My mother introduced me to songs like “Let the Rest of the World Go By” and “When Irish Eyes are Smiling.”  She didn’t have a great voice but she loved to sing and sang around the house while doing housework. My father introduced me to Big Band music, Dixieland jazz, and Spike Jones. My mom had a collection of LPs with classical music for children, including Carnival of Animals, Sorceror’s Apprentice, and Peter and the Wolf. She played Scott Joplin and John Philip Sousa on the stereo.  My mom also shared songs that her grandparents and mother had sung to her. I’m very grateful for the musical riches that came to me at a time when I didn’t even appreciate what I was being given.

When my son was born, I wanted to sing to him, play music for him, dance with him—bring all the musical good fortune I received and pass it on to him. I was a bit overwhelmed and wasn’t sure how to do this or how I wanted to do this. We signed our family up for a Kindermusik class because it seemed just the exactly right thing to do. I was pleased by all the variety of music in Kindermusik class that drew on many traditions and styles. I appreciated all the ideas for things we could do at home in our regular family routines – diaper changes, going to bed, bathtime, and easing sticky transitions, among many things. As our son grew, he started playing instruments, bouncing along to music, and later dancing and playing along all by himself to the music. What my husband and I learned in class made it easy to carry on at home – easily and effortlessly, making it all fun. The undercurrent of understanding I had that what we were doing supported his development was affirming to us as parents. What we knew was how much fun we were all having.

My son is enrolled in a local children’s choir, is taking piano lessons, and continues to sing and dance around the house (as do I!). He enjoys musicals, rock and roll, classical music, folk and blues, and sings along to about anything. One great family tradition that has continued is a Dance Break, where we all drop whatever we’re doing and dance along to whatever music is on at the moment. Those moments are so precious to us.

Sign up for a Kindermusik class. You’ll have so much fun and your family’s life will be the richer and more joyous for it. Meanwhile, here’s a great song for slow dance break. Hold each other close! —Merry Sawdey, Kindermusik educator, Kindermusik of the Valley

Our Love is Here to Stay

 

 

 

 

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