“Serenity Now!” or Why I Believe in Harping with Your Kids


Why do I believe in harping with your kids? Because it is entirely healing and calming for everyone. Er… what?? Let me explain. I’ve discovered there are two methods of trying to attain calm in this household. The first is what I like to call:

The “Serenity Now!” Method: This is the one where I “harp” at everyone, telling themto calm down a million times until I am absolutely a completely disheveled mess. The only thing I’ve learned from this method is that telling someone to calm down is like telling someone “not to take offense but…” You immediately end up eliciting the exact response you are trying to avoid and you end up looking and sounding like this:

The second method, and the one which I strongly recommend, helps everyone come out the other side with their dignity and a sense of true peace. It is called:

The Classical Music Method: This week we started to discover harp compositions since the harp is our instrument for the week as we delve deeper into the ROAM curriculum’s spring semester! Just having these pieces playing in the background while we went about our regular routines had an enormously calming effect on everyone. I swear! Try it!

Want to inject more moments of calm into your day all while introducing your children to  orchestral instruments and classical composers?

Check out the spring semester of the ROAM Curriculum at



My Little Grasshopper

Dancing is big in this house. Almost every night there is some form or other of dancing as a family. Jukebox oldies never fail to get the kids (and daddy – who is normally a metal-head) moving.  Usually we all sleep better when we’ve gotten the “shakies” out. And then, when we rise, we play classical music and a version of dancing often happens as we listen to the pieces. I suppose it’s more “movement to music” than anything else and, depending on the piece, it can be quite an event! I’ll just say this: delicate objects get put well out of swinging, leaping, and twirling range.


Last week, Britten’s “The Grasshopper” came on and it offered the perfect opportunity to ask Althea, “How does this make you feel like moving?” Guess what? Jumping was part of the answer. Once she knew the title of the piece we really got into it. We pretended to be grasshoppers hopping through the meadow and running away from birds and cats who were anxious to end our little dance.


Calming Composers

02- piano in field

Until we started studying a new classical composer each week as part of the ROAM curriculum, I truly believed that all classical music would have a calming effect on my little ones. Ha! How wrong was I? Chopin yes. Stravinsky – decidedly – no. And then again it also depends on the piece. So much of Tchaikovsky’s work is energizing and then, on occasion, one of his pieces will put us all right to sleep. I have been learning to use classical music strategically in our home as both sedative and stimulant – with excellent effect! I must be honest and say that I trend toward the calming pieces more often recently. Obviously, we are seeking out more peaceful time together of late.

Here is a little compilation of compositions that have recently brought moments of calm into our day. Something that all parents and little ones truly require. This set is also a small tribute to my dear friend’s little babe who has now departed from this world.

Artsy Startsy.CIRCLES ABOVEai

Looking for more moments of calm like this with your little Reader, Outdoor Explorer, Artist and Musician? Check out the ROAM curriculum at www.artsystartsy.com

ROAM-ing in the Spring!

springproductToday is the day! I’m relaunching the new and improved Spring Semester of Artsy Startsy and it is entirely focused around the ROAM curriculum and the feedback I’ve received from stay-at-home parents, caregivers, working parents, and preschool instructors. ROAM stands for Readers, Outdoor Explorers, Artists and Musicians. Why these areas in particular? I truly believe that preschoolers have each of these personas inside of them and they require only a bit of time each day with their caregiver to tap into each of these areas of the liberal arts and the natural world around them.

Also, as a caregiver, I have come to recognize that more than any other time, I most enjoy the moments in our day that are spent together with books, in nature, creatively expressing ourselves with art, and listening to classical music. By bringing these joys into our home I believe that I am creating both a peaceful and adventurous environment for my child and for myself. Quality time with my children is priority number one and this curriculum allows me to focus our days around that!

If you’re like me, you like to plan ahead and get yourself prepared for the season well in advance! For this reason, I am offering a sale on the Spring ROAM curriculum from now until March 31st! I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this sale which offers 20% off the Spring Semester and includes 8 full weeks of lesson plans for you and your little one!

I hope you will join us as we ROAM around learning about all sorts of wonderful subjects this spring! Making nature bracelets as the flowers begin to bloom, listening to Vivaldi, exploring the different sounds that the rain makes, touring the acropolis, keeping track of outdoor explorations with nature journals, sculpting with soap and so much more!!!


When we are not out in the woods near our home, here is where we will be undertaking much of this exploration of the liberal arts together. Our little solarium is where so much learning and quality time together takes place. It is a sacred little space for us! I will share regular updates with you as we undertake the lessons alongside you and your little one this spring.

Spring is right around the corner. So cozy up and start planning the upcoming season with us!