Educator Spotlight: Shirley Boening

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Theresa Case interviews Shirley Boening, Kindermusik Educator from College Station, Texas.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator][vc_column_text]TC: How long have you been teaching Kindermusik?
SB: We first opened our business in 1989, so it’s been 27 years this past May that I’ve been running my Kindermusik business and teaching.

TC: What do your Kindermusik kids call you?
SB: Mrs. Shirley

TC: What’s your favorite part of teaching Kindermusik?
SB: My favorite part of teaching Kindermusik is knowing that what I am teaching is changing lives. I am making a difference in children’s physical, cognitive, emotional, and musical lives. That’s a pretty heady thought.

TC: What’s your favorite Kindermusik song to sing?
SB: Oh, my, there are so many! I love “Morning Song”. I always have so much fun with pictures of animals and puppets when singing this with my classes. I love “Walk Along Rover”. There are just too many to name. I especially love the rocking songs “Skye Boat Song”, “The Water is Wide” and most of all,“Turtle Dove”. Listening to these always makes me a bit teary eyed while watching the lovely bonding time happening between the parents and children.[/vc_column_text][vc_video link=””][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: What’s your favorite Kindermusik dance to lead?
SB: I love all the many Cuddle & Bounce dances, and the parents love them, too. With the Wiggle & Grow crowd I love “Jing Jang”. And in Young Child, dancing to “Old Lady No Nose” and “Heel and Toe Polka” never gets old. So fun!

TC: What’s the funniest OR most touching thing that’s ever happened to you as a Kindermusik teacher?
SB: The most recent funny happening is that one morning I was so preoccupied with thinking about the studio and what I had to do that day that I showed up for class wearing unmatched shoes! Didn’t notice until class time when I looked down at my feet while slipping off my shoes. Thank goodness we wear socks in class!

TC: Describe a teaching experience or favorite Kindermusik family that has impacted you as a teacher. SB: All of the families who have come through our doors have shaped the teacher I am today. And, I am constantly impacted by the children and parents we serve. The children and families have given me so much through the years and it is very humbling.

TC: What makes Kindermusik of College Station – Bryan such a special place?
SB: Our Values. We strive to make every child and every parent who enters our studio feel welcomed and special. And, we create a joyful community in which we nurture each child’s love of music through a creative, warm atmosphere. Our ultimate goal for our students is to give them a quality musical foundation, and to inspire within them a lifelong love of music.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]TC: If you had to name just one secret to success in the Kindermusik classroom, what would it be?

SB: Be prepared 150% ! If overly prepared, one can handle the curve balls that inevitably come one’s way in class. The words can go on automatic pilot while thinking about how to connect with a parent or child; how to change the lesson plan to accommodate the runner, the child who has just burst into tears, or the late-comer; or how to adjust the next activity because you intuitively know how it was planned is not going to work with this particular group today. Preparedness gives flexibility to teach the class with success.

TC: What do you feel has made your studio business a success?
SB: An absolute passion in bringing the best Kindermusik experience possible to every child and every parent who walks through our door. In addition, I have always been very fortunate to have a strong team on board. I am particularly indebted to a dear friend, Chris Borchardt, who has taught with me for the past 21 years and who has been very instrumental in helping make the studio a success.

TC: What are some of the goals you have for your business?
SB: My short term goal is to increase our numbers and to hire an administrative assistant to allow me to have more time to work on the business in ways I never seem to have enough time for. Long term goals are to position the studio so that I will be able to cut back on administrative and teaching duties and to eventually sell the studio in the future when the time is right.

TC: What’s something new and exciting that’s happening with your business?
SB: Having a business coach. After reading Facebook posts about Chantelle Bruinsma Duffield’s Studio Expansion Program last year, watching her webinars for Kindermusik educators, and seeing her in action last October at the Maestro Conference, I decided to join The Studio Expansion Program. Once I delved into the SEP a bit, I knew that I needed to sign up for Studio Squared in order to have more one on one time with Chantelle if my team and I were going to get our numbers moving up once more. In November, I joined Studio Squared. Chantelle has been fabulous and through her careful guidance and my team’s strong support and hard work, we are seeing a turnaround in our studio’s numbers. Our summer enrollment has been 23% more than last summer. And, for September we are setting our fall goal at 36% more than September 2015.

TC: If you could share one tip with a new Kindermusik business owner, what would it be?
SB: If I were starting over and wanting to quickly grow a larger program, knowing what I know now, I would consult with a business coach from day one. I think the money spent would be earned back posthaste and would be a sound investment in the future of the business.

TC: What are some of your hobbies?
SB: More than anything, I love spending time with my husband, our 2 sons and daughter-in-law, and our three grandchildren. The highlight of every summer is having the two older grandchildren, Alison and Jacob, spend a week with us and attend our August week long Kindermusik camp. Jacob still attends the camp as a camper, but Alison has aged out and is now a helper at camp. Such fun!

TC: Do you have a favorite inspirational quote?
SB: This isn’t an inspirational quote, but it is my favorite quote because I passionately believe what it says with every fiber of my being. “Children must receive musical instruction as naturally as food, and with as much pleasure as they derive from a ball game… and this must happen from the beginning of their lives.” – Leonard Bernstein[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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