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You're my son, my pretty little son, Oh son, shine on me.
You conduct the dawn with the wave of your hands, begin a symphony,
Of precious sounds of coos and goos, the rhythm of your four limbs swimmin',
Swimmin' in the sea of morning, oh, this is what I call livin'!


These are lyrics I wrote for my infant son over a decade ago. I delighted in his joy as he moved in the light of the morning sun. In order to continue witnessing young ones' magical ways of bringing music to every movement, I've created work for myself that integrates children and music. Please, consider sharing a class or party with me and we can delight together in the wonder of your magical children!

My 30-45 minute programs
for young children can include
any of these elements:

"Dena gets children involved in her storytelling and singing-they love it. She helps people get over their inhibition and be creative and expressive."
Sharon Graham, Education Coordinator, Upward Foundation, Phoenix, Arizona
Programs can be geared for infants and parents, toddlers and parents, young families, preschoolers, or children up to age 10.

Stories

Storytelling allows the listener to paint her own pictures, build empathetic feelings, and learn sequencing, vocabulary and life lessons. I have many stories I am ready to share, both original and folk tales from around the world. Stories can be geared for children as young as two. If you have a theme or specific story I am unfamiliar with, I will need at least two weeks to prepare. I enjoy adding to my repertoire.

Songs

I encourage the use of our voices in playful and expressive ways. Using both familiar and new songs, I try to bring singing to a place that feels easy and joyful. The following elements can be included in our musical experience:
  • Guitar accompaniment
  • Thematic songs
  • Lap songs for the very young
  • Infant massage
  • Rhythm instruments
  • Finger plays and gestures
  • Sign Language
  • Rhythm play with clapping, patting, and stomping
  • Rhythm instruments
  • Introduction of music notation
  • Introduction to developmentally appropriate cognitive concepts such as prepositions, colors, simple counting and pre-reading skills

Yoga Poses

Yoga makes me feel good and helps me remember to listen in. I love sharing this practice with children of all ages. Some fun themes I enjoy sharing are: Moving with Turtle-like Awareness, Surf and Sea, Animal Walk, and Yoga History. I could come to share with you a simple introductory course or provide on-going sessions. We will need space to move and preferably a wood or carpeted floor. Towels or mats are nice to have on harder surfaces. Some of the sweetest classes I have taught are my Family Yoga classes. The youngest members weave amongst our moving bodies, delighting in legs to crawl under or hair to tickle their faces as they wobble past us while we are in a Down Dog or Forward Bend. Parents assist their fledgling yogis properly get in and out of poses. Children see their parents model taking time to nurture their own bodies as we all breathe into a pose. I often bring my guitar to lead us in circle dances at the end and singing after our relaxation time. Join me in this sweet family circle of moving limbs and breathing hearts.

The following elements can be included in our yoga experience:

  • Introduction to diaphragmatic breathing
  • Simple hatha yoga poses initially, and as practice builds, more complex poses will be introduced
  • Poses will work on flexibility, strength, balance and relaxation
  • Some sessions will include partner yoga, circle dances and yoga games
  • Simple songs to help remember poses and end the class
  • Class will end with a relaxation period and occasional guided imagery related to the theme of the day

Story Yoga

I have recently been bringing my storytelling and yoga together, creating what I am calling “Story Yoga.” For years I have collected tales that teach us how to live in healthy ways. Story Yoga brings these tales to life by using our bodies to map the storyline and the story’s life lesson. The linking of stories and yoga poses enables families to bring the practice home with them because the stories help them remember the poses and the poses help them remember the story.

Circle Dances

In 1992 I began participating in The Dances of Universal Peace. This influence brought circle dances into my work with children. I provide simple steps and movements to interpret the song. Sometimes we will learn the song first and then add the steps. Many times it is simple enough to learn all together. There are some dances which invite individual interpretation. Children can begin learning circle dances around the age of 2, when they have begun walking with a bit more coordination.

Creative Drama

Children are natural actors as they engage in pretend play. Creative drama gently guides participants in an improvised dramatic experience focusing not on the performance, but the process of imagining, enacting and expressing ideas and feelings. Creative drama includes movement exercises, pantomime, vocal play, verbal improvisations, story and poem dramatizations, and theatre games. These experiences can help a participant improve communication, problem solving, self-esteem and social skills. I will instruct children in creative drama as young as four years of age.

Contact Information

Email: dena@denawilder.com
Phone: (503) 236-0854

Copyright 2006 Dena Wilder

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