Educator Spotlight: Helen Peterson – Kindermusik of the Valley

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Regular Blogger Theresa Case brings us our monthly feature, the Educator Spotlight. This month, we introduce Helen Peterson, director of Kindermusik of the Valley in Burnsville, Minnesota. Helen lives near the area of the state known as the Land of 1000 Lakes, but from what we hear of Miss Helen’s Kindermusik kids, it should be called Land of 1000 Smiles!
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: How long have you been teaching Kindermusik?

HP: 25 years

TC: What do your Kindermusik kids call you?

HP: Miss Helen

TC: How do your Kindermusik kids (or families) describe you?

HP: I think as loving, welcoming, cheerful, understanding, and knowledgeable.

TC: What year did you first open your business?


TC: What do you feel has made your studio business a success?

HP: As most businesses that have been around this long, we have had ups and downs – no matter where we are, it is excellent teaching, a great understanding and acceptance of children, loving the community, and really just a lot of hard work!

TC: What are some of the goals you have for your business?

HP: I am looking at a 3 year plan right now to take Kindermusik on a growth trajectory back to 300 students. I am also stepping into the Kindermusik@Schools market with increased energy. Too many kids at daycare are missing out – we want to serve them![/vc_column_text][vc_video link=”″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Helen Peterson
Helen Peterson

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]TC: What makes Kindermusik of the Valley such a special place?

HP: Our teachers! I am so blessed to partner with such a special, committed, brilliant and loving educators. They do amazing work and love, love, LOVE our families every day! Much gratitude to our wonderful Kindermusik of the Valley educators – Robin Lamoreaux, Tina Egli, Merry Sawdey, and Summer Jothen!

TC: What’s your favorite Kindermusik song to sing?

HP: Parrot Talk

TC: What’s your favorite Kindermusik dance to lead?

HP: Oh so many! Tants Tants, Pirates Treasure Dance (formerly Sailors Hornpipe), Dance Little Baby, Up Up in the Sky, Bingo – any dance that goes into the middle and comes back out.

TC: Describe a teaching experience or favorite Kindermusik family that has impacted you as a teacher.

HP: There are so many beautiful families who have come to Kindermusik of the Valley studio over the years but have to say the experience that has been the most impactful for me as a teacher was the work Sherry Grimsby and I shared for 20 years teaching Kindermusik to the underserved and economically challenged families in North Minneapolis. We started there before Kindermusik school programs had been created so we adapted Beginnings and Growing with Kindermusik for the students. It was here where I first understood the power of Kindermusik as a therapy. The incredible value of giving children in crisis the ability to calm themselves using music, that playing musical stop and go games with children who had not developed any inhibitory control because of their circumstances would be something that could save them one day. Even though the teaching was incredibly hard, loving the children, singing with them, rocking with them, playing and giving them so many choices and chances taught us so much and really made me the teacher I am today.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: If you could share one tip with a new Kindermusik educator, what would it be?

HP: Focus on knowing and loving the parents of your students. Be knocked out by how much they love their children and what they are providing for them. Not every parent does it, those that come to Kindermusik are something special.

TC: If you had to name just one secret to success in the Kindermusik classroom, what would it be?

HP: Falling in love with every parent and student in the room.

TC: What’s the most touching thing that’s ever happened to you as a Kindermusik teacher?

HP: It is when a parent who had missed class earlier in the day because of an emergency that was very upsetting, came by later in the afternoon saying that she knew if she could just be in the Kindermusik room with me for a few minutes she would feel better.

TC: What’s your favorite part of teaching Kindermusik?

HP: Oh! It is definitely when I catch glimpses of pride from parents for their children, when they are surprised by how much their child has understood and been creative with the activities. AND – when I see children feeling proud of themselves as they concentrate, listen, create, and make beautiful music.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Helen Peterson holds a BS degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota. Helen taught elementary and high school band before starting a family and her Kindermusik business. Helen has served on the Kindermusik Educators Association national board from 1999 to 2003 and has continued to serve on the international conference committee.


– Photo credits: Aaron Sawdey[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *