Educator Spotlight: Jenn Horak-Hult

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Jenn Horak-Hult found something special when she discovered Kindermusik in 2003 and then went on to start her own business, Pied Piper Studios in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2006.  She is a vibrant educator, talented musician, and brilliant business owner.  Jenn has served on the PKE (Partnership for Kindermusik Educators) board and has contributed in countless other ways to the Kindermusik educator community over the years.  She is the beloved “Miss Jenn” to her Kindermusik kids, and lovingly referred to as “Zen Jenn” by Kindermusik mamas who admire her calm ability not to get rattled.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator color=”green”][vc_column_text]TC: What makes Pied Piper Studios such a special place?

JHH: We believe active listening isn’t just part of the curriculum we teach. We listen with our hearts and we strive to respond in the way that helps every family thrive. Every person, big and little, that comes through our doors has a story to tell, and we are continually challenging ourselves to engineer an experience that meets families where they are and then comes alongside to celebrate their own unique journey.  

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

JHH: I have many favorites for lots of reasons. It’s difficult to choose just one. But perhaps the song that holds one of the most special places in my heart is Manx Lullaby. I was teaching Dream Pillow while pregnant with our oldest child over 10 years ago and that lullaby quickly became “his” lullaby. I sang it to him as I waited for his arrival and I painted the lyrics on his nursery walls. I’ve sung it hundreds and hundreds of times to him, and it still remains something special we share all these years later.

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

JHH: Tants Tants Yidelekh! I’ve always loved this dance. Bouncing babies along with the tuba is a hit every time.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Jenn Horak-Hult[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”“I treasure most…the connection and community created in our classroom“” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%235fd60a”][vc_column_text]TC: What do you love most about teaching Kindermusik?

JHH: There are so many things to love, but one piece I treasure most is the connection and community created in our classroom. It is a tremendous gift to see families meet and form friendships that go on to last for years and years. Parenting is brave and beautiful work, and it is blessing that we are able to provide the time, space, and type of environment where families feel welcomed, nurtured, and loved. Seeing those relationships blossom into support systems that go beyond our walls is incredibly gratifying.

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

JHH: I once split the backside of my pants wide open while riding the pretend Elevator and Escalator up and down in an Imagine That! class. With no change of clothes available, I spent the rest of class (including Sharing Time) with a makeshift humongous scarf skirt draped around my waist.

TC: How about the most touching thing?

JHH: The most touching things I’ve experienced while teaching Kindermusik have been the first steps, first words, and other precious milestones reached with so many witnesses to celebrate together.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Passionate People + a Shared Vision = Success” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:left|color:%2359d600″][vc_column_text]TC: What do you feel has made your studio business a success?

JHH: I have an incredible team and I am very lucky to work with a group of women whom I adore and admire. They inspire me and I do my best to create an environment that feeds their passion, nurtures their skills, encourages their curiosity, and affirms their gifts. Their hearts share my vision, and our success as a studio is very much tied to our desire collectively and individually to make that vision a reality one day, one song, and one dance at a time.

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

JHH: If you could share one tip with a new Kindermusik educator, what would it be? Surround yourself with people who inspire you. My Kindermusik buddies have taught me more than I could ever have hoped to learn on my own. They challenge me to be my best self and there is nothing more fun than being brave in our dreaming together.

TC: What’s something new and exciting that’s happening with your business?

JHH: We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year so we have lots of surprises up our sleeves for our families![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Horak-Hult[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]TC: What are some of your hobbies outside of teaching Kindermusik?

JHH: My children would say napping! And it’s a little bit true. I am a night owl and am at my creative working best in the wee hours. I’m typically up until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. So, when I have the opportunity, there is nothing more heavenly than the chance to crawl back under the covers for a little afternoon snooze…especially with the windows open on a warm day. I also love working in the kitchen and making yummy food for our family to enjoy together around the table. I’m a vegan and I particularly love figuring out how to vegan-ize the Midwestern comfort food I grew up eating. I make a mean vegan mac and cheese.

TC: Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?

JHH: I find that a deep breath is always my best medicine and the most effective catalyst for connection. So it doesn’t surprise me that many of my favorite quotes center on the idea of breath. One of my favorites is on an art print I keep near my desk: “The trick is to keep breathing.” Another painted on our studio wall is “Breathe it all in. Love it all out.”

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

JHH: Laughter. Joy is never far away and children are our best teachers. If we are present enough, they will always lead us there.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Leave a Reply

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