Category Archives: Classroom Reflections

The Benefits of Date Night: For a Couple, Single Parents, and the Kids!

Everyone has heard that date nights strengthens a relationship, but at Miss Christa’s Music Studio, it doesn’t only benefit the parents, but also the kids! Miss Christa’s Music Studio offers an opportunity for parents to go on a date night the 2nd Friday and/or Saturday of every month with educational babysitting for only $25! The babysitting is available from 5:00pm – 9:00pm, and a discount is available for siblings! The best part about the whole thing is the babysitting is educational, fun, and offers an opportunity for a night out for the parents!

The benefits of this opportunity are endless! The situation is a win-win scenario for everyone and here’s why:

For the Couples:

According to the National Marriage Project, there are 5 benefits for couples to go out on a date every once in a while.

  1. Date nights offer a chance for the couple to communicate, which is key in a relationship. People are continuingly changing, and by having time to talk to one another, couples are less likely to see problems dealing with change down the road.
  2. Researchers are discovering that “couples who engage in novel activities that are fun enjoy higher levels of relationship quality.” Therefore, date night = better relationship.
  3. For couples who have been together for a long period of time, dates can “rekindle the fire” and let each other remember why they love each other.
  4. Regular date nights have shown an increase in a couple’s commitment to each other, decreasing the chance of infidelity.
  5. Having date nights helps relieve stress, and enjoy time together away from everyday stress.
    9In Athens, 9 Tables is a great place for couples to enjoy an elegant and relaxing meal, while you are able to go to any restaurant, 9 Tables is highly recommended.

For the Single Parents:

Having a night off of parenting, from going out with friends or enjoying some alone time, can impact not only you, but your children. You’re a single parent, you do a lot, and you deserve a little time off here and there. You need to take care of yourself, so you can take care of your kids. This opportunity can help you de-stress, relax, and essentially, be a better parent. According for, “This (a stress free environment) is what will ultimately help their growing brains wire normally, without having to accommodate for some vague sense of impending danger as they develop, which may or may not exist.” This doesn’t only go for single parents, but all parents.

Comparing the benefits of a night out, and the benefits for children living in a stress free environment shows enough reason to take up this opportunity. Not only do your kids benefit from how date night affects you, but the babysitting is a wonderful chance for the kids!

For the Kids:

At Miss Christa’s Music Studio, the babysitting service for Date Night, isn’t the typical babysitting you would expect. This isn’t a local teenager watching TV while your child plays in the other room. Miss Christa’s Music Studio offers a different kind of babysitting every parent will love because of these reasons:

  • Education! While at the studio, your kids will be surrounded by an environment that encourages learning. Music is a great way to educate, and will be available at the studio.
  • Friends! The studio takes up to 12 children, allowing your child to intact with his/her peers. This allows for friendship to be made, which is never a bad thing!
  • Dinner! Though the studio does not provide dinner, if you bring dinner with the child, the studio will gladly feed him/her. This way you can go out to dinner, and keep your child on their regular eating schedule.
  • Clean and Safe! Babysitting is provided by adults who are constantly around children and provide a clean and safe environment.
  • Fun! Babysitting at Miss Christa’s Music Studio is so fun, you won’t feel guilty for leaving your kids with a babysitter!

Don’t waste anymore time and get signed up! Don’t forget, if you have more than one child, ask about the discount available!

To see more about Christa’s Music Studio:
Phone: (740) 854-4011
Website: http://www.misschristamusic.comFacebook:


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Tuvan Throat Singing

Tuvan Throat Singing.


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Tuvan Throat Singing

I have always been interested in music and instruments from around the world. Last week, while on vacation, my husband and I had an opportunity to see Alash at Jackie O’s in Athens. Alash are Tuvan throat singers. Tuva is part of the Russian Federation in the far south of Siberia.


The type of singing they do produces interesting overtones based on a fundamental pitch. The Tuvans  are very focused on nature and the objects of nature and feel that there is deep spirituality in these objects. Much of their music is based on mimicry of these nature sounds. Thursday night, one of my favorite numbers was a song about a waterfall. I could have listened to it all night as it had the same soothing, relaxing effects of sitting and hearing the water splash down over rocks and into a pool. They also use traditional instruments made from animal skins and objects found in nature, as well as Western European instruments such as the guitar and accordion.

One of the neatest instruments they played was a Schoor. In this video it is the flute like instrument that is played vertically. I was, and am, fascinated with how it is played and interesting sounds it creates.

One thing that always strikes me when I see groups such as this perform is the continued importance the family and community play in making music together and passing on the traditional songs and techniques of the region. I do not know for certain, but my guess is these fine musicians did not go to a Conservatory or an Academy and receive degrees to make this music. They listened to and sang with their elders and learned the traditions by making music together.


I had a family that enjoyed singing and making music together. We went to concerts and explored musical genres on the radio, and LPs (yep I’m that old). In Kindermusik, we are able to continue the traditions of making music together as a family, learning traditional songs from the United States, around the world and exploring many different genres as well. Children and parents are encouraged to play the instruments, dance the dances, and sing the songs together in a very process based way with no performance expectation. The only expectation we have is that you will have fun. We guarantee your child will learn and his development will be enhanced while you are enjoying your time together.

You can get more information by visiting our website

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Or Follow us on Twitter – @athenskmsm


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Establishing Christmas Traditions – Not so hard

Christmas Traditions — to me this sounds lofty, idealistic, thoughtful. There are traditions and memories from my childhood that I still strive to maintain. Having an advent calendar, putting the tree up to be enjoyed the entire month of December, my ornament that is a half walnut shell with a tiny nativity scene inside, Grandma Nadine’s ceramic tree. I also continue to make certain foods for my family (though I am much more circumspect about consuming large quantities myself any more). Homemade salami, white chocolate bark with pretzels and peanuts, homemade ham salad, and sugar cookies are a must. Watching certain programs – White Christmas, Christmas Story, Rudolph, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and at least two cheesy Lifetime movies. Drinking Millstone Peppermint Stick Coffee. These mean the holidays to me.

But, this year has awakened a new revelation in me and one I hope I can pass on to parents of younger children. You are establishing Christmas traditions and memories without even trying. 

My children ages 18 and 12 have proven to me this year. I did not realize that by hosting a couple tree decorating parties for my husband’s work study students through the years, I established the tradition that we MUST have homemade cookies and mulled cider to decorate the house. It is also a MUST that I buy cranberry flavored ginger ale for the Sigman Christmas party that is always at our house. And, the girls’ stockings cannot hang on just any hook or any way. Each of them has  preferred side of the doorway. (We don’t have a chimney so they are hung on either side of the passage from the dining room to the living room. 

All of these things were done in all innocence and without thought to establishing memories and traditions. I was living in the moment and doing what was fun and important to me. But, what I have discovered is I have made an indelible mark on the girls and these are traditions they may continue or modify as the grow and move away from home. 

One other tradition that was started by my mom and dad for me, and Greg and I have continued with the girls is to buy a special ornament for each of them every year. Some years they end up getting way more than just one. When I got married, and moved out of my mom’s house, my ornaments came to me and now, year after year, get placed on the big tree in the living room. As I have gazed at the tree this year, I realized we may only have this many ornaments for a few more years. Sarah is already in college and will probably move out in the next few years. She will get her ornaments to take with her and continue to enjoy them in her own house with her own traditions. 

One tradition I miss is driving around looking at Christmas lights. For some reason, my children do NOT enjoy this the way we did when I was a kid. But, maybe someday I will have grandchildren who will want to go with Grandma to do that. 

Whatever you are doing in love with your children, is making an impression and creating memories to last a lifetime. Enjoy the process, don’t try to hard – you don’t have to – it is all important to a child. 

Don’t forget to listen to music, dance around the kitchen and read a book. 


Have a very merry Christmas and I’ll see you in the New Year!ImageImage

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After having a fun day hanging out with my husband yesterday, I am in the office working, working, working today. So excited to be having our first ever Dino Drop Off Play Day at the studio on Monday. Parents will be dropping off their preschool/young school aged children to play, sing, dance, craft and hear stories about dinosaurs. I have so many ideas of things for us to do, that I thought maybe a blog post was in order as well. I know not everyone can attend on Monday but, maybe you can have your own dino day at home.

If you are on Pinterest, I have created a board. You can find it here. Dino Party Plans

Likewise, I would strongly suggest the CD “Most Amazing Dinosaur Songs” by Music for Little People. My sister bought me this CD a couple years ago, but this is the first time I have had an opportunity to use it. If you search for this CD on Google, there is also a link to the lyrics. So fun! I checked and this album is also available on iTunes.

Our activities on Monday are going to include doing a dinosaur dig – finding little dino trinkets after excavating through sand, making individual volcanos on paper plates which we will then use for finger painting, playing some color matching games and shape sorting, having dino egg races, creating dino dioramas that the children will then be allowed to take home and recreate over and over again, play dough play, dinosaur stomp dancing, bubble play, and parachute play. With all this activity, I know some down time has to be worked in (and we only have three hours), so each child will bring snack, and we will interject our high activity moments with some stories.

There are TONS of books – both fiction and non-fiction written on this subject for 4-8 year olds. Here is a very non-comprehensive book list, but these are written by some of my favorite children’s authors, or are ones I own (denoted by *).

*How Do Dinosaurs… (series of books) by Jane Yolen

*Dinosaurs Galore – Andreae Giles

*Mine-O-Saur – by Sudipta

*Dinosaurumpus – by Tony Mitton

*Dinosaur Roar – by Paul and Henrietta Stickland

*Saturday Night at the Dinosaur Stomp – by Carol Diggory Shields

*Dinosaurs Love Underpants – By Claire Freedman

Dinosaurs by Gail Gibbons

Kids Can Draw Dinosaurs – by Philippe Legendre

Dinosaurs Don’t Dinosaurs Do – by Steve Bjorkman

Dinosaurs Dinosaurs by Byron Barton

Dancing with the Dinosaurs by Jane Clarke

Dinosaur Roar Butterflies Soar by Bob Barner

Dizzy Dinosaurs: Silly Dino Poems by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Too Many Dinosaurs by Mercer Meyer

ABC Dinosaurs by Jan Pienkowski

Flapdoodle Dinosaurs: A Colorful Pop-Up Book

If The Dinosaurs Came Back by Bernard Most

My Visit to the Dinosaurs by Aliki

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Stickland

Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs by Sandra Boynton

Good Night Dinosaurs by Judy Sierra

There are just two spots left for our Dino Day Drop Off. If you are interested in the details and want to to sign up, see our website

**Please note – the Family Time playdate listed on the same page is closed! We will plan another soon.

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June 23, 2012 · 2:06 pm

Time with Children – fleeting and precious

We have crossed a new threshold of parenthood. Our older daughter, Sarah, graduated with honors from Alexander High School this past weekend. Many people have asked me if I am sad, if I cried etc. My answer is “No, I feel like WE made it.” One thing I have reflected upon though is how quickly these eighteen years have flown by. And, how precious the time we have spent together as a family has been. My life goals always involved being a wife and mother. We have made it a point to have dinner around the table as much as possible (it gets much harder as the children get older and have more activities). We have tried to take day trips, celebrate birthdays, play games, and create events that not only serve as family time in the moment, but hopefully, have created lifelong memories of time spent together. 

For me, Monday, the last Marching Band performance for Sarah, was actually more moving and bittersweet than the actual graduation ceremony on Sunday. Band – all band (marching, jazz, symphonic, pit orchestra, Communiversity) has been Sarah’s focus for the past several years. As a band booster, and parent, it has been my life with her too. We all donned the Red Polo and went to one last Memorial Day celebration with her. For Greg and I, we are not done. Hannah is budding into a very good little horn player and is already talking about marching. Greg is still the assistant band director for Alexander High School. BUT, this thing we have shared and lived with Sarah has now come to an end. 

Sarah is starting a new chapter of her life. She has decided to continue in music by majoring Music Therapy at Ohio University. This summer she will play in the All Ohio State Fair Band for the final time (yep that’s one can bring tears to my eyes just typing this) and she will be attending Ohio State University’s flute camp to prepare for her college studies. 

While moved by how far we have come, and being immensely proud of the amazing mature young woman Greg and I have been blessed to raise, I am excited to continue to watch her grow and develop. I am excited to see how our relationship can change, as my duties of parenting have switched from correction and rearing and molding, to supporting, cheering and encouraging. 

For those of you still in the sleepless nights, potty training, food battles (Sarah went through a long period of not eating pizza of all things), imaginary friends (we will never forget Beemie), elementary school field trips, middle school projects, and middle and high school drama (especially if you have girls), hang in there. Treasure the moments. They are truly fleeting even if it doesn’t seem so. Find activities to do. Take time to put the phone, computer, book, sewing, cleaning – distractions – away and truly focus on the time you have with your children at home. You will never regret the time you took to read, sing, cuddle, comfort, or correct your child! 


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Today 5/22 is Buy or Make a Musical Instrument Day!

What a great activity for children and their parents. Anything can be a musical instrument – pots and pans, cans of snacks, two sticks found in the backyard, a rake on the ground. Look around, listen, let creativity abound. There are many websites with great ideas for making musical instruments with children if you want something more complex. I like this site

Once you make your instrument, have a descriptive discussion – how is it played (shaken.struck, blown?), is it loud/quiet, do you sit to play it or could you march with it? 

Here’s a picture of one of our recent Young Child 4 graduates with an instrument he made to bring to class a couple of years ago. 

I would love to see/hear your creations. Email pictures/videos to Please let me know if I have permission to share them here on the blog. Have a  great day! Image

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