One thing new Prelude parents learn very quickly is that we are about much more than music: we are a loving community where parents can always find the support and resources they need.
When I meet parents who are new to the Houston area with no family in town, I sometimes wonder to myself, "How do they do it?" Then I remember — I WAS one of those parents!
Since my very first day in Houston, I have had to rely on those around me, to build a network of people who could help me address the day-to-day challenges of life. If you've been in a similar situation, you probably know just what I'm talking about.
Let me share a few of the things that helped me build my "village":

 

1. Making friends through music and learning

Shortly after Isabella was born, I found myself bonding with a woman named Sarah from my church choir, who also had an infant daughter. Sarah and I would meet at the Galleria and talk, talk, talk — about our babies, our joys, our problems, our hopes and dreams for the future. I sometimes jokingly called her "my shrink!"
Sarah and I wound up starting a Montessori-based co-op. We met twice a week to share Montessori-based principles, and we let our children explore and experiment in a Montessori-prepared environment for toddlers. Four of the children who were in this Montessori co-op are still in school together, 11 years later!

 

2. Seeking out organizations for like-minded parents

Sarah Moudry (left) at Studio June in Bellaire
My friend Sarah Moudry (a different Sarah) just opened up a wonderful resource in Bellaire: Studio June, a Montessori-based environment for infants, crawling children, and toddlers. People like Sarah become part of a new-in-town parent's village, and places like Studio June attract parents who are looking for a village.
A class at Studio June
This is just one example of the many organizations in the Houston area that help parents build their villages. Seek them out and learn what they have to offer!

 3. Getting involved with the community

If you follow our Facebook page, you've no doubt seen some of the beautiful photos and videos from our events at Brookdale Senior Living. We take great joy in spending time with our "grand-friends," and now we have a regular Intergenerational Class every Tuesday at 1:30 pm (please come visit — we'd love to have you). Here’s a wonderful photo from one of our classes (continued below):
We love our "grand-friends" at Brookdale Senior Living!
We live in one of the largest, most vibrant cities in America, where opportunities to get involved abound. Seek out opportunities to contribute your time and talents to your favorite community organization — as an added bonus, you'll grow your village as well!
And of course, there's always Prelude Music Classes! When I see moms and dads who are new in town start to bond with other parents, it makes me want to jump for joy!
Once I was at a birthday party for one of our students and noticed that every child in the room had been at one of our classes. When I asked one of the moms if they all attended the same school, she replied, "Oh, no, we all met at Prelude and have become great friends. We go out to lunch together, and we've even taken vacations together." That's the power of music in building community!
To quote the famous song by Barbra Streisand, "People who need people are the luckiest people in the world." And indeed, we are.
Please leave a note in the comments and tell us your favorite "village building" story!
Much love,
Ana