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September 6, 2018

Music Therapists Bring New Enrichment Program to all Ages!

Doodle Bugs! and Bloom Creative Arts have been working together on an exciting collaboration that will  bring Music Therapists to all of our classrooms, each month,  for an exciting music enrichment program – Music Rocks! We have spent the past year trailing the program in each of our age groups and are thrilled to grow our partnership in the new school year. 

Both the children and classroom teachers will participate in rich experiences with music and musical instruments incorporating the components of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math.) Check with your center to find out when Music Rocks! will be coming to your child’s classroom.

Contributed by Megan Coltoniak, MT-BC, Executive Director, Bloom Creative Arts

It has been a ROCKIN’ summer at Doodle Bugs!

We spent the last few months introducing infant and toddler children to Music Rocks! During our visits, we explored instruments and learned new ways to manipulate them. We learned that sometimes we might play a drum with our knees or our elbow-and that’s okay!

It’s been a pleasure introducing this program to the children at Doodle Bugs! over the past year and we couldn’t be more excited to grow our relationship in the new school year.

For many, this time of year brings change – a new classroom, a new school –  and sometimes change feels scary. During the next two months, the Music Rocks! curriculum will focus on feelings and that it is okay to feel every emotion!

As adults we experience a range of emotions throughout the day; frustration, elation, anxiety, annoyance. It’s important to remember that although children may not be able to articulate it, they are experiencing the same range of emotions. As parents and educators, it is our job to validate and accept their emotions.

Here’s a great example. As a mother of two young children, I have a tendency to want to fix everything. If my child is crying my first instinct is “It’s okay, You’re okay, Do you need a hug?”. It’s been a process for me to change that response to “It’s okay to feel sad. I’m going to miss you too.”

To complement our  “It’s okay to be me, and feel the way I’m feeling” theme, our younger Rockers will experience book songs, silly dances, and drumming songs that all focus on emotions.

Our older Rockers will experience an adapted version of Smells like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Yes, you read that correctly! Using popular music from different genres increases attention and ignites the brain. Typical children songs tend to put the brain in “auto-pilot” mode by the time children are preschool age.

But, worry not, every word in this song has been changed!

“It’s okay to be me, and feel the way I’m feeling. When I’m mad I stomp my feet and I might yell but no hitting. I’m mad, I’m sad, I’m happy. It’s all a part of being me. I’m mad, I’m sad, I’m happy. It’s all a part of being me.
And when I’m sad I can cry and take the time to feel in side. And when I’m happy i can be quiet, loud or silly. I’m mad, I’m sad, I’m happy. It’s all a part of being me. I’m mad, I’m sad, I’m happy. It’s all a part of being me.”

During this song, children will practice impulse control through stopping during the quiet parts and rocking out during the loud parts. They will practice teamwork as they take cues from peers by watching and listening.

My own children were recently in a restaurant when they heard a song we had adapted in Music Rocks! (Guns & Roses Sweet Child of Mine). I was ecstatic as they sang along with the words they knew, that reinforce the social emotional skills that parents and educators are so desperately trying to teach.

Here’s to a rockin’ new school year. Stay tuned – we can’t wait to share more photos and videos of the program throughout the year.