After putting out our 10th online music course (1 per month since April 2020!), I think I’ve finally embraced the benefits of an online music program in my own family. For the first 9 months of our subscription course, I didn’t actually use the course videos with my own children on a regular basis. Of course my kids were involved as I was writing songs, practicing new ideas, etc. but once Elizabeth had filmed the videos and production was complete, we didn’t see them too often at our house.
To be honest, I didn’t think I was the “target customer” for Clap for Classics! My kids shouldn’t need an online music program, I thought, when they have me for a mom! I’m a professional musician and I co-created Clap for Classics!, so shouldn’t I be able to create musical experiences for my kids at home without using screen time? Isn’t our home a rich musical environment already?
Since my oldest daughter was born (4.5 years ago) I’ve always taught live music classes in my community. She was always my music buddy as I practiced the material and taught the classes, sometimes sitting through 2 classes in a row, or multiple classes per week. Music class was a huge part of our life, which I truly cherished! I stopped teaching live classes when covid hit, and gradually discovered that it’s really hard to recreate those same types of musical bonding experiences without the structure of a live class to prepare for and teach. Our house was not bereft of music, of course -- we still sang songs together, played piano and ukulele on occasion, and listened to music a lot. But I really missed having the structure of music class. I guess I could have scheduled a little at-home music class once a week, but I couldn’t find the motivation for it -- besides just generally being in “pandemic survival mode”, it felt strange to think about shifting from “mom mode” to “teacher mode” with just my own kids as the students.
This past month, I’ve started turning on our music course videos every 2 or 3 days. Sometimes I’ve gotta get something done, and it’s a quick fix to occupy the kids if they’re acting especially rambunctious. But most of the time, I watch with them, and we all enjoy singing, moving, dancing, and playing instruments together. I don’t have to switch to “teacher mode” because Miss Elizabeth (Aunt Elizabeth, to us!) is teaching all of us, and my only job is to encourage my kids to participate and enjoy participating with them. Sometimes we repeat the same songs again and again, and I see how my kids learn them a little better each time. My daughter surprises me with the things she remembers from the course (like where Australia is on the map!). Other times we revisit past month’s courses and pick one or two favorite videos from each month.
It really is amazing to have this high quality music library at our fingertips! I love seeing my kids so engaged with age-appropriate music-making, and love that we can easily enjoy quality time together with no prep at all. (Ok yeah, I did a ton of prep to create the course content originally, but now it’s just a matter of clearing some space, grabbing the musical instrument box, and pressing play!)
What about you? Has something been holding you back from becoming a Clap for Classics! Subscriber? I wonder if you’d experience something like I have, when you try it out at home? Don’t forget that when you become a subscriber, the first 30 days are only $7 (and you can cancel anytime). Hope you’ll try it! You just might become a believer, too!