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Episode #26: Adding Musical Play to our Little’s Lives with JoEllyn Sumner

Today’s podcast is with music teacher, JoEllyn Sumner. JoEllyn has formed choirs, world music drumming ensembles, percussion ensembles, and after-school parent-child music classes, so that her students and their families have countless positive musical experiences.

During this episode, we learn about how to create a tuneful home whether for your own family or as a Teacher of Littles.


In this episode, we learn about:

  • What is a tuneful home? (1:10)

  • Singing is a gift, not a natural talent - you don’t have to be perfect to sing! (2:06)

  • How much should you stick to routine vs. what’s new? (3:30)

  • JoEllyn’s recommendations for songs - reach out to her if you’d like any! (4:55)

  • When you’re choosing songs for yourself, pick something that’s comfortable in your routine and throw in new things throughout to change it up. (6:30)

  • How do you balance the need to get something done (8:38)

  • There are so many types of ways to start a tuneful home and JoEllyn’s curriculum, including bounces, wiggles, tickles, tapping and clapping. (9:30)

  • The importance of your child saying no or providing consent. (13:25)

  • The interaction with the family of keeping that socialization and game aspect alive is super important so kids can take it to their lives once we’re out of this. (14:30)

  • The best age to start real instrument lessons. (17:00)

  • The body and the voice are instruments. (20:07)

  • Renee’s experience learning to dance with her mother who is deaf. (21:00)

  • All of the ways to find or work with JoEllyn. (23:45)

So brew yourself a cup of tea and listen in on the full podcast here:

Follow along with JoEllyn @thetunefulteacher on Instagram. Tag both of us on Instagram @thetunefulteacher and @themagicoflittles with any questions you have about how to get started with a tuneful home!

Send me your thoughts, questions, and feedback at!

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