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Mi Casa Es Tu Casa® Wins The Austin Chronicle Award for Best Of Kids & Family (Wildcard Category)!

We are over the moon! Thank you Austin! We're honored to win The Austin Chronicle's 2024 Best of Kids & Family (Wildcard Category)!

We stole a few minutes with our Founder and Director, Laura Barrios Bruce, to talk with her about what this award means, how Mi Casa Es Tu Casa was born, and why she uses music as the glue for the program.

If you don't know Laura, we hope this gives you a little insight into all the thought and research that went into forming Austin's award-winning Spanish music program for babies.

Her passion for building a high quality program from the inside--out is palpable. Enjoy!

What does it mean to you to win the Austin Chronicle Award?

Laura Bruce, Mi Casa Es Tu Casa® Director: Winning an Austin Chronicle award is a big deal!"

To tell you the truth, The Austin Chronicle award has been a big dream for me! I’ve lived in Austin for 14 years, long enough to know that winning an Austin Chronicle Award is a big deal! After running Mi Casa for 7 years (2 of which were pandemic years!) this feels like a reassuring right of passage that shows we are a well-established and well-loved business in Austin.

I feel very excited, privileged, grateful, and honored to receive this award finally. And I am also humbled by it because no other parent-child program has ever received this award in Austin despite some of them being in business for over 20 years! We are super excited to be the first ones!

Going back to the beginning of Mi Casa Es Tu Casa®, what inspired you to start a program like this?

My path to creating Mi Casa Es Tu Casa® began with the birth of my first son. I ended up working to create the kind of program that I wasn’t able to find for him. One that brought together mindfulness, early childhood development, high-quality music, and Spanish.

Laura Bruce, Director, with her oldest son in the early days of Mi Casa Es Tu Casa®

It was my background in clinical psychology and love of music that led me to create a program specifically designed to facilitate and enhance language acquisition (Spanish & sign language), social skills, early childhood development, emotional intelligence, musical development, and mindful parenting. 

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa has been going strong since 2017.

What role does your background as a psychologist play in Mi Casa Es Tu Casa?

I always wanted to help others. At first I thought it was through medicine, but I left that career for psychology. I am fascinated by human beings and how we are capable of turning darkness into light by opening our hearts. 

Although it would never have crossed my mind to own a business of this type, today I understand that I am in the perfect place where I can contribute in a profound way to children and their families. 

All the people I have trained to work at Mi Casa Es Tu Casa at some point say that working here has been one of the most introspective and healing periods of their lives. I don't know how to train except through inner work, the development of consciousness and healing. I love what I do! And my experience as a psychologist comes in handy.

Mi Casa Es Tu Casa® teachers in deep training with Laura Bruce, Director, looking on

From staff training to the lyrics of the songs we write, at Mi Casa Es Tu Casa everything has a deep purpose closely tied to conscious parenting. 

I am obsessed with the effect that Mi casa Es Tu Casa has on the lives of families who come with open hearts. Many have told us that we have changed their lives, especially their relationships with their children in a positive and permanent way. 

Our mission is for each child to grow up in a loving, respectful home, with dignity and clear boundaries, and achieving that is an art.

Why do you do all of the work of Mi Casa Es Tu Casa® through music?

Science has shown us that music is the only experience that allows us to activate several parts of the brain at the same time. Almost nothing else achieves that party of neural activity. That's why commercials use jingles! Because it's super difficult to forget a catchy tune!

Laura Bruce, Mi Casa Es Tu Casa® Director, sharing music in Spanish with the babies of Austin

On the surface, Mi Casa Es Tu Casa is a program designed to learn Spanish. The brain activity of newborn babies shows us that when we talk to them, they react as if they were processing music. Music teaches us to learn and predict patterns, which is necessary to develop speech.

Therefore, music is the most effective and logical tool for learning spoken language, but also emotional and social language! Everything is easier when we have a rhythm and a sequence to follow.

Most of Mi Casa Es Tu Casa’s music is original. The lyrics of the songs we write are purposely designed to facilitate interaction with children in daily life in a conscious way. 

For example, we have a song where we give names to emotions and give space to the physical movements that each emotion requires to be released from the body, offering information to parents on how to accompany their children in a conscious, respectful and loving way. 

- Instead of saying “now, now, now, don't cry”, they learn to say “you feel sadness, I'm here with you, I'll be with you.”

So, instead of stifling the child's emotions because we do not have space to tolerate them within ourselves, we teach not only the importance but the practice of how to open that space and develop that tolerance through inner work.

And, while every minute we are focused on enhancing the parent-child relationship…we do it all while singing, dancing, and having a blast!

Join us in Austin or from anywhere in the world!

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