Meet a Kindermusik educator: Jessica Solares

(Jessica is pictured in the gray shirt with blue emblem near the back of the room.)

Name:
Jessica Rice Solares

Location:
Chicago, IL, USA

Studio name and link:
Bucktown Music
www.bucktownmusic.com

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
1.5

Describe yourself in five words or less:
From me:  creative, passionate
From my customer loyalty surveys: talented, fun, clever

Favorite Kindermusik song:
So many great ones, but “Big Black Bear” really stands out.  I love seeing the kids pretend to go on a walk and then the sleeping bear wake up and ROAR!

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
Once again, really difficult to choose, but recently, “Snail & Grasshopper” from Village Dewdrops.  I love that it teaches AB music form, fast/slow, major/minor, ASL, and incorporates so many senses:  auditory, kinesthetic, visual.  Plus the babies all crack up during the bouncing and anticipate the stopping.

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
When I looked around a Village class and saw most adults dancing with someone else’s child.  What a wonderful community where everyone trusts each other with their children!

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
My families have taught me to be respectful and not to judge, and that there are unlimited ways to do something, or think about something.  Everybody has their own way, and that’s good.

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
One 3 year old boy wasn’t seeming to pay attention during a Family Time class, and then at the end, he grabbed his little sister’s hands, swung her around, and sang “Skinnamarinky Dinky Dink, Skinnamarinky Do, I LOVE YOU!!!” at the top of his lungs!

The reason you teach:
I love seeing the children and parents grow and learn, and am honored to be part of that experience.  It is important to me to show the parents that THEY are their child’s most important teacher.  I’ve also found that students who have completed the Kindermusik program have shown an increased ability for abstract musical concepts, have better rhythm and intonation, and better listening and attention skills.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Holly Lesnick

Name:
Holly Lesnick

Location:
Orlando, FL

Studio name and link:
Grow and Sing Studios
http://www.growandsing.com

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
8 years

Describe yourself in five words or less:
Wife, mother, friend and teacher

Favorite Kindermusik song:
Butterfly Wings

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
There are so many favorites, but nothing brings me more joy than a roomful of babies and their caregivers dancing to Hop Up my Baby! The smiles and laughter are infectious!!

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
One day, I greeted my Our Time class as they entered the classroom. One by one everyone entered the classroom, and I realized I had an overfilled day with my full class of enrolled families, plus preview families and families making up classes. I welcomed the challenge and during quiet time, I looked around, and every single child was cuddled up with their parent or caregiver, and all were singing together. It was magical.

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
That each week is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. I love it, and it keeps me on my toes at ALL times!

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
“Miss Holly, can you come live with us?”

The reason you teach:
The question should be why I teach KINDERMUSIK. It is the most fulfilling work I’ve ever done. I love connecting with the children, but also with the parents, and sharing my passion for music. My motto is “Connecting Families through the Magic of Music”, and that’s what I get to do. It’s such a wonderful combination that makes it right for me.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Amy James

Name:
Amy James

Location:
Bend OR

Studio name and link:
DevelopMusic
www.developmusic.com

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
5 years

Describe yourself in five words or less:
Loves music, loves to dance

Favorite Kindermusik song:
Our Time Hello since it’s the one my daughter sings when she “plays” Kindermusik with her dolls

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
I love any of the circle songs because I love the sense of community we create as we all come together in a circle and dance.

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
When there is a connection made between a parent and child, parent and parent, or teacher and child

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
Be uninhibited, just go for it when singing, dancing or moving.  Throw off the outside pressures of parenthood and just have fun with your little one because they do not stay little for very long!

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
There was a little boy who never crawled, he would just scoot on his bottom around the room and he was fast!

The reason you teach:
I teach because what we teach can make a difference.  It makes a difference for the families in the present by allowing them a special time together.  It also makes a difference in the future because of the foundation being laid for future learning.  I’ve seen the tremendous difference it has made, especially for those kids with other special needs.  Kindermusik is a place where they can have fun and be successful.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Simone Melder

Each week we feature a randomly selected Kindermusik educator from around the world. This week, meet Simone!

Name:
Simone Melder

Location:
Blackburn South, Victoria, Australia

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
Eight

Studio name and link:
Kindermusik with Simone
http://www.kindermusikwithsimone.com.au

Describe yourself in five words or less:
positive, nurturing, fun-loving, compassionate

Favorite Kindermusik song:
Skinnamarink

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
Snowflakes are falling – from Hello Weather.  I just LOVE the look of sheer delight on the children’s faces, when they open their eyes and find that snowflakes have fallen on them and all around the room!

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
My proudest moment was when a child who had spent four lessons burying her face in her mother’s bosom, too shy to participate , suddenly came “alive” and started taking part in everything.  She was my Kindermusik star!

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
The children have taught me to expect the unexpected.  Never rely on a “plan” because your plan can go haywire in a split second. I have learned to stay centered and calm in the midst of chaos!!

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
When introducing Bach to my ABC Music and Me class, I said that Bach had died many years ago.  One little girl asked me “Did he go to heaven?”  to which I replied, I am sure he did as he wrote such beautiful music!

The reason you teach:
There is nothing that gives me greater joy than to bring the joy of  music into the lives of so many children.  I found Kindermusik late in life, after spending 40 boring, unproductive years in an Administrative position.  I am very grateful that I have been able to follow my dream and that I am still fit and healthy and, at my age, am able to crawl around the room like a caterpillar, or flutter like a butterfly!  The children make me come alive and I consider them part of my family.

Meet a Kindermusik educator: Peggy Durbin

Each week we feature a randomly selected Kindermusik educator from around the world. This week, meet Peggy!

Name:
Peggy Durbin

Location:
Columbia, MD 21042

Studio name and link:
Kindermusik with Peggy Durbin
www.makingmusik.com/peggydurbin

Number of years you’ve taught Kindermusik:
16

Describe yourself in five words or less:
Dedicated, Dependable, Organized, Positive & Easy-Going

Favorite Kindermusik song:
Walk & Stop – so simple, effective and adaptable

Favorite Kindermusik activity, and why:
I love Roll Over, Rover. Adults lose their inhibitions about being in a class with new people and just focus on having fun with their children.  Children love it when adults are playful and engaged.

A proud moment in a Kindermusik classroom:
My proudest moments are when families enroll their second, third or fourth child.  That shows me that they value the experience so much that they must provide it for all of their children.

Something your Kindermusik children or families have taught you (could be inspirational, humorous, practical, etc.):
A Kindermusik mother of a newborn child told me that her child stopped nursing when the music stopped in the Jasmine Flower song!  What a great example that even the youngest child learns from the experiences in a Kindermusik classroom.

Something funny a child has said or done in your classroom:
Often parents will initially express concern that their child may not participate when visiting a free class.  I love it when the child leaves mom or dad’s lap to sit with me during the class!

The reason you teach:
Young children energize me!  I love introducing the world to them through music and movement.  Not only is it enriching to the children, but it also opens the eyes of many parents on how to interact and play with their children.  Play is how young children learn!

Kindermusik educators in the (well deserved) spotlight

At Kindermusik International, nothing makes us happier than to see our super talented Kindermusik educators spotlighted in news stories or with awards. When you put a Kindermusik educator in the spotlight, her passion for music, love of children, and dedication always shine.

  • In the UK, educator Suzanne Dunn’s Tuneful Tots studio was recently recognized with three What’s On 4 Little Ones awards.
  • Michigan educator Laura Blanchard’s Kindermusik program was called a Best Kept Secret in the Tri-County Times. With stories like this, her program won’t be a secret for much longer!

Congrats to both Suzanne and Laura on this well deserved recognition!


 

Thanks to Kindermusik educator Theresa Case for contributing to this post. Theresa’s Kindermusik program, Kindermusik at Piano Central Studios, is in the top 1% of all programs in the world.