I do need your help in determining when the show should air. We're going to begin with one hour, once each week. When are you most likely to listen to the radio with your kids? Using the survey below, let me know which hour(s) of the week work best for your family. Be as specific as possible with windows of time. The folks in charge of administering the radio station will take your opinion into consideration when they decide upon the time slot for my program. Thank you so much for helping with this important decision.
I expect the Do Re We Radio Hour will have its first broadcast by Spring 2019. Stay tuned!
Anyone who comes to my classes will notice that we always celebrate at the end of each activity with a big "Yay!" and applause. It might seem over the top, but your baby needs this positive reinforcement. Before the age of 7 years, the human nervous system is working at an incredible pace to create neural pathways. Every sight, every sound, every touch, taste, and smell, every emotion your baby experiences is cataloged by his or her busy brain. On the outside, they may look like they're staring blankly, but behind those sweet little eyes, gears are whirring, connections are being made, and the groundwork for new ideas and imagination is being laid.
Transitions from one activity to another are one of the most difficult times for your little one. My classes are fast-paced, and usually have between 8-10 transitions within 30 minutes. The hardest kind of transition is when we must put away an instrument or other manipulative we've been using in class. We have a special song to signal to our babies that their time with the instrument is over, and it's time to put it away; when the whole class sings the song, it creates an atmosphere of joy and team work. As we sing about putting away our things, we watch our babies help drop the instruments in their box or storage bag, and we shout, "You did it! Good job! Yay! What an awesome helper you are!" The first few times this happens, the baby's face will register surprise. The eyebrows go up as if to say, "Did I do something good?" Later, the sense of pride at being a good helper will show in their big smiles and giggles. I've even seen a baby take her first steps because she was so excited to help put her instrument away.
The next time you find yourself picking up toys, enlist the help of your baby. Make it fun by singing a clean-up song like the one we use in class, and remember to shower your baby with praise and cuddles when they show you even the smallest effort toward helping. You are their first and best teacher!
Our next session is beginning soon! Some of you have been coming to Do Re We classes since we began in January 2017, and some of you will be joining us for the very first time. These guidelines will help you and your little one get the most out of your time with me:
John Feierabend simplifies his classroom objectives into three main goals. He created this curriculum so that when our children are adults, we will have helped them become:
I love these three words that Feierabend has chosen to describe the three ways our lessons can help our babies grow into adults who can fully participate in the musical fabric of our society. Let's take a deeper look into what each of these words mean:
We've all been there; maybe we're at the office, out at a restaurant, or with our family at home, and it happens to be someone's birthday. Cake appears, and on the count of three, everyone sings "Happy Birthday to You." The sweet family in this video demonstrates how a typical rendition of our traditional American birthday song sounds. Not very pretty, is it? Perhaps you've also heard this kind of singing in church congregations, or at sporting events.
The "Tuneful" aspect of our lessons together will foster your child's awareness of pitch, and help him develop a well-coordinated singing voice. Our goal is that when he is 30 years old, he will be able to sing lullabies to his babies, or sing "Happy Birthday" to them without them responding with, "Stop singing, daddy."
When we hear music, our bodies want to move. The gorgeous pair of newlyweds in this video are not trained dancers. They are regular people who happen to be "Beatful." The wedding song they've chosen has big beats groups in twos, and smaller beats grouped in threes. Can you sense the big beats and their smaller divisions? The way they move honors the beat. All too often, the dancing we see at proms, weddings, and other social occasions consists of awkward foot shuffling. We want our babies to dance with their friends, spouses, and children with coordination and grace, free from awkwardness.
The third aspect of our curriculum is perhaps the most important one. In Plato's The Republic, you'll find ancient wisdom about the ability of music to move us:
" . . . musical training is a more potent instrument than any other,
because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul,
on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace,
and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful . . . "
Music is able to express feelings when words fail us. I'm willing to bet that most of you reading this will be able to point to a difficult time in your lives when music comforted and strengthened you, or a joyful time when music served to enhance and heighten your celebrations. Good composers know how to craft music that goes below the surface and touch us on a deep emotional--and even spiritual--level. Good artists know how to take that music and interpret it so that the composer's original intent comes forth. But if we do not develop our children's sensitivity to those messages embedded below the surface, those messages will fall on deaf ears. We must take advantage of the early years to develop that sensitivity.
To quote John Feierabend:
"If we believe adults should be able to sing to their children and dance with their spouses and appreciate good quality music literature, then we must sing to our babies, and dance with our babies, and do both with quality children’s music literature. Then when those babies become 30 years old, they will be musically sensitive and be able to provide an appropriate nurturing musical environment for their children."
Each class at Do Re We is designed to foster tuneful, beatful, and artful adults. Register for a class online before the next session begins, or contact Mrs. Becca about coming to observe. We'd be happy to see you!
Music and Movement Instructor
It always brings me joy when I am able to recognize that the Universe always brings me exactly what I need. When I decided to offer Saturday morning music classes, my only worry centered on finding the perfect location. I wanted a space with plenty of parking, easy steps and doors to maneuver with a toddler or baby bucket and diaper bag, a location that was clean, safe, bright and beautiful. Friends, as soon as I posted my needs on Facebook, I received three offers from three different locations, each of them suitable for our needs: Bright Life Chiropractic off of Chatham Parkway, Restoration Chiropractic at Eisenhower and Waters, and Relief Direct Primary Care on Johnny Mercer Boulevard. I visited each space, then created a survey to see which location would serve you best. 25 people answered the survey, and the results showed that Relief DPC was the best choice for us.
Relief DPC is the dream child of Dr. Erica Blaikie Young, who wanted to create a way for families with a high insurance deductible to still have regular, quality care. Her patients pay a monthly membership fee in return for extended office visits with no co-pays, virtual care via email and texting, urgent care, and more. I am intrigued by this new way of providing health care, and fell in love with Dr. Erica's warm, intelligent, fun-loving energy.
In my experience, doctor's offices wouldn't be the first place I'd imagine holding my classes. I'm here to tell you that each of the locations I visited were beautiful and inviting. Here are a couple of photos of our new space so you can see what I mean:
I am tremendously excited to make music with a new Saturday morning community in this lovely place. I can envision families enjoying music class, and then spending the rest of the day across the street at the Islands Library or Islands YMCA. Or maybe a play group will develop, with trips to Tybee or Oatland Island?
I would like to share my deep gratitude to Dr. Samantha Brown at Bright Life Chiropractic, and Dr. Kaleb Scroggins at Restoration Chiropractic for offering their lovely spaces to us. Another big thank you goes out to everyone who took the survey; your input was extremely valuable in making this decision. It feels good to be building Do Re We together, doesn't it?
Relief DPC is located at 51 Johnny Mercer Boulevard, Cottage A1, Whitemarsh Island, GA