did "Allee Galloo" as a lap song right in the middle of the dining room!)
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|The Power of Lullabies|
|By Amanda Campbell on November 11, 2017|
My daughter, we'll call her S, woke up early this morning and was rarin' to go right away - no slow, cuddly Saturday morning for us this morning! She reminded me a bit of one of the characters from her favorite movie, Anna from Frozen (see the image and caption to the right!) - the sky was awake, so S was awake, and she needed to play!
We had a nice breakfast, and then the whole family went out to do some shopping at the outlets...completely forgetting that it's Veteran's Day weekend. The stores. were. packed. Trying to corral any 5 year old in that kind of craziness is a losing battle, and we definitely felt like we had fought (and lost) that battle by the time we headed home. We had a 45 min drive home, and I actually fell asleep in the car. My husband fell asleep on the couch for a bit after we arrived home. S just kept on going, as full of energy as she was when she woke up this morning. In some ways it was absolutely adorable. Watching her grab her grandmother's hand and try to give her toys to play with her, listening to all of her exclamations of happiness...but then there was also the constant walking away from us (and necessary redirection) while we were out, the fighting about going to the bathroom (because one does not just leave their toys to go the bathroom, don't you know that mommy?), the constant asking for snacks (despite having had plenty to eat already and it being almost dinner-time). By the time bedtime came around, I was beat, and I had half a mind to say to Daddy that he could put her to bed tonight. But as I sat in the rocking chair waiting for her to come back from the bathroom one last time, I realized that I'd really love to have her sleepy cuddles tonight if she'd slow down enough to cuddle.
When she came back, we shut off the light, and I started singing her "her" lullaby - "Su La Li" from Music Together's Maracas collection (her having a lullaby that's "hers" is rather new for us, but that's a whole different post!). When I sing it, I sing the first verse on the syllables from the collection. The second time I sing the lullaby on "I Love You" and the 3rd time I use her first and middle name. The final time, I hum the melody. Normally she doesn't fall asleep right away, and we cuddle for a bit before she really settles. Tonight, though, she was out like a light before I was even done with the verse I sing on her name!
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|By Amanda Campbell on September 01, 2017|
Welcome to Music Together Vivo's new blog, The Obwisana Update. Our center director, Cheryl Sabo, wanted a way to be able to expand on some of the concepts your Music Together Vivo teachers bring up in class, and so the Obwisana Update was created.
Please check back periodically for posts about early childhood development, musical development, ideas for how you can use the songs you learn in class as parenting tools (and just for fun too!), and perhaps even personal insights and stories from our teachers as well. We might even get a bit crafty sometimes!
If there's a topic you have any questions about, or would like to hear more about from us, please let us know by sending us a quick e-mail!
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