GTPulse: Kids Create and De-stress at Mindful and Musical Classes in Traverse City

It’s no stretch to say that the year has been stressful for all. So many of us have worried about our mental health, income, job security, and family. So many of us have been divided from our friends, family, and countrymen by politics and COVID-19. I think about the people in my life all the time and how they’re being affected by all of the madness. I hope that they’re making it through ok and that they know that right now, we’re all walking around with a big question mark over our heads. However, the other day while I was picking up groceries I saw a little boy and his mom walk into the store.

“Mom do I have to have my mask on?” he asked.

“Yes, here you do.”

For the first time, I really started to wonder about the kids. How have they been handling this? It must all be so bizarre to have to understand a pandemic and the complications that come with it at a young age. And then I thought about the stress they must be enduring. A weird Halloween, a weird school year, and most likely seeing a lot less of their friends has to be stressful, and I have no doubt that it breaks all of our hearts. I’m not a mom so I don’t even have a full scope of how strange this has been on little ones, but Miriam Pico does. The Traverse City-based singer, songwriter, and musician is a mom who’s mitigating some of this stress with her soothing musical classes Mindful and Musical with Miriam Pico.

The classes are a combination of all of the things Miriam is passionate about; music, art and yoga. She’s a talented and accomplished musician who has traveled to different places all over the world to perform.

“I started professionally singing when I was 11, but I wasn’t doing my own songs as a professional until I was 20. I used to travel all the time for it, especially around the States, but now that I’m teaching, I love it so much. I have my own kids now so I’m here a lot more. My heart is really in these classes.”

And for good reason too. Mindfulness practices are beneficial for folks of all ages, but especially for kids. Their brain plasticity is primed for learning and adapting new things to their life. Mindfulness and meditative activities improve emotional regulation skills, lowers anxiety, and strengthens self-control among so many other benefits.

The weekly 45-minute classes are best suited for children ages 0 to 5, and it’s an experience that involves the whole family. Kids sing, dance, and interact with various colorful and noise-making props while taking moments to align yoga movements with the sounds and taking moments to be contemplative with drawing or coloring.

Pandemic related restrictions have minimized the classes to five families per class for indoors, however, there is a monthly outdoor class too.

“This is regardless of the weather. So even if it’s snowing we’ll bundle up and do music and yoga outside.”

She also plans to set up Zoom so people can watch and participate in a class from home, as well as hoping to expand her class offerings for older kids too.

“Before the pandemic, we used to have 15 or 16 families per class, now we have five. We’re getting ready to add on virtual classes on Zoom, as well as a fly on the wall feature where people can watch from their homes but it won’t be a full Zoom class, it’ll just be an option to watch. I’ll be adding more classes for older kids, I have some really exciting stuff I’m working on for them. Before everything happened I had so many classes for so many ages, and now I’m just trying to re-work it all.”

You can sign up for a class at Miriam’s classes are regularly waitlisted, so if you’re curious about them, sign up for one in advance and take some time out of this weird year to relax with your little one.

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Categories: GTPulse