Cry Again? Try Again!

Thanks goes out to Elizabeth Raasch for the great photo!

The new school year is back in full swing, and fall is just around the corner! Many kids and their families have spent these past several weeks scheduling and exploring a variety of extra-curricular activities, from sports to music lessons and more. Here at GCMT, we’ve had the opportunity to meet lots of new kids, whether through individual /group therapy sessions, our “Any Dream Will Do” performing arts group, or Kindermusik classes. Ms. Laurie and I have loved meeting all the families coming to try out Family Time, Our Time, and Sign & Sing. So many of these families have enrolled in the classes and become part of this great community!

Of course, we all know that children respond to new situations in different ways. Some children may jump right in and try every new thing that comes their way, whereas others may respond in ways that seem, well, less participatory. When these responses manifest themselves in a child’s first Kindermusik class, it can be discouraging to many parents who are seeking a fun family activity. “My child wouldn’t stop screaming.” “My child hid behind me the whole time.” “I’m not sure it’s a good fit.” Believe me, these reactions are more common than you might realize. My advice to these families with concerns after a first Kindermusik class or music therapy session is to “Try, Try Again!”

Let’s look at the facts: we are talking about kids, toddlers, and kids/toddlers with special needs. Going to a new place with new people and lots of noisy, new musical instruments is a BIG transition, and it’s one that many kids (and some grown-ups) aren’t immediately comfortable with. New situations can be scary, no matter how much fun they are intended to be! The first and last activity of each class and session are structured to aid in the establishment of routine. It may seem like just a simple song of greeting, but over time it becomes a cue to alert kids and families that it is time to switch gears and get ready to focus on music. Although each child is different, it typically takes around 3 classes or sessions to get comfortable with the “music time” routine. I love watching as these kids come to understand that our special “Hello” song means it’s time to have some fun!

There is still time in the semester for you to come try (or try again) a Kindermusik demo class or music therapy evaluation!