A few weeks ago I shared a blog post entitled “Better Together” which features a song written by Megan from Healing Sounds.

I keep thinking about this song and it just may become Bear Paw Creek’s theme song.  Do businesses have theme songs?

As I say often, I love these connections I keep making around music and movement and our props.

This time the connection is, Ellen Allard.  Hold on to your hats – you are in for a treat!

 

Connect a stretchy band and Ellen Allard Giveaway

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Introducing Ellen Allard

Who is Ellen?  A bit about her follows below and click here to head to her about page if you want to learn more.

She has been privileged since 1976 to perform children’s concerts and present teacher workshops/keynotes, seamlessly moving between both the Secular and the Jewish world of Early Childhood. She loves singing with kids. And she loves singing with kids and their grown-ups. Small groups, large groups, schools, synagogues, churches, festivals, libraries, community centers. From the moment Ellen begins her concerts, everyone is singing, dancing, moving and grooving.

How did we get connected?  I stumbled across this video of her showcasing how to use the stretchy band with the song “Bim, Bom”.

I sent her an email and then we caught up on the phone.  She has so much energy, enthusiasm, and willing to jump in and try anything. I also found our original connection was none other than…….. Carole Stephens from Macaroni Soup!

Below you will learn more about how and why she loves the stretchy and that we’ve teamed up for another great giveaway.

Stretchy Band: A Prop That Makes My Music Teaching Heart Soar

Ellen just published a post all about the stretchy band on her blog at EllenAllard.com. In it she shared some of her top reasons why she loves using the stretchy band to teach music.  Here they are.

  • Kids LOVE hands on activities. It keeps them focused. It gives them something to do that is movement-based.
  • The movement of the band, generated by the movement and direction of the kids’ hands, helps to reinforce the beat. Internalizing and being able to keep the beat is an important musical skill. As well, there is rhythm and beat in EVERYTHING from reading to math to walking. When you give kids an opportunity to experience the beat, it will definitely support rhythm in everything else they encounter.
  • Using the stretchy band in a group builds a sense of community and camaraderie. It helps children feel connected to others in the group.
  • Using the stretchy band in a group encourages cooperation. If one child doesn’t follow the directions being given for using the band, it will make it difficult if not impossible for the rest of the group to use the band accordingly. Conversely, it helps children feel connected when they cooperate with everyone in the group.

Here is another taste of her music from her YouTube Channel.  

[Tweet “Enter to win a stretchy band and Ellen Allard music!”]

So we’ve teamed up to bring another giveaway that will bring free music and movement into someone’s hands that other people will also benefit from. What’s not to love about that? 

You will be entered to win 4 connect-a-stretchy band (equals 1 XL stretchy band) and Ellen’s cd “Sing It! Say It! Stamp It! Sway It!” as a physical or digital copy.

Enter the giveaway by clicking and leave a comment on this post on how you would use the stretchy band and music!

Connect a stretchy band and Ellen Allard Giveaway

 

See…we really are all BETTER TOGETHER!

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Janet Stephens is the founder and creator behind Bear Paw Creek’s creative movement props and bags. She is passionate about learning and sharing along the way.

18 Comments

  1. Ginny Capps

    I would love to use the stretchy band with my PreK students! They would love the colors and novelty of it, but I would love being able to keep them in place (ha!) and working to keep a steady beat!

  2. Amberlynn Lane

    I would love to add a stretchy band tonight my classroom! All k-5 kids would benefit from the kinetic feedback, the push and the pull. Besides the musicality benefits, it also helps with cooperation and teamwork.

  3. Doreen Merkel

    I have always wanted to use stretchy bands in my classroom! I am thinking of an activity where kids make star pattern during Twinkle Twinkle

  4. Megan

    I’m a music therapy student who is approaching her internship. I would love to win the bands and music to grow my professional collection! I can already imagine all the ways I could work these into my sessions. I’d be thrilled to win!

  5. Grace Martino

    I would use it to reinforce high and low sounds melodically with well known songs!

  6. Monica

    I would love to use the stretchy band to reinforce steady beat with circle activities and dances.

  7. Nancy Hopkin

    I am a Public School Music Teacher. I saw an amazing activity using “March” from the Nutcracker that I am dying to do with my Kinders. (We are performing the Nutcracker this year–either with singing or dancing). This dance using the stretchy, although performed on Youtube by upper grades, could easily be learned by my Kinders. It would teach song form, community, and (reinforce) beat through movement. In addition to all that, the parents would have pleasing, professionally done dance to watch–and their children would be able to do it withOUT someone coaching their performance.

    I have also seen another great movement song using the stretchy for communal movement to teach direction as well as in-tune singing to Kinders that I would love to try: it teaches up/down, in/out, left/right–all movement that would need to be done together.

  8. Mrs. Laury Lunde

    I’m integrating more and more folk dancing in my Music room and the stretchy band would just be the icing on the cake for these activities! Our special needs community is growing in our district and this would encourage unity and connectivity for our classes! <3 it!!! Thanks for sharing Ellen's songs!!! 🙂

  9. Heather

    I am a music therapy intern at a Children’s psychiatric hospital and I think this would be a great way to explore music with them. I would love to grow my collection with this amazing tool.

  10. Rosie Downs

    I teach music classes for preschool and would love a stretchy band for classes. It really would help to keep the children engaged and focused in small and large movement songs. So colorful and engaging!

  11. Beth Vanderhoek

    There are many ways I would use this! It could be used to show pitches and/or dynamics through having the class work together on raising and the band as they listen to music, could be used for keeping the beat activities, a variety of games, and I’m sure there are many more ideas that I haven’t thought of yet!

  12. Miss Carole

    Glad to hear that you and Ellen connected, Janet! I keep spreading the word about your wonderful Bear Paw Creek movement props well crafted and made in the USA!

  13. Amanda Caudill

    I would love to have a stretchy band to use in my K-5 music classes! This is my first year at my district and the kids had never been exposed to movement. They are loving all the creative movement activities I’m doing with them! The stretchy band would enhance our movement lessons…I have so many ideas!

  14. Abby

    I LOVE this stretchy band! I am a freshly certified music therapist embarking on my first year of work in my private practice. I work with a wide range of individuals (from pre-k to older adults), and could envision using this prop with many of my groups! I love the fact that this prop promotes cooperation and social interaction while also working on other concepts (up/down, right/left, fast/slow,…). I am also thinking I could use this prop for things like color identification, thanks to its brilliantly colored segments! I facilitate a movement/exercise group for the older adults at one of my nursing facilities. I am curious about the resistance of the stretchy band and if it would be appropriate for this group/setting. Hopefully I will win the contest and get the chance to find out! 🙂

    P. S. I love Ellen’s music! Anyone who has not yet checked her out, I highly recommend you do so! Her songs are so cute, fun, and aurally pleasing!

  15. Leah

    I would use a stretchy band with my Head Start 4K class. They love new, interesting materials that they can use to interact with their friends.

  16. Kathy Schumacher

    I promise I will donate the stretchy band! (I just really want to hear the CD.) I have many several stretchy bands and my clients and students LOVE them!

  17. Emily

    I would love to have a CD and stretchy band! The students will love the feeling of the stretchy band and adding it to lessons will tack a new dimension onto their learning. This way they will be able to experience form and beat in a new way where they can feel their peers and work together to show different aspects of music. I’m excited about a CD that will help me incorporate it into lessons. So many ways!!!!

  18. Taylor Chapman

    I am a new music therapist and have already been able to notice how useful a stretchy band can be within sessions! Use of the stretchy band is an easy way to involve students that cannot easily communicate with the rest of the group verbally, whether that means they are nonverbal or speak a different language. Movement in general is such a useful way to incorporate everyone in the group despite language difficulties or barriers. It can give individuals an opportunity to lead the group and share original ideas without having to rely on verbal language. Using a stretchy band specifically brings a “wow factor” that can motivate individuals that might not usually want to participate to do so due to the use of something novel. I would love to have one of my own so that I can always have it on hand when I unexpectedly want to add a movement intervention to my sessions. The CD would introduce me to other songs to use along with the stretchy band. This would allow me to use the stretchy band with the same group without having to use the same 2 songs I used during my internship when I had a stretchy band to use from my site. The use of various songs with the stretchy band could help me maintain client attention and increase participation. Thank you for the opportunity!

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