Cincinnati Family Magazine

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February 4, 2023

Mom Report: Peanut Butter ‘n Jam Sessions

There is a TON of great research on the benefits of introducing music to children at a young age. Experts say it may make little ones healthier and it might even help their cognitive development. My husband is a phenomenal piano player. I know I am biased, but he really is amazing. I wish I could play an instrument as well as he can. It has always been important to me to expose our kiddos to music while they’re awake and asleep. They are currently rocking out to the Suzuki Twinkles and Chopin Nocturnes.

Peanut Butter & Jam sessions are designed for kids ages 2 to 6 and it’s more than just a concert. It is an experience! The host Donna was incredibly enthusiastic. It came as no surprise to me when she shared she was a teacher. She led the kids through a musical journey that lasted about forty minutes. During the 40-minute journey Donna read the audience a story and this was not a typical read aloud, she was standing, jumping, whispering, you name it. The kids (and adults!) could not take their eyes off of her. After reading the book she guided the kids through an interactive lesson on emotions. Not a single kid could make an angry face as they were fighting back grins while watching Donna demonstrate the feeling angry. For each feeling she introduced to the kids the musicians played a piece that matched that emotion.

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Donna also taught the kids that a trio is a group of three musicians, introduced the instruments (cello, violin, and piano), had them participating in pretend play as they were playing pretend instruments, and incorporating music and movement by having the kids march and dance to the beat. The kids had a great time listening and dancing. My son even recognized the “scary” music from Little Einstein’s. I am thankful for Peanut Butter & Jam sessions! They allow me to expose my kiddos to different instruments and pieces of music without the stress of having to “keep them quiet.” Kids were asking questions, responding to Donna’s questions, and singing to the music. My kids were bummed when it was over … until they heard that Graeter’s donated cookies for after the session. I look forward to going to many more Peanut Butter & Jam sessions in the future!

You can purchase tickets online or at the door. They are $5 for an individual ticket (child or adult).

About the Author

Tina Pratt

Tina Pratt is the mom of two littles. She is a former PreK- 5 special education teacher that now works as a behavior coach. She enjoys being a tourist in her own town and finding ways to embed lessons into everyday fun!