One of my favourite things about being Chief bean (apart from the obvious, I get to hold the jellybean!) is seeing the happiness and enjoyment on the adults faces as well as the babies and children. It's very important to me that you enjoy yourself in class which is why as a business, I take such great care with my music choices and aim to always have a relaxed, friendly class style. These classes build communities, tribes, clans, call it what you will, of people with shared experiences and that is a wonderful thing. Over the last 10 years, I have watched so many friendships start and blossom in class and in this ever changing world, it is now possibly never been more important to connect in the 'real world'
Parenting is hard work, isn't it? Whether you are a new parent with a baby that doesn't sleep much or a 'been there, wearing the covered in food t shirt' parent of a 4 year old, (and all the variations in between), there are days when you crave human contact with someone who isn't totally dependent on you. Days when you just want to talk to someone who can say something other than 'peppa' or 'no'. Days when you want someone to say 'are you ok?' It's for those days (as well as the great days when your offspring are perfect) that my Jellybeans Music classes are there for you. You can rely on not just me but the class to be there to support you whether that is a sympathetic hug (if you're a huggy type of person) or smile of acknowledgement if you are having a hard day or the highest of high fives in celebration of happy news! We've all experienced the highs and lows of parenting. We all have a story about the huge poo that went everywhere. We all know what it is like to love and adore a tiny person so much but to feel a bit scared at being in charge. It is those common experiences (as much as being told by a bossy Chief bean to get up and wriggle - I get embarrassed too sometimes) that bonds the jellybeans tribe together when you first meet and afterward it is having been together singing and having fun which you remember when you meet up in the supermarket all those years later - yes, I hate to tell you, but most of you will still be able to sing the Jellybeans song ten years from now as a certain duo who will remain nameless demonstrated in Stamford Waitrose only last week!
I like to think our Jellybeans Music classes are little break from life. In class, it is all about you and your child having fun together, enjoying each other's company. I work hard to eliminate 'flash' points from the child's experiences ie sharing issues - ever wondered why there are so many instruments? - so you will get time with your child enjoying themselves and you know you can trust me to always step up to the mark if you want parenting back up. Class is a time where you are not balancing you, your child and the million other things that need doing. It is not unusual to see adults suddenly either physically slump for a bit as they relax into class or suddenly brighten as the cares of the days slip away for a while and it is a rare day when everyone doesn't leave with a smile on their faces. Class is also a chance to escape from the ever pinging notifications on a phone and as all my classes are happy, fun places, it is easy to feel the happy vibe and get swept along.
But, I hear you all cry, you discourage us from talking to each other during class! Yes, I do ask adults not to chat when we are singing or listening but music jam is not just about exploring instruments or playing with your child, it's designed to be a social time for everyone, a time for us adults to support each other, laugh together and make friends - after all, circle dancing or maraca shaking are great conversation ice breakers!
And finally, please don't underestimate the skill that you will learn in class to sing your way through just about any parenting 'thing' you can imagine! Just as important, if not more important, than the ability to create a dressing up outfit out of nothing, being able to spontaneously sing a song created just for them, all about them, will make you a super hero in their eyes. What do I mean? Remember the Lazy baby song? Instead of 'what shall I do with my lazy baby, throw you on the bed & tickle you' try swopping it up to become 'What shall I do with my smelly baby. Throw you on the mat & change your nappy' always remembering the golden rule to use their name if at all possible rather than the word baby! Mashing up lyrics is one of my favourite music games and I love hearing the variations jellybeans adults have come up with - shake & stop becoming brush & stop to make teeth cleaning easier being a particular favourite so I'd love to know what you've invented.
So what do you think? Have I covered why you love ' your jellybeans' class? I'd love to know so please do leave a comment.
ps Deep down would you really just like the chance to hold a cuddly bean and get a sticker?! If so, just ask!