CHILDREN’S BIRTHDAY PARTY TIPS
My goal is to provide a fun, interactive, participation-based music circle for all to enjoy. Children’s birthday parties are often exciting, highly unpredictable events. Group dynamics, limited attentions spans and a number of other factors all add to the mix. Here are some tips to help ensure a successful musical experience for the children:
PARTICIPATION: If this will be a mixed party for both adults and children, it is very helpful when parents choose to participate also. When parents sit and sing along ( either in the circle or around the perimeter) it really sets an example for the children to focus and participate too. Of course this is purely optional, but the best musical experiences have this participatory vibe going for them.
ENVIRONMENT: I find that children generally focus better indoors than out. If you are planning for the music to be outdoors, please let me know. Sometimes I bring a small, battery operated sound system so that the music can be heard better.
MINIMIZE DISTRACTIONS: Indoors or out, try to minimize distractions. It’s best if there are not other activities (clowns, magicians, crafts, etc) happening at the same time as the music. (One exception is snacks. If they’re hungry, let ‘em eat!) It helps if we are not too near toys and play equipment. If you are planning to distribute party horns, other noise makers, balloons, toys, etc, it works best to pass these out after our music circle. Also, if adults would rather socialize while the music is going on, it really helps if they have a separate area to do so. (When the adults are louder than the music, it can be really difficult to hold the children’s attention.)
A FAVORITE BOOK: If your party is for very young children (toddlers, pre schoolers, etc.) it can be helpful to break the singing up with a favorite picture book. This can work magic in getting children to refocus. I love reading a story at some point during the music. If your child has a favorite I will be happy to read it, or I can provide a proven “crowd pleaser” of my own. Just let me know what you prefer.
TRANSITIONING TO CAKE: Many parent’s like to conclude the music circle with the cake and candles, singing happy birthday as the grand finale. Let me know if you want that to be part of the plan and I will transition accordingly.
HOW LONG WILL THE MUSIC CIRCLE LAST? Generally the music lasts between a half hour and forty five minutes. It mostly depends on attention spans and group dynamics. Usually we can all just tell when the kids have had their fill. If that moment comes too soon, I am happy to continue playing for the benefit of party “ambiance”. Children who “check out” of the music early will often circle back around according to their own needs and interests.
HAVING PAYMENT READY AHEAD OF TIME: I do not require any deposit or payment until the day of the party. Frequently I have another birthday party or event that makes it impossible for me to stay and hang out. Also, parents are often very busy transitioning to the next thing after the music, so please have your payment in check or cash ready to give to me so that I’m not late for the next event. I really appreciate that.
CDs: I generally provide complimentary cd to the birthday child/ host family. I also usually have cd’s with me for purchase at $10 each.
REFERRALS: If you are happy with your birthday party song circle, please tell your friends. I usually have business cards with me, or you can always refer them to this website at settingfreethesongs.com.
THANKS SO MUCH FOR FEATURING LIVE MUSIC AT YOUR CHILD’S BIRTHDAY PARTY.
EVERY CHILD IS A SINGER IF WE GIVE THEM THE CHANCE!