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Staying Together Through Music

By Emily Savage

BCB is committed to helping you, our amazing community, get through the shelter-in-place.  We’re delivering ongoing VIRTUAL activities for you to pull out for your kids at any time!  Whether you incorporate online activities as part of a regular schedule, or you just want to rely on a handy list for whenever the kids are getting restless, we have activities for you! 

One of our longtime partners, Bubbles Academy, is partnering with us yet again – to keep bringing you regular music and movement classes for your littles—ONLINE!  You can check out our BCB Facebook Live every Tuesday at 9 am CST to join in their latest class.  They also shared with us a great list  of some ways music can help bring us together during this time.

By The Bubbles Academy Team

We all know how music can affect our lives. It can cheer us up, make us think, get us moving, or calm us down. This applies even more so to our children! Science has proven that music fosters the brain development that helps our kids reach milestones; it improves their ability to understand emotion, language, and connection. It strengthens memories. It creates culture and community.

During these chaotic times, music can become not just important, but essential in keeping our children learning, growing, and enjoying their time while stuck at home. Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to start and it’s easy to get burnt out from doing the same things over and over, so here are some ideas about how to bring music into your house.

Make your own instruments 

If you don’t have any instruments, but still want to make music, create your own. There are lots of ways to make household items into your own instruments. One of my favorite DIY instruments is shakers out of just a toilet paper roll, dried beans, and tape (decorate as desired!).

Kitchen Instrument Family Band

Once you’ve gotten your shakers ready, think about what else you can use in your house! My favorite is just to turn pots and pans upside down, grab a wooden spoon, and soon the whole family is banging, shaking, and singing together! Sure it might get a little noisy, but that’s just part of the fun!

Bubbles Academy’s Virtual Classes

The teaching artists at Bubbles Academy have created a line-up of classes each day to fill your house with music and allow your kids to interact with what they hear and see. Using a mix of classic, contemporary, and original songs, these classes not only provide an immediate musical experience, but can teach you songs to sing together long after the class has ended. Also tune in to BCB’s Facebook Live every Tuesday at 9 am CST for a special class just for you!

Learn, relearn, or practice an instrument you have at home.

Maybe there’s a piano or guitar in your house collecting dust. Pick it up. Being stuck inside is a great time to find the things that we usually forget about or don’t have time to do. Let your children in while you’re doing this; talk to them about how the keys or strings or buttons work; let them try it out. If your kids see you learning and engaging with music physically, they will follow your lead. 

Living Room Dance Party

It’s also important to remember that you don’t necessarily need to create music to interact with it! Turn up your favorite artist and get your body moving! Clap your hands, stomp your feet, twirl all around! Put on costumes! Add props! Dancing together creates a sense of connection with the people around you while also contributing to gross motor and brain development. One of our favorite stations is Family Road Trip on Spotify! 

Musical Art

Looking for something a little calmer? A great mindfulness game I like to play with Pre-K students is to put on music, grab some paper and crayon, and ask them to “draw” the song. What color is this song? Is it made of straight lines or curvy lines? Does the song change as it plays? It’s fun to see how different people interpret the music.

Learn about your musical heritage

 Top 40 is great! Raffi, Laurie Bernker, and Casper Babypants are great! But the world of music is so big, and we have access to it in ways people could never have dreamed about! Introduce your kids to the music you listened to growing up. Call grandma and talk about the music she listened to growing up.  Put on music from your history, culture, heritage language. Tell stories that go with these songs. Learn old popular dances. Find other media, like movie musicals and music videos, that feature some of these songs. Music can feel so personal, but is a way of keeping all of us together. When it’s not possible to be together in the same room, music can be the connection we need.

Enjoy each other! Share yourselves! Sing together! We hope to see you all movin’ and groovin’ with us in a virtual class soon!
The Bubbles Academy Team

Thank you Amelia Bell, Lead Bubbles Teacher: Music, Movement & Ballet, for this great round-up.
Amelia’s been moving and grooving from day one. Her parents once told her that as a child she “wasn’t content until she could walk on her own.” Walking quickly turned into dancing, and she’s never stopped. Originally from Houston, Texas, Amelia spent her childhood trying to do anything she considered “artistic” until finally finding her passion in theatre and dance. She graduated from Northwestern University where she was a Theatre major, Dance minor, and graduated with a certificate in Music Theatre.

Working at Bubbles is a dream come true! The mixture of imagination, adventure, art, and music is perfect for Miss Amelia’s energetic and creative spirit. She has been working with young children since she was a teenager, and loves the opportunity Bubbles gives to combine her love of children with her love of the arts. When not working, she can be found on stage performing, teaching herself how to play musical instruments, and baking treats for friends!

Stay tuned for for more the Bump Club and Beyond Team.  We’ll be providing you many ideas for things to do over the next few weeks when we’re home with our kids right here. Check it out for ways to keep busy, Amazon Prime haul for keeping kids entertained, 101 Movies for Parents, online activities, virtual fitness and MORE!  We’ll be updating our ideas for you and your family daily. 

Make sure you’re following us on Instagram and Facebook  for more ideas as we navigate both COVID-19 AND parenthood together.

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