So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, Wish Well!

We’ve sung, we’ve danced, we’ve explored, we’ve imagined, we’ve played, and we’ve snuggled. Now it is time to say goodbye.

But this is Kindermusik. We don’t say goodbye. We SING goodbye.

Each level of Kindermusik has a different goodbye song, appropriate in complexity to the developmental range of the children. Read these simple, yet beautiful, goodbye lyrics.

Foundations: “Goodbye babies, goodbye grownups. Goodbye everyone, it’s time to sing goodbye.” This song is so simple, with gentle repetition — perfect for very young babies in their pre-language learning phase.

Level 1: “Farewell, my friends, until next time, let’s wave goodbye. Farewell, my friends, until next time let’s wave goodbye today.”

For older babies who understand more language and are starting to vocalize, this song is slightly more complex yet still highly repetitive. It involves waving which is the typical developmental way a child this age can express goodbye.

Level 2: “Goodbye, *goodbye* (echo), Goodbye, *goodbye* . . . it’s time to wave goodbye to our friends. . . .”

This simple song teaches toddlers to begin singing back as the educator models a simple “my turn, your turn” method to learning pitch recognition. For you music theory enthusiasts, you will recognize it as the descending minor third, an interval found almost universally across cultures in childhood folks songs and school-yard taunts.

Levels 3 & 4: “Everybody wave and sing goodbye . . . sing goodbye goodbye.”

This song continues to challenge the children as they develop language and musical skills with more participation, more singing, and an uptempo melody.

Level 5: “Fare thee well, fondly, my good friends. Fare thee well now ’till we meet again. Think of me fondly, my good friends. Farewell, for now, farewell.”

The most complex or our goodbye songs for our oldest musical makers, this song challenges their singing skills and continues to promote the socialization and bonding of the group that they’ve been learning all throughout the years.

Wish Well: To cap off our classes we like to wish each other well. This is a brief but sweet moment when we can make eye contact, think of the other people in our class, hold them in our hearts, and express empathy for them. This idea is inspired by the Wish Well Ritual from Conscious Discipline that offers a way to help someone by sending them calming, supportive, loving energy, when physical help is not an option. It teaches children empathy through modeling and provides them an opportunity to think of others.

Studies have shown developing empathy allows for building social connections, regulation of one’s own emotions, co-regulation of another’s emotions, and promotes other positive social behaviors. In this modern divisive world, we could all use a little more empathy. That is, in part, what Kindermusik is all about. And one of the reasons why we are Song of the HEART studios.

And with that . . . together, or apart, you are always in our heart. We wish you well!

I Love You Rituals

We try to include an “I Love You Ritual” in EVERY Little Learner’s Kindermusik class. These are the brain-child of Dr. Becky Bailey of Conscious Discipline.

Conscious Discipline is an evidence-based and trauma informed practice of social emotional learning. It utilizes every-day activities to teach adults and children emotional intelligence and self-regulation.

One of the basic tenets of Conscious Discipline is that connection must come before correction. Additionally, Conscious Discipline teaches that connection breeds cooperation.

CONNECTION is one of Song of the Heart Studio’s values, and you will find it up on our walls, we believe in it so much! It is one of the foundational pillars of all we do in our studio and try to promote in every class.

I Love You Rituals are simply a tool that develops that connection between you and your little one. In order for the ritual to work and truly develop and nurture connection you need certain elements:

  1. Presence
  2. Eye contact
  3. Safe, intentional touch
  4. Playfulness


Any short song or game can become an I Love You Ritual when used consistently, with these elements at play. We’ve been using “On your face you have a nose, and way down here you have 10 toes!” In past years we’ve used “Twinkle twinkle, little star, what a wonderful child you are!” You might be familiar with “This little piggy went to market” which could be used similarly.

When you engage in just 5 minutes of connected play with your child each day, you can decrease power struggles and increase cooperation by up to 50%! That is a HUGE return on investment.

This is partly achieved by how the ritual hacks your brain chemistry by promoting the natural production of what we call “Joy Juice”, a hormonal cocktail of serotonin, dopamine, and other feel-good hormones.

Enjoy this short video from Conscious Discipline and learn more about the power and purpose of this simple routine.


Holiday Magic

We’re resting and resetting after the holiday rush. We hope that you have enjoyed your holiday, whatever and however you celebrate during this season.

This time of year is replete with traditions across many cultures as so many holidays converge during this month. Traditions bind together a community and a culture across the years and give symbolic meaning to that’s culture’s beliefs. That sounds almost like a routine or a ritual, doesn’t it? Family traditions, holiday traditions, religious traditions, and even our studio traditions, all work in the same way. With intention and practice these traditions, or rituals, create connection.

It all comes back to connection. Human beings crave connection to one another, and it is the absence of connection that leads to so many of our society’s problems. Where there is connection, there is safety. And where there is safety, there is the ability to learn, to grow, to resolve conflict, to build relationships, and to build self-worth.

That is the heart of all we do here at Song of the Heart Studios. It is our mission to make your children’s eyes shine and help them flourish. We hope we’ve been successful in adding that value to your family’s life this year. We thank you for letting us be part of your child’s and family’s journey. Thank you for being part of our studio family.

Happy Holidays from Song of the Heart Studios and the JOY Team.

Sing with you soon!

Just Getting Started

Now that we are a few weeks into this new Kindermusik season, we hope you are having a delightful time singing and playing with your children in our sensory rich, supportive, and safe environment.

If you drop your older child off and don’t get to share in the weekly joy-fest we have here, just know that your children are adapting to the new environment, to their peers, to their new educator, and to our studio expectations. They are learning all of this while engaged in fun musical activities that are so enjoyable they don’t really even know they’re learning.

To our new families, your faces are becoming more familiar. To our returning families, we are so glad to see your child’s shining eyes once again! And we are JUST GETTING STARTED! We have SO MUCH in store for your kids this year.

As families go through so many transitions at this time of year, it is absolutely crucial that you set up routines and rituals to help make the transition as smoothly as possible. At Kindermusik we have lots of routines so that children know what to expect next and what is expected of them. We have several rituals in every class that not only gives them predictability to rely upon but also provides an activity of connection which makes them feel safe so they can be ready to learn.

Routines and rituals are the foundation for a successful learning environment, at Kindermusik, at school, and at home. You will notice, the longer you attend Kindermusik at Song of the Heart, that our classes have a pattern to them. We establish this pattern thoughtfully, to maximize student comfort, safety, independence, creativity, and learning.

Though our class framework remains consistent throughout the year, be assured that your Joy Team educator is a master at flexibility as well. Within a class’s framework we allow the children room to explore and extend their learning. We pivot and follow their lead, scaffold on their skills, and lean into any activity that is turning out to be both highly effective and highly enjoyable. Your educator will meet your child where they are at and adjust according to their needs and developmental level.

And if your child is younger and you attend class with them, hopefully we can give you a few effective strategies to use at home as you establish your own family’s routines and rituals. And remember that practice makes progress. If your child isn’t comfortable in class yet, don’t worry. It’s only been a couple of weeks. Give them at least six weeks to become familiar to the Song of the Heart way.

May your next week bring joy to your heart and connection with your loved ones. Sing with you soon!

Summertime Singing

Summermusik is in full swing here at Song of the Heart Studios! Every day we sing, play, craft, dance, and build friendships. We make joyous music and movements as we imagine we are splashing in the water, hunting for bugs, or pretending we’re royalty. Some of our kids are learning keyboarding and rhythm skills. And all of our children are engaging their imagination!

Our summer classes and camps are like our regular Kindermusik classes, but EXTRA. Extra fun. Extra joy. They are a great way to maintain routine and ritual throughout the summer months, which is so important for children to feel grounded in their lives and to give them the predictability they need to feel secure. They don’t even realize the benefits of routine that come when they are having so much fun, but their caregivers sure do.

Child development experts and parents alike know that children thrive under routine and ritual. Many kids (and adults!) have struggled with the last year and a half of unpredictability, uncertainty, and ever-moving targets. That struggle can manifest in challenging behavior. It makes us appreciate the routines and rituals of Kindermusik more than ever before. Our continuing Kindermusik classes and Summer Camps for older children are the perfect way to maintain that sense of routine. And every class is jam-packed with moments of joy, connection, and learning, with an added punch of whimsy.

You can take the Kindermusik summer fun into your home and on your family vacation. Don’t forget to pack your Kindermusik cds for your road trip, or sing one of the splashy songs you’ve learned while giving your little one a bath.

What’s your favorite part of Summermusik?

Rituals vs Routines

We are now five weeks into the new Kindermusik season (can you believe it?) and by now you and your child should be familiar with the routines and rituals of our studio. These routines and rituals have a variety of intentional purposes.

The words routine and ritual are sometimes used interchangeably, but there are important differences.

Our Hello and Goodbye routines that start and end each class provide a structure of stability for your children. This structure signals to them that it is time to begin class and helps them with the transitions into and out of class. Having a routine built into the class gives children a sense of security and a sense of comfort. It also helps them regulate their behavior and manage their expectations.

We’re sure you have routines in your family life, certain patterns of behavior that help you or your child move from one task to another throughout the day. The lack of these routines is why summer and the holiday season is at first freeing, but ultimately too much of a good thing. There’s always a bit of a sigh of a relief when the vacation is over and the family returns to the normalcy and stability of routine.

But routines are different from rituals, which also have a beneficial and intentional purpose. A ritual is a specific action or set of actions that help us regulate our emotions, build relationships, and mark significant events or transitions in our lives. A wedding is a ritual. A bar mitzvah is a ritual. A christening. But so is meditation, prayer, yoga practice, etc.

Conscious Discipline teaches about I Love You Rituals, which we incorporate into many of our classes. The purpose of these rituals is to build CONNECTION between you and your child, because research has shown that CONNECTION builds COOPERATION. Again, it’s a set of discrete actions that are done in sequence that form the basis for interpersonal bonding.

It’s no different than the timeless classic nursery rhyme “this little piggy went to market” that you lovingly recite when you have your baby on the changing table. It is a moment where you repeat a set of actions with the intention of regulating your emotions, or building a bond, or marking an event. Our handstamp ritual at the end of class is another example; it provides a moment when your educator can bond one-on-one with your little one with a little eye contact, a little touch, a little smile, and a goodbye.

Routines and rituals can definitely have overlap, but they are different things with different purposes. BOTH are necessary for children to form attachments, build connection, feel security, so that they can GROW and develop into their best self.

What routines and rituals do you have in your family? Do you incorporate any you have learned at Kindermusik? If not, try one at home that your educator has taught you. And then let them know how it went!

Routines & Rituals

Have you noticed that our Kindermusik classes always start and end the same way? Even sprinkled throughout the class are little rituals and cues that give your child an expectation of what to do next. This is intentional. You’ll find these routines consistent from class to class, with creative variations between educators and level. We carefully craft these routines not just for fun, but to enhance learning and social cooperation.

Childhood is growth. And by very definition that means children experience change on a near-constant basis. Change is unsettling and can be hard for children to cope with. That’s why routines are so crucial. Routines have been shown to give children a sense of security and safety. It helps them know what to expect next and how to behave in certain circumstances. It sets them within a frame of predictability and comfort in which they can then explore, learn, play, and discover.

Structure teaches children how to control themselves and their environment. It facilitates constructive habits and life skills. From brushing their teeth, to feeding themselves, to cleaning up after themselves, routines make all these lessons easier to learn.

In Kindermusik we have routines to wake up our brains and bodies, to focus attention, to add cohesion to the group, to foster cooperation, and to signal to you and your child that this is a place that is predictably joyful. With routines in place and expectations set, connection and growth will follow.

Is your little one having trouble with putting away their toys at home? Sing-song “Toys away!” will remind them of how we clean up after ourselves at the Kindermusik studio, and will give them instant information about what you expect. Turn any orders you might need to give your child (example: “Find your shoes!”) into a song, and you’ve just created a new neural pathway to help them understand and follow through. And always finish with an encouraging “You did it!”

Try adopting one of our little routines at home, or develop your own, and see if it helps make a bumpy part of your day a little smoother. We’d love to hear about it!