Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Celebrate Spirit Week! April 20-26

April 20-26, 2015 #LPMSpiritWeek

This week has been declared Let's Play Music Spirit Week!  Sound Beginnings students: you are part of the family, too!  We want you to share YOUR love of Let's Play Music by posting to Instagram and Facebook and telling us what you love best about LPM.


We'll be giving out lots of prizes this week:

Tuesday Morning      (5) Great Composers Coloring Books
Wednesday Morning (10) Beethoven's Wig CDs
Thursday Morning    (10) Let's Play Music T-shirts
Friday Evening    (1) $100 Visa Gift Card, (1) Dinner and Movie Gift Certificate
Friday Evening    (3) Sound Beginning materials sets (must be SB student)

How to Enter and Show Your Spirit:
Post to your personal Facebook Timeline a picture of you or your child in your Let's Play Music t-shirt.  Don't have a shirt? How about a photo of practice time on piano or bells, or performing your favorite puppet show, or a snapshot of your recent recital? Anything that shouts out "Let's Play Music!" will show your pride.

Make sure your post is public (down there near the 'post' icon is a button to choose your audience).

MOST IMPORTANT: Use the hashtags #LPMSpiritWeek and #iloveLPM so we can find your post.  You'll be automatically entered to win and your post will stay in the pool all week.

If you are a Sound Beginnings student, also use #SBSpirit so you can win a few prizes for SB only!

Check it Out:
On Facebook, do a search for #LPMSpiritWeek and you'll quickly see all the other posts on this topic- look what fun we're having with LPM!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Oh Canada! Joanna and Lisa Bringing Music to a Nation

Sisters Lisa LeBaron (left) and Joanna Dick (right) of Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada, are the founding Let's Play Music teachers in the nation.  

Join the Family
Lisa discovered Let's Play Music in 2011 on a visit to Arizona.  After hearing about the program, she investigated online and was dismayed to discover that it was not an option anywhere in Canada!  Lisa knew her children would thrive with this fun and engaging program, so the natural decision was to join the Let's Play Music family.  Her sister, Joanna, was intrigued and decided to do the training at the same time.  

Both ladies took piano lessons as children and had a mother that taught piano lessons.  As a baby, Lisa sat in the room during her mother's lessons. When she started counting as a toddler it was not the regular "1 2 3 4" but "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and"!  Her musical fate was sealed, and it was no surprise that both sisters became private piano teachers.

Lisa completed her Piano Teacher's A.R.C.T. (Associate diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto), while Joanna took music and education in University and currently teaches music at an elementary school.  The Let's Play Music classes are taught in Lisa's house and the sisters had their first group of students graduate in 2014.  

Use Music to Teach Music

Lisa says, "Taking a group of students through the entire 3-year program was an amazing way for us to witness the magic of learning music through music."  On many occasions, the sisters would be planning lessons and listening to the songs, saying "that is so smart and sneaky!"  The lyrics of songs an the musical concepts demonstrated in songs are used to teach concepts.  Joanna says, "It is always fun to see the parents have those same discoveries as they attend class with their children and see how we teach complex concepts while having a great time."  

Become a Better Teacher
Even with years of prior piano teaching, both teachers agree that teaching Let's Play Music has helped them become better teachers through the LPM method.  Joanna especially loves the rhythmic and melodic dictation that the 3rd year students do. She says, "I find it amazing that something I did in university, the children are able to do when 7-8 years old." She also loves the careful listening and ability to create harmony in class.  "When the moms sing one part and the kids sing another, it is fantastic! It is so fun to teach in a small classroom setting in such an enjoyable environment."  One of her favourite songs is the catchy jazzy 3rd year song, Let's Find the Root, because it's so exciting to put on sunglasses and rock out with the kids!  

More that Just 'Piano Lessons'
Lisa loves that Let's Play Music is focused on creating complete musicians.  She says "It is impossible to pick just one favorite thing about this amazing program. I love the puppet shows and how they instill a love of classical music.  I love to see my students bring their own puppets and all do the show together."  As a private piano teacher, Lisa sometimes found it tricky to fit all of the aspects of musicianship into lessons, but with the knowledge learned from Let's Play Music, she now knows how to find ways to incorporate these elements into her private teaching, too.  Ear training, note reading and singing are all elements that can be used to expand musical possibilities for students instead of just taking 'piano lessons'!  

Joanna and Lisa both want their students to have fun in class and take away an enjoyment of music.  Learning an instrument is hard work, so with a fun foundation it can provide the stepping stones for so many opportunities for these kids.  The sisters commented, "It’s so fabulous that after completing Let's Play Music, although all the students have been in the same lessons, their strengths are not all the same.  The variety of ways they learn about music make it possible for them to all be successful in pursuing piano, voice or some other instrument.  For us, that is what we want our students to do, have music as a part of their lives to enjoy and share with others."  

Learn about class openings in Alberta, Canada HERE.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ann Cue: Exuberant Grandmother

Ann Cue: Loving Grandma, Exuberant Teacher

At an age when most grandmothers have retired from career and childcare, content with activities no more demanding than quilting, crocheting, and gardening, I found Let’s Play Music and began a new, very active, almost full-time career. (And I still find time for quilting, crocheting, and gardening, along with my other businesses of photography and distributing Sunrider herbal products.)

How did you get started?

Actually, LPM found me (read the whole story on my personal blog). My friend,
Gina Weibel, posted on Facebook that she hoped a new recruit would attend training and help teach in her studio. I had time and interest, and knew I would love teaching such fun classes. After a year of teaching in Gina’s studio, I decided to open my own home studio. Things progressed rapidly and within a year I had over 60 students!
What obstacles did you have to overcome?
Mostly, I worried about being too old, but I was motivated. I lost 30 pounds, began a workout program, and discovered I could keep up with and even outlast many of the younger teachers at training. I also learned to appreciate the blessings of experience and wisdom in dealing with the children and their immediate needs.
What is your educational background?
My MA is in English literature; my PhD studies were in Twentieth Century American Lit. (I never finished the dissertation; marriage and children interrupted that.) I have taught high school and college, and all ages in church Sunday schools. I also studied herbology, became a Master Herbalist, and founded the Wisconsin School of Natural Healing. I love teaching, and am always involved in teaching something.
Your music background?
I took six years of piano lessons back when I was in grade school. In high school I voraciously studied any musical instrument I could get my hands on, and performed on both oboe and trombone! Piano is my favorite instrument. 
About 20 years ago I decided to use my gift of poetry (I have won many awards) and my love of musical improvisation to write original songs for choirs (links here). Since I was writing for 4-part choir plus accompaniment, it was time to seriously study music theory, so I did my independent study and I'm glad I did.
What do you like about teaching Let's Play Music?
So many things! First, I love my studio. My husband has lovingly built tables, stools, easels, and anything I could think of. We turned the entire lower level of our home into the perfect place for LPM.
I love the connections I feel with the children. I am able to tune in to their needs, encourage their creativity, and figure out what makes them tick. I will frequently ask a child why he is not responding during an activity, listen to the answer, and provide a solution on-the-spot.
I love teaching the moms (and dads). They are my students too, and it is a special blessing to show them new ways to bond with their children. They know they can be called on at any time during class, and are expected to be fully involved in all activities.
I am loving what I am doing this year with the puppet shows. I am encouraging full-body movement to each of the musical themes. I let the children work these out as a class, then I tweak them just a bit, making sure that some of the actions are closer to the ground and not too wild. We call it dancing, and allow any child who still wishes to sit still and hold puppets to do so. Moms have caught a few of these on their videophones.
I love that I get to be silly, have fun, and know that I am blessing the lives of families.

If I have only one word, I sum up my LPM experience: JOY.

The world can be a scary place,
A song in minor key,
But when it’s Let’s Play Music time
I suddenly break free. 

And when that red balloon floats up
I feel my spirit soar, 
Or with a silly turtle dance,
I laugh, and wait for more. 

So even though I now beat time 
With genies and monsters galore,
They don’t scare me: I only see
The end we’re waiting for: 

That final great recital day
When fears are set aside,
And young composers take a bow
With confidence and pride. 

Then off they go, they know their chords,
The yellows, blues, and reds,
And even when there is no sound
There’s music in their heads. 

And when life brings its troubles by
Perhaps they will recall
The happy sounds of harmony
To  cushion every fall. 

So with my friendly Echo Pal
I have ONE WORD for you:
The word is JOY; it’s mine; it’s yours; 
And all the children’s too.

By Ann Cue
If you would like to read more about my classes or register, check out my music class blog.
-Ann Cue, Madison, WI

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

We Value Open and Honest Communication

It’s April, and that means you may have played (or suffered through) a few tricks on April Fool’s Day!  Let’s Play Music teachers are some of the sneakiest folks you’ll meet, but even at our trickiest, we encourage and practice transparent, honest and open communication with respect for the hearer and the listener.


Our teachers are super sneaky, but that does NOT mean we toilet-paper your house or put plastic wrap on your toilet seat.  It DOES mean that we play fun and silly games during class and our students are tricked into thinking that's ALL there is to it! (bwah-ha-ha) 

During class, you WON’T hear us expounding lengthily about the purpose behind each activity, and we WON’T spend tons of time demonstrating.  We just get right into the games and keep things moving.  Our trickery is revealed years later when students notice, “hey, I have a fantastic ear for identifying notes…where did that come from!?”  That’s right, we value fun in our classes (read about it here); we sneak in loads of complicated theory with every game, and the students sometimes don’t notice!

Let’s Be Honest
We get a bit sneaky with the kids, but we certainly strive to be open and honest with you parents.  We DO want to educate YOU about everything going on behind-the-scenes in the Let’s Play Music program.  This blog is one tool that was created to help reveal our magic, so I plan to reveal things here such as:
  • What do we value, and how does that shape class format?
  • What is the purpose behind each activity?
  • What else can I do at home to help my child learn the concepts?
  • Why is each skill useful, and how will students use it in the future?
Sometimes you’ll have questions that aren’t answered here on the blog, but your teacher is there to chat with you.  I sincerely hope that if you don't feel confident about what your child is learning, you'll contact her so she can help you get there.

We’re Open for Business
We value open and honest communication.  Of course, communication is a two-way street.  That means YOU have an opportunity and responsibility to speak up, too.  Let’s Play Music teachers are encouraged to seek feedback (usually via surveys) each year, to find out what you're thinking. 

I can tell you, my first few years as a teacher I was pretty nervous to solicit feedback.  I put my heart into my work. I loved my students and gave them 100%.  I wasn’t sure I had energy to handle any suggestions.  With some coaching from the Let’s Play Music trainers, I came to value the honest opinions and use them to improve my studio.  

One survey response I received included a suggestion that I start a blog or send out weekly emails so parents could have a better understanding of the activities.  Excellent idea!! Thanks for letting me know what you needed to get the most from class.

Now it's up to YOU to take the time to give thoughtful feedback when your teacher asks.  Don't hold back on telling her something, kindly, that she can really put to use and make her program better.  In the long run, you don't help by being silent.

The Good Times and…
Okay, folks.  Some day you may have a tough topic to discuss with your teacher.  It might make you nervous to approach her, and it might make her nervous, too!  Whatever your topic, your teacher has been trained to address your concern openly, honestly, and professionally.  Please meet us halfway- tell us honestly what you are concerned about, and give us a chance to meet your needs.

The good news is, your teacher has a huge supportive network of teachers across the nation.  Whatever question or issue or problem you may need to bring up with her, someone has probably dealt with something similar before! I don't tell you this to minimize your concern, I tell you this so you'll know that you WON'T break your dear teacher's heart or business if you talk to her about what's going on.  She will get support and find ways to work through it.

Don't Let This Be You
I've had a few students over the many years who simply VANISHED from class.  They stopped coming, with no communication about what was going on.  I tried calling one parent, and she wouldn't answer!  She ignored my calls and emails for months and months and never told me what had happened.  A few YEARS later I saw her in a store and, although it was awkward, I did want to talk to her.  I told her, "I was worried about you…whatever happened back then?"  She told me that making the payments was a struggle so they'd stopped coming to class.  I suspect her embarrassment and awkward feelings were overwhelming, and just got worse over time.  DON'T LET THIS BE YOU. Don't let something spoil your child's music experience when it might be resolved.

I have had a few other clients with that same struggle handle it differently. Sure, myriad things happen that affect a family's finances.  When those parents came to chat with me, I discussed some creative solutions.  Most of the time we were able to figure something out so the student could stay in class.  Occasionally we couldn't, but we separated with an amicable and compassionate feeling between us.  This is how we prefer to operate- let's communicate.

Convos With My Teacher
Here's a sample conversation to help you get started IF you have a tricky subject to bring up!  Perhaps there's something in class that's happening (or not happening) that could be better.  Trust me, I have had a few of these conversations.  Being THIS CONNECTED to the students and parents is one thing that I love about our program.

You: Hi Ms. ____.  I have been wanting to chat with you about something- do you have a few minutes now?

Teacher: Why, yes. I'm so happy you called. What's on your mind today?

You: Well, one thing I really value is _____.  I really care about making sure that ______.  So, one thing that I have been thinking about is __________.  

Teacher: Okay. I'm glad to hear that ____ is so important to you. I really want to make this class a success for your child, and knowing exactly what you care about helps me.  Now that you point it out, I can understand your perspective about ________________.  I really care about making this work for both of us; is it okay with you if I take a couple days to think about this and consider what you've shared with me.  I'm also going to do a little research and see if I can come up with some strategies to share with you- can I call you back on Friday?

You: Sure.  I'm glad you're willing to talk to me about this. I really feel like we are a team.

Teacher: Of course! I'm on a learning curve to becoming a fantastic teacher- I'm sure this isn't the last time I will have to confront _______ , so I'm glad you're friendly about helping all of us figure it out.

You're My BFF
Right now my daughters are really into the phrase "BFF."  They're wearing BFF necklaces, but tell each other, "it's really BSF because we're best sisters forever!".   

Your music teacher strives to have great customer service, but she's also someone you're going to get to know pretty closely after 3 years (more if you have more children.)  I hope she can become your BTF: Best Teacher Forever.  You know- the kind of teacher you can really talk to about your child's progress. 

Really importantly: when she does something you like, tell her that, too! "I loved it that you made those treats for the kids.  It meant a lot to me that you stayed after class to talk to my child.  I value that you took time to show me again how to do that skill."  

Thanks for telling me that! Now I know how to help you enjoy class the most.

-Gina Weibel, M.S.
Let's Play Music Teacher

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Get Crafty with Alphabet Gems

Hey Yellow Arrows student, have you cut out your Alphabet Pieces yet? You do not want to let this valuable activity fall by the wayside: these little scraps of paper are a powerful learning tool AND we will even show you how to cutesy them up!

Keyboard Geography
Back in the fall we introduced the idea of Keyboard Geography: Looking at the keys and noticing the patterns made by black and white keys.  The black keys are SO important because without them, you'd have no way to visually distinguish the C's or F's or any keys at all!  

You can guess that eventually your pianist will want to play songs without looking at her hands much, but before she gets to that point it is valuable to spend some serious time now looking at, learning, and internalizing what the keyboard looks like.  Eventually, she'll be able to hold the image of where her fingers are (and where they need to go next) in her mind's eye.  Combining her mental image of the keyboard with her muscle memory (read about it here and here) she'll be able to play without looking down very often.

Visual and Kinesthetic Learning
In class, your child practices singing the musical alphabet to learn the pattern of the keys, and practices the Kit-Kat Keyboard chant to start practice matching the keys to the keyboard.  Both of these activities are primarily aural but become a visual way of learning when keyboard matching comes into play.  To strengthen the learning, we provide even more pathways (read about the learning process here) for mastering information by giving students kinesthetic ways to play with the skills.

Alphabet games help make drilling "what's the name of this key?" fun and engaging AND because they involve your child moving a tangible object over to a tangible key, this knowledge sticks better than if we only used flashcards.  

Whenever possible, take it one step further by playing the pitch of the note after identifying the alphabet letter, and matching it…"Yes, that was a D, and a D sounds like this…DEEEE."  We try to find ways to see it, hear it, and get physically involved as we practice it.

Where Do We Go Next?
Next fall your student will start learning to read every single note on the staff, and match each note to its exact key on the keyboard.  Of course, it's going to be a very rough challenge if your child reads "treble D" off the staff but can't find a D on the keyboard.  This is one reason we spend time on key names now; it's the prerequisite for advanced music reading.

I like to point out that the alphabet names of the notes and keys are an abstract concept created to help us read music.  It IS possible and necessary to read music by matching "that note" with "that key" correctly without identifying the name of "that note".  (Read more about it here)

But these key names are critical to give us the way to talk about the notes and keys and be specific as we teach the advanced theory coming next year (changing key signatures, transposing, adding sharps and flats, etc.) 

Great Ways to Play
Now that you're motivated, you'll definitely want to check out the list of different games using alphabet pieces. (CLICK HERE).  You'll see everything from Cowboys and Indians to Frogger and Go Fish: all games that will encourage visual matching and active learning.

Get Crafty
Now, for a crafty way to make your pieces the cutest and most gorgeous ever (also preventing them from falling between piano keys,) try this option: making Musical AlphaGems! 

  • Clear glass gems (each approx. 1/2 inch in diameter): avoid ones that are too big to fit on your piano key!
  • Cardstock alphabet (last page of your Yellow Arrows songbook)
  • Acrylic spray (option)
  • Clear silicone adhesive (sticks well to glass and is less smelly than other strong glues)
  • Workspace covered with some newspaper
  • Scissors
  1. Optional: Before cutting out the alphabet circles from the printable, spray the backside of the cardstock paper with a few coats of acrylic spray.  This will help seal the paper and make your gems last longer.
  2. Using a pair of scissors, cut out alphabet circles to fit your gems.  Too small is better than too big.
  3. Examine each glass gem before using to check for imperfections.  Toss any that are chipped or have odd designs that might affect how easily you can read the alphabet letter through the glass.
  4. Put a dab of silicone glue on the bottom of a glass gem and then gently press the gem onto a cut-out circle so that the printed alphabet letter shows through the glass.  Gently wipe the gem’s edges on the newspaper workspace to remove any excess glue.  Allow the gems to dry upside down.
That's it!  Go have some fun with your alphabet games.

-Gina Weibel, M.S.
* Musical AlphaGems was first seen at www.colorinmypiano.com

Monday, February 23, 2015

We Value PLAY

Children Learn Through PLAY
It's March, and if you live in a snowy place you might be feeling the effects of cavin fever by now.  Your family needs to have some fun and movement- the good news is you'll get it this week in Let's Play Music class!

 At Let's Play Music, we value PLAY.  We believe that fun, spontaneous experiences heighten enjoyment and create magical discoveries.

Play is how children figure things out; play is HOW they learn.  Fred Rogers states it perfectly: "Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning.  But for children, play is serious learning.  Play is really the 'work' of childhood."

Four Reasons to Play

Kids learn best when they're playing, but why?  Here are my top four reasons with an explanation of how you'll see play shape our classes.

1. Play gives children the opportunity to try out new ideas in a safe environment. When "it's just a game", a student has freedom from evaluation and judgement. During games, it's easy to embrace mistakes with a laugh, because they are a built-in expectation.  (Read the post on the learning process to see why embracing mistakes is so necessary!) 

I think of many games, like Frog in the Middle. I am secretly giving students practice finding and matching a beat, aurally identifying melodic patterns, and matching and singing pitches. The students love this "practicing" because it's so silly! They are excited to take a turn showing off their dance.  They don't worry about performance tests, but they DO strive to master their moves and hand signs so the game will be better each week.

Every LPM game has a secret agenda, but to avoid damping the fun, I don't tell students about it during class. (Watch for next month's post on being sneaky.)

It makes sense that all of us are willing to try new things when we're unafraid of punishment for not being perfect.  In making music, we have to start somewhere, and it's far from perfection.

2. During play, children practice human values: cooperation, sharing, turn-taking, and conflict resolution. I recently heard a lecture from a child psychologist who would gauge these skills by timing how long children could sustain a group game.  One child would invent parameters for the play, "Let's play house", but others would inevitably add suggestions, "no, superheroes!" When the children could compromise, resolve conflicts, and be flexible, then they could keep the game going instead of giving up ("mom! we're bored!") or losing participants ("forget it! I'm not playing with you!"). Play time is an opportunity to practice interacting with others. "Okay, let's be a superhero family and we can pretend to go on a trip."  

By now you've caught on that Let's Play Music classes are about more than just teaching your child to do something.  Let's Play Music is about teaching your child to become something.  Our game-oriented class gives opportunities to practice these skills.

When I play the games like Circle Left, with my class, they work because everyone participates in making the circle rotate.  I offer each student a turn to decide how we will march/fly/skip/dance.  I remember one class when a student flopped to the floor during a game, upset about some offense.  Another classmate also stepped out of the game and gently went to him. "Oh, are you sad? Will you come back to the game? We would all like if you come be part of our circle. Will you come with me?"  My heart swelled as Sylvi reached out to her classmate. Her focus on considering everyone showed that she was practicing these skills.

3. The child at play is self-motivated and actively engaged.  Too-common are the stories from adults who took a few piano lessons as kids but for some reason didn't stick with it. Was practicing drudgery? Were lessons like a lecture? Were you wondering when it was going to start being fun? Did you wish going to lessons was as fun as going to Let's Play Music!?

I know your child will practice every day if it's part of your daily routine, and if he's looking forward to a weekly prize, or if he knows he doesn't get screen time until it's done.  Each of these extrinsic motivators has a definite place for establishing the practice habit early on, but what will happen when you take those motivations away someday? (I, for one, am planning on having my kids move out someday.)  

Our long-term goal is to help students discover the fun and joy and playfulness that can be found in making music, so they will eventually be self-motivated, intrinsically-motivated, to continue with practice and music studies when they graduate. Yes, making music takes focus, effort, and WORK (so does mastering the final level of Super Mario Bros). This brings us back to the fuzzy line between work and play: when your child can find the PLAY within the WORK, he'll have the motivation to stick with the training.

We don't pretend music-making is not hard work, but we do find every opportunity to highlight the silly and fun potential.  The process of finding joy in the work of music is sometimes a long, slow, road. So we keep our eye on the goal and make sure to help students recognize the joy whenever we can.

4. Play provides opportunities for fine and gross motor development. This truth applies to all of the playtime activities your child enjoys.  I'm thinking about the countless hours my own daughter spends dressing and undressing her baby dolls: definitely lots of fine motor practice there!

Moving around doesn't just improve motor skills; mounting scientific evidence from neuropsychologists and neurophysiologists teaches us that movement is crucial to learning.  Experiential, active instruction is most likely to lead to long-term memory of new concepts.  Playing a game in which you run to the magnet board, add your skip or baby step, and dash back to your seat helps you internalize the concept more strongly than if your teacher just showed it to you.

Not surprisingly, physiological stress reactions can negatively affect learning.  When your mind is in "playtime" mode, you are physiologically relaxed and ready to learn at your best.  Physical movement helps the brain perceive events and information in a non-stressful way so is learned more easily. Teaching via physical games is a winning strategy we use in Let's Play Music class!

Stages of Play

Finallly, one more big difference between Let's Play Music and other options is our group class format.  Parents sometimes wonder if their child would be better off with a private teacher right from the beginning.  Now that we know children learn through play, classes are formatted to accommodate the style of learning and playing at this age, and that translates into playing with friends.  
How do children play at each age?

Ages 0-2 : Solitary Play: Plays alone, starts to interact with adults. 

Ages 2-2.5: Spectator: Observes other children and copies them, enjoys repetitive motions.

Ages 2.5-3: Parallel: Plays along-side other children (not necessarily with them), copies actions of other adults and children. Play is imaginative.

Ages 3-4: Associative: Starts to develop cooperative play, starts to develop friendships, shows interest in 'why' and 'how' things are done during play.

Ages 4.5-6: Cooperative: Thrives in small-group play, enjoys cooperative games, enjoys learning and applying rules and demonstrating mastery.

When music theory is taught via silly group games, our students are set up for success.  Learning with a group of 5 friends is easier and more engaging for them than having a teacher one-on-one.

Our Teachers Model Play
Check out these Let's Play Music teachers using playfulness to enhance teaching:

Sarah McKay in Marietta, OH, introduced the song BINGO to her class, and realized they needed a few moments to treasure the joy of pretending to be doggies. After a moment of play, they had laser focus for learning the rhythms.

Michelle Bellingston in Pittsburgh, PA, helps her daughter find easy and playful ways to make practicing fun, like putting on a show for her stuffed animals.  

Marie Guthrie in Mesa, AZ, finds ways to sneak learning into playtime with her family.  During the popular card game, Sleeping Queens, they sing melodies from our Royal Problem puppet show when a dragon card is drawn!

Ann Cue in Madison, WI, makes sure parents have fun and play along, because kids love it!  When it's time to put on silly "root-finding glasses," moms get to dress up in style! Finding the roots of the chords has never been sillier or more successful.

The Results are In

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has identified the importance of playful learning in supporting children's development.  They also note the importance of joyfulness in learning- not typically assessed as an outcome of programs, but identified for its importance. When children find something fun, they learn more effectively.

If you are excited about PLAY and its role in your child's education, be sure to register for Let's Play Music classes, and then perhaps enjoy some additional reading:

The Power Of Play: Learning what Comes Naturally, by David Elkind.
Smart Moves, Why Learning is Not All in Your Head Carla Hannaford 
Play=Learning: How Play Motivates and Enhances Children's Cognitive Growth, Dorothy Singer.
Play: How it Shapes the Brain, Stuart Brown
A Moving Child is a Learning Child, Gill Connell
Playful Learning: Develop Your Child's Sense of Joy, Mariah Bruehl.

Stay tuned as we focus on one of our CORE VALUES each month. Our classes are patterned and structured differently from other programs; you'll understand why as we explain what we value.

-Gina Weibel, M.S.
Let's Play Music teacher