Today I did something fun – I went to Ladybug’s preschool and shared two musical instruments with her and her friends.
Another mom volunteer leads weekly music classes with the kids, and has been leading a Carnival of the Animals unit recently (bringing back memories of my own piano teacher sharing with me this famous, kid-friendly musical suite). When the call for volunteers went out for parents to share their knowledge of musical instruments, I was only too eager to sign up.
I designed a short 30-minute workshop that included an introduction to the piano and the clarinet, and time to read one of our family’s favorite music-themed books, Zin, Zin Zin! A Violin. I gave the workshop first to the 2- and 3-year-old classes, and then to the 4- and 5-year-olds. I didn’t do anything too complicated, and most of all, I didn’t stress about it being the best or perfect.
It was a hit! The kids paid attention for most of the workshop, and seemed to remember a few things I asked them repeated questions on.
Previously, I had been leading some cooking activities just with Ladybug’s classmates, but it seemed difficult – the kids were too eager to eat what I was making before we were done, and I felt rushed. But today felt more at-ease, even with dozens more kids in the room.
It’s so simple – sharing time and talent with your child’s school and classmates. But, it’s hard for parents to find the time to do this. It might also seem intimidating to lead a bunch of kids. Yet this is exactly the kind of parental involvement that will allow schools and communities to really connect and share the joy of learning and life with kids.
I’ve been working hard the last six weeks on rebranding my business, MKM Strategies. I’ve hired a branding consultant, Rachel Gogos of the brandiD, to help shape my vision of education to align it with my consulting services to offer nonprofits and schools organizational supports that will create more healthy, engaging, connected learning experiences for children (I’m still working on that elevator speech!).
Today, helping kids connect with their world and doing so as a parent reinforced how much we all need to be involved in our children’s learning, inside school and out. I hope I can continue to make the strategic business and personal decisions to bring my vision for healthy learning to more kids in America – starting with my own community.