Saturday, October 15, 2016

October 15-Island Swingset Music and Movement

"What if the Hokey Pokey really is what it's all about."

As my children got older and my piano studio was secure I wanted to extend my efforts toward music for toddlers. Perhaps I am a two-year old at heart. I still like to get on the floor with them. Kindermusik offered a training program so I studied and watched other instructors. I worked one semester alone and then my on island competition called to meet me. She was not after my clientele; she wanted to work with me. Could we support both of us? The best professional decision I ever made was joining with Kim. 

For a decade we set up for two classes a week. The toddlers who played and sang with us are now our music students. They don't always remember the songs but they stare at me sideways and I imagine them thinking about a funny lady who twirled and skipped aroiund the room.  

The music part of the "schtick" seemed native to me but the movement thing was vulnerable. My first venue had mirrors and I would catch a glimpse of myself crawling on the floor. Not a pretty sight! The toddlers would bring me back to what was important, which was engaging fully on all levels.

The island supported our program, which we wrote ourselves. The Playspace, a family resource center for children ages 0-6 years, provided us a space for free as long as we offered two scholarships each semester. They recommended us to families looking for activities for young children.

A two year old child, finding her voice, and singing along with me was a holy experience. That may sound extreme but, trust me, I was moved many times as these precious children would abandon their shyness and let their voice be heard.

Music is more powerful than words because it eludes the filter of the right side of the brain and is felt before the words are understood. So, put your right foot in, and put your left foot out. Just do the hokey-pokey and turn yourself around, that's what it's all about."

I am writing for 31 days this October about Island Life. Click here to see the other days of writing.


  1. This is so good! I love that you and Kim were able to work together, and it sounds like a lot of fun. I enjoyed listening to your song and seeing you on the video- I would like to come and make music with you!

    1. I was thinking that, too. We could jam up a storm.

  2. For 5 years, my daughter worked as a children's librarian at our local library. She led several programs for the little ones, including one called "Silly Song and Dance." It was geared toward pre-schoolers, and they all loved it. She even had a story/music time for the 6-24 month crowd. Even that age of little ones responds to music.

    Happy weekend,

    1. Yes, they do. They love to dance with their mommy.

  3. I want to come do music with you! Can't carry a tune, but it'd be fun!!!

  4. Helping someone find his or her voice is a sacred calling. Wonderful!

  5. I really enjoyed the video! My 10 month old grandson has started reacting to music by dancing. I know you enjoy getting to introduce music to the young ones.


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