Making Connections Through Music and Movement

Making Connections Through Music and Movement

Making Connections Through Music Movement Products Music Therapy Children Eldercare Parents

I had it planned on my calendar to write a blog post about the stretchy bands today, but Tim’s email reminded me that Wednesday’s Blog is about making connections.  Life is all about connections, so here is my story of how I got connected to CMN.

One of my favorite books as a child was “The House That Jack Built”.  After becoming an ambassador for Barefoot Books, I was thrilled to see their version of it and have added it to my circle time routine.  This story will be the inspiration for my post today – I hope you’ll pander my reminiscing.

Barefoot Book House that Jack Built Story Book


The Life that God Built Janet

The life that Janet built started when her Mom taught her to sew as a child.

She played piano and trumpet, and of course, music was part of life (it was the 80’s).

After high-school, Janet trekked off to Alaska for a grand adventure.

Here she met and married an Alaska man (sounds dreamy – doesn’t it?).

While expecting their first child she was working at a day care, and started to facilitate circle times with music her sister provided. This sister played a big part in the connections that come now!

A move to Missouri and Janet is looking for a way to earn money from home to stay home with their first wee one.  Dear sister (a newly graduated music therapist) says, “What do you like to do? What is your passion?”

Janet responds, “I love to sew, create, and make things.”

Sister answers, “I need some movement props, bean bags, streamers, storage bags, and an Omnichord Case. I’m pretty sure others will too.”  Bear Paw Creek is born in 2000!

Another connection is made when West Music becomes our first wholesale customer in 2001.  This connection came from wonderful sister being at a music therapy conference and showcasing our products.

For the next 11 years, the focus was wholesale customers. In 2012 Janet started to open up the retail market after learning wordpress from Kat Fulton’s class (another amazing connection to the MT community) to build an e-commerce shop for Bear Paw Creek.

The connections made have multiplied and continue to grow and here are a few to continue this tale!

March 2013 I stumbled across a blog written by Miss Carole of MacSoup, great article and if you scroll to the comments you will see those few comments have been a life changing connection for Janet and BPC!

May 2013, Music Together director Cristal, contacted Janet about making the stretchy band that could be used straight or in a circle. After trial and error, the connect-a-stretchy band is added to the store.  Another part of this connectable stretchy band was the vision to connect many bands together and have a large park day gathering with 100s of people in a community connected together.

Now BPC has 17 wholesale customers, including international, along with a growing retail market and on

Her Barefoot Books Ambassadorship is what connected Janet to CMN as Tim Seston had reached out to her about the books. That lead to becoming a member of CMN.

All these connections started from a love of sewing and creating, combining that with music, it has continued to grow and grow out around the world.

Connecting Around Music and Movement Props Around the World

The connect-a-stretchy band hub is featured with the the primary colored connect-a-stretchy bands in the picture below. It reminds me of the beauty of the connections we make in this world. As I sew up our products, I think about those who touched and created the materials I work with, I wonder who will touch the end product, and at the joy and learning that will take place around them.

Best Music Games Activities Primary Set of Six Connect-a-Stretchy Bands With Hub 12 Music Educators

So today I CELEBRATE connections.  If you made it to the end of this post, thank you for listening to my story!  What connections do you treasure?

Janet Stephens

Janet Stephens

Janet is the founder, designer, and one of the seamstresses behind Bear Paw Creek's made in the USA line of creative movement props, and bags. She is passionate about her faith, family, and loves the journey of learning and growing this life provides.

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