Music Crafting with Your Kids

With the holidays coming up, cooler days and more time inside with your little ones, you may be looking for some new ways to keep these little people occupied. Here's a very fun idea for a musical craft. It's super easy and fun and can lead to hours of music making fun! 

 

What you'll need:

Empty and dry water bottles (we used standard size but the tiny ones would work really well for tiny hands)

Assorted beads, the brighter the better. You can find great packs of beads at crafting stores or Target or Walmart 

Tiny bells. We found a lovely pack of small bells at Jo-Anne's

Washi Tape. We love these great packs at Michael's

Stickers of your choice 

Gather the kids on the floor and spread the assorted beads and bells out on the floor. Give them each their own water bottle and have them fill their water bottle with the beads and bells that they like the most. This is a great fine motor activity. 

Once the water bottles are filled, make sure to securely close the cap. You can even apply hot glue to the inside of the cap to make sure they can't be opened. Once the bottle is closed, it's time to decorate! Kids can select their favorite colors of Washi tape and with your help, they can wrap the tape around the bottle. They can also choose favorite stickers to put on the bottle. 

Now it's MUSIC TIME!! Put on your favorite music or grab a guitar or ukulele and get ready for some music making. We like to shake along to one of our favorite Seed & Song songs, Om Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

Om Namaste to Start your Day

"Sometimes a break in routine is the very thing you need."  
 -Unknown 

I honor the light within you and in all things.

Before reaching for your coffee or the phone take a pause to honor your light. When we say "namaste"  we acknowledge that the light within us is the same light found in all living things. We honor our interconnectedness -- our oneness. 

Have you ever wanted to learn an instrument but didn't know where to start? Do you find that you sing way more, now that you're a mom? Music is the language of love. Sing loud. 

Try using 'Om Namaste' as a grounding practice before you start your day and a reminder that we are all connected (whether we like it or not).  

Take a few deep breaths to ground your day. Chant om a few times or as long as you'd like.  It's perfectly great to chant or sing while you're breastfeeding, too. Babies love it. 

Dust off your musical skills or that old guitar in your closet and learn how to play!  Learning activates new parts of your brain and keeps us young.  Notice how singing can reduce tension in your jaw and clear the mind.  

If you have older kiddos, get them involved. If you don't have instruments in your house, bust out the kitchen spoons or buckets for drums. Music is everywhere, and creating it will shift whatever energy is happening in that moment. 

Save this post for later when you are in need of a routine switch-a-roo.  Have fun.

Download MP3 "Om Namaste" by visiting our website: www.seedandsong.com

Download Ukulele chords & lyrics

 

5 secrets behind the power of music

1) Cultural community building -  Music is not exclusive for virtuosos and entertainers. Think about the american culture that surrounds the music industry.  Pop music is highly produced, auto-tuned and featured in reality TV shows like the Voice or American Idol where contestants are judged for sharing their voice. No wonder we’re terrified to sing or speak in public. Set that aside, creating music together is primal. It connects us to one another raising our vibrations. Where in modern-day American society are you invited to sing in a group, without critique?  Build community. Sing together.  

2) Pacifies baby - I know this one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Music that is simple, repetitive, and predictable is giving baby’s brain something to absorb.  Our music engages baby so that you may take a few deep breaths.  Read on about baby brain development.

3) Brain development - From inside the womb, baby is listening to everything. Baby is processing the tones of your voice, your heartbeat, your words, other words. Music is the only healing art form to access the brain passively. Music is amazing. Your baby is learning about tonal relationships or melodies, patterns, sounds, and language all by listening. What’s even more powerful is making music WITH your baby.  Try tapping a steady rhythm on your baby’s feet or hands to create a sensory experience.  It’s simple but effective. Each time baby listens neural pathways are being created. How cool is that?

4) Emotional intelligence - One aspect of music that other art forms lack at this stage in baby’s life is  the ability to elicit emotional responses. Have you seen the videos of babies hearing their mothers sing and immediately they start crying?  Music is an emotional process. When you hear a song that reminds you of a memory it evokes those feelings. Music can access your baby’s emotional center of the brain, while actively shaping positive experiences as you listen to the music regularly.

5) Congruent with movement  - Have you ever been to a yoga class where the music just didn’t quite support the style of class?  Or have you ever tried running with slow languid music?   It’s hard to make sense of it.  Running to fast upbeat music makes way more sense in our body and brain.  We are rhythmic beings and we automatically synchronize with an external beat. Our music was created to fit the action of the yoga poses. The music is not a separate aspect of the experience, but rather integrated fully into the design of the class.  

Songs, Anytime, Anywhere

One of my mom tricks of the trade has been singing. If my daughter is crying, I sing. If it’s time for food, I sing. If we’re getting out of the bath, I sing. If she’s getting bored in the car, you guessed it…. I sing. We know that music is a full brain experience, meaning that it engages many parts of the brain all at once. I find that what this means for my daughter on a really practical level is that singing has the potential ability to:

  1. Grab her attention. Sometimes this means distracting her from what she was fussing about

  2. Cue behavior. Music is a powerful tool in helping to cue behavior. I have decided on certain songs that I sing for various parts of the day and it helps remind my daughter what is coming next. It can be a simple as a musical reminder for naps, one for food, and another for bedtime.

  3. Encourage motor movement. Whether it is rolling over, crawling, standing up or clapping, add music to the day and my daughter is much more interested in moving her little body. Actually, these days the minute I start singing she is clapping her hands.

  4. Facilitate speech development. Singing is engaging, structured and repetitive. This makes it a wonderful tool for modeling and engaging my daughter in exploring her voice.

  5. Teach new skills. I’ve been dabbling with a little bit of sign language with my daughter. Showing her the signs in a song and practicing with the song is fun and it also helps her remember it.

I’ve found that the most important thing about singing with my baby is that there is no pressure and it’s all fun and sweet times together. I’ll explore some fun ways to create songs in the moment in another blog but for now get those vocal chords warmed up and start singing, even if it’s just Row, Row Your Boat all day long.

The Art of Mindful Listening: Finding presence in motherhood

What is mindful listening?

Mindful listening is a meditation tool to enhance your awareness and reduce stress by observing sound without judgement.  As moms, we are skilled at multi-tasking and while this may serve us occasionally, we risk the ability to be fully present. True listening requires your total attention; whether it be listening to the needs of your baby, your partner, co-worker, friend or family member. Then, there’s taking time to listen to yourself.  Think of all the distractions in your world that prevent you from fully listening to your own needs, desires and inner guidance. Mindful listening is just one practice to guide you towards living in the present.

Did you know?

Music is temporal;  meaning it happens over time and changes from one moment to the next. As a result, music is an accessible aid to any mindfulness practice.

Put it into practice:

  • Choose a song you’ve never heard and listen to it all the way through. Notice the lyrics if any, name all the instruments you detect, reflect on your experience by identifying an overall tone or theme of the song.

  • Choose a song you love and observe emotions it sparks.  Notice where in your body you feel tension or other sensations.

  • Try breathing for the duration of a song lying on the ground with your eyes closed.

  • Pause for a moment to observe your surroundings  (i.e. birds chirping, traffic outside, wind chimes) without judging or labeling what you hear, simply practice awareness.

  • Each time you hear an action based sound (i.e. baby cries, alarms, cell phones) take just beat to observe the quality of sound and where you feel it in your body before reacting.

  • Try humming and listen to your own voice vibrate from the inside out. Vibration (music) is a quick way to drop into a meditation practice. It doesn’t have to be long. A few rounds of humming can have a profound effect on calming your nervous system.

Seed & Song: Our story

Moms are in demand. Period. Your body is sore. Your mind is scattered. Oh and you are responsible for a new human. Welcome to motherhood. And welcome your new “band of mothers” to help you through it all. Seed & Song is about connecting you to your body, your baby & your breath through music and yoga.

Sharing stories link us together. Stories help reassure us that we are not alone. In fact, your supportive community is waiting. Here is the story of how Seed & Song came to be. Allow me to introduce the wise women behind it all.

Laura Rose Anderson

Laura was born to be a music therapist. She was also born to help others learn to love themselves. It wasn’t until 2012 that her career path expanded to include yoga, sound and meditation for inner healing & self discovery. Both disciplines, music & yoga, blend effortlessly together offering profound tools to cope with daily life. She simply had to share.

Laura Music Therapy

Laura and Vanessa Contopoulos met in the field through their work with children who have special needs. Vanessa is a remarkable healer, mother, founder and director of Amplify Music Therapy and co­founder of a non­profit called the SongStream Project. Pictured below is her sweet Seed & Song baby, Eloise.

Vanessa and Eloise Drum

Through their shared passion of performing original music, Vanessa & Laura formed a band called ‘Red Willow Waltz’ in 2013. Playing music together was a creative outlet they cherished.

Red Willow Waltz

Once Vanessa learned she was pregnant, Laura guided Vanessa through prenatal yoga sessions in preparation for birth day and eventually helped support during childbirth. Since then, It felt like a natural progression when they began writing lullabies and songs for children.

Laura created the first version of classes in January 2015 when Vanessa came to experience yoga & music for the first time. Their dreams of collaborating on this project turned into real conversations and brainstorming sessions. From those conversations it became apparent they needed a strategic savvy mind to help make these dreams a reality.

Enter Melissa Kushnaryov; A beautiful yogi, mom, and marketing extraordinaire. Pictured above is her sweet little boy named Toren, who is now a big brother to his sister, Miela. When Toren was little he would fall asleep in his mother’s arms every Thursday listening to Laura’s Kirtan band. Which also happened to be where Laura and Melissa first met as they bonded over the soothing qualities of music and the affect it had on her son. As soon as Melissa was getting ready to move to Santa Rosa, Vanessa and Laura presented her with Seed & Song.

Melissa_Toren_Yoga_SD

Since joining the Seed & Song family, Melissa has learned how to play Ukulele and trained in the Seed & Song Curriculum all during her second pregnancy and living in Santa Rosa, away from her community in San Diego. Wow.

As mothers, yoga teachers, and music therapists we are honored to pioneer this field of music enhanced mom & baby yoga classes to a growing community of mothers.

Click here to learn more, Share with a friend. Leave your yoga and/or music story in the comments below. We love hearing from you.

GroupUkelele.jpg

 

LINKS:
Read more about Laura's
 music meditation practice and community involvement here: http://www.sitarose.com/

Read more about Vanessa's peace studies and listen to her original music here: http://vanessa­contopulos.bandcamp.com/ 

Read more about Melissa's yoga journey and search for slow living here: http://www.insearchofslow.com/