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the story of ume ume

as told by Miss Sotiria

it all started as a high-pitched sound.

As the new big sister in town, I had a responsibility: to entertain and keep Baby Maria smiling. In her first few days I had to convince her that I was not only the coolest sister ever, but the funniest person she had ever met. Staring at her as she lay in her crib, I thought, “What should I say? What should I do? No one taught me how to be a big sister.”

Baby Maria had a firm grip on my pointer finger and suddenly I had that “ah-ha” moment, “I’m going to do exactly what Mommy used to do to make me laugh.” So, I squished and curled my lips together to make the smallest circle and out came the high-pitched sound “ume, ume, ume, ume.” Baby Maria giggled and giggled in that sweet newborn way.

fast-forward over 20 years and the word “ume ume” is now a part of our family’s everyday vocabulary – even big brother, Christos uses it, too!

The sound has gone through an evolution to consist of multiple meanings.

So how do WE define ume ume, you ask?

1: “a high-pitched sing-song melody or sound”

2: “all things cute and tiny” - From hearing the cutest baby giggle to the mini Heinz ketchup bottles you get with your room service meal, you know when you see or hear something so adorable all you can say is, “That’s sooo ume ume!”

3: “you and me (u + me)” - When Christos and I first began talking about creating an arts program for children, we wanted to choose a name that somehow combined our own personal touch and our program’s purpose. So when the high-pitched sound “ume ume” became a possible contender, it was an instantaneous “That’s it!” We quickly realized that ume spelt out is “u (you)” and “me,” the centerpiece of our arts program. An enrichment program that focuses on bringing children together – YOU AND ME – as we create and learn about our world through music and the arts.

welcome to our ume ume music + arts family.

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