The MusiCounts Learn Big Heart Journey is a resource for elementary educators that uses mindfulness, movement, and music to help kids understand—and take control of—their emotions. This collection of classroom-ready videos and handouts will support teachers in creating a safe and focused learning environment that prioritizes open dialogue about feelings, emotions, and mental wellness.
In this video, Taes Leavitt introduces the MusiCounts Learn Big Heart Journey to teachers. Here, Taes outlines the goals of the program, and details the concepts and vocabulary that are found in the subsequent videos.
A Heart Check is a simple way to create a conversation about feelings in the classroom; a time for students to check in with their hearts, and put words to their feelings. When you play this video in your classroom, students will be encouraged to take a moment to notice their feelings and use language to identify the emotions they’re experiencing. Play the Heart Check any time of day when students need a minute to check in, process feelings, connect, and regulate.
The Energy Flip is an exercise that helps students move through big feelings using mindfulness, music, and active movement. Use the Energy Flip to help kids feel empowered to choose how they want to feel by turning cloudy feelings into sunny feelings.
Music is Magic
Synthesize the Heart Check and Energy Flip exercises with the ultimate magical Big Heart Journey tool - music! Use this video to help students understand that music can mirror feelings, create that Energy Flip, and help them feel seen, heard, and safe.
Across Canada, music and arts curricula are prioritizing social emotional learning. Though the contents of this resource do not specifically align with the curriculum of any particular province or territory, this program is informed by broader themes and trends in various elementary curricula across the country. That said, depending on how this resource is used, you may be able to meet outcomes as indicated in the curriculum for your province/subject area.
Further, providing students with an opportunity to process and regulate their emotions in the classroom can improve focus, and help them better engage with other curriculum components. This is particularly important during this time when students are dealing with unprecedented amounts of anxiety, depression and mental health challenges.
About Taes Leavitt
Taes has created a magical and successful career grounded in her love for children and her deep desire to help kids feel seen, heard, and loved for exactly who they are.
Also known as the “Boots” half of JUNO Award-winning children’s super-duo of Canadian Music, “Splash’N Boots”, she’s performed over 900 live concerts for families around the world. She’s written and filmed over 100 episodes of their original TV show ‘The Big Yellow Boot’, has produced segments for Sesame Street, and performed with The Wiggles, Sharon & Bram, and Fred Penner. Taes has devoted the last 5 years to exploring and studying meditation, mindfulness, and dance. Taes realized that traditional notions of meditation/mindfulness were not accessible, realistic, or ‘fun’ for kids. Her personal journey into meditation and mindfulness - and her continued research in this area - inspired Taes to create a program for children and their families which re-invents traditional practices of meditation and mindfulness and gives them a magical, musical spin.
Thank you the following educators for providing their perspective and feedback on the development of this program: Bruce Millerd (ON), Catherine Ludwig (BC), Jewel Casselman (MB), Kathy Conway Ward (NL), Dr. Bina John (ON).