Lovingly known as “Nessa” or “Banessa” around Hive Creative Studios, Vanessa Lynch has been bringing the joy of Kindermusik to families and children in gorgeous New South Wales in Australia since 2011. Her families know her to be creative, generous, and hard-working, and it shows in Vanessa’s passion to use music education to inspire confidence, intelligence, and creativity in children of all ages at Hive. Visit Hive, and you’ll immediately understand why kids and families thrive at Hive! When Vanessa isn’t working on her studio, she loves cooking and kayaking on the lake with her family.
*Note from Theresa: Can you “hear” the Australian? We kept all of the Aussie spelling so that you could!
TC: Why did you open your business?
VL: That’s a long story! I’ll try to be brief. Back when I was studying at uni (university) to be a high school music teacher, I completed an honours thesis on the value and importance of music education in schools. Whilst studying this topic, I discovered so much research on the importance of music in early childhood.
That stuck with me through the first few years of high school music teaching. It niggled in my mind as I taught classes of 30 teens who couldn’t care less about music class, and had no musical ability. I realised the futility of our education system for music and the arts – children in the early years were missing out completely on any musical training, but kids in high school who were way past the ideal learning years were being made to learn keyboard and singing when they didn’t want to!
I found a job teaching in London primary schools where I taught the nursery kids right up to 12-year-olds. As a 22-year-old, I was captivated by the openness to learning and the natural aptitude to learn music that I saw in the 2-7 year-olds. At that point I began to think about teaching early childhood music, and writing my own program.
Fast forward 8 years, and I had finished having my own family and was ready to enter the workforce, or rather thrust back into the workforce as my Hubby wanted to go back to uni.
It was just a perfectly natural thing for me to open my own business teaching early childhood music rather than look for work in schools. I was fortunate enough to stumble across Kindermusik in my web searches, and the rest is history!
TC: What do you feel has made your studio business a success?
VL: Making the Kindermusik program ‘work’ in the culture of my community. Putting myself into the teaching so that the class experience comes to life like an art form, changing and refining my approach to teaching until it’s exactly what my clients want and need.
TC: What’s your favorite Kindermusik song to sing?
VL: I really enjoy the quality jazz style songs, like Turn, Cinnamon, Turn and Whistle While You Work.
TC: What’s your favorite Kindermusik dance to lead?
VL: The funny techno version of Wheels on the Bus on Zoom Baby! It makes us all laugh and the babies love it.
TC: What do you love most about being a Kindermusik educator?
VL: The sense of community and the satisfaction of sowing goodness, and artistic ability into people’s lives.
TC: If you had to name just one secret to success in the Kindermusik classroom, what would it be?
VL: If something isn’t working, change your approach – don’t complain or blame.
TC: What’s the funniest OR most touching thing that’s ever happened to you as a Kindermusik teacher?
VL: I teach my best friend’s daughter which is really special. When she was 2 years old, one day she climbed into my lap while I was teaching, and all of a sudden she realised that she was now the teacher! And she started commanding the whole class – echoing everything I said and calling out instructions to them all. Everyone dissolved into giggles! :)
“I love the sense of satisfaction in working with a child from birth up to school age and watching their talent grow and blossom.”Vanessa Lynch
TC: Describe a teaching experience or favorite Kindermusik family that has impacted you as a teacher.
VL: One special family joined Kindermusik in my 2nd term of teaching. I only had a tiny collection of instruments and was really experimenting every week in the lessons to find the best way to teach (not easy after high school teaching!). She was so patient and lovely, and would make pointed, but kind suggestions every week that helped me to start making the Kindermusik program work for the kids I was teaching, rather than just ‘delivering’ the lesson. She brought both of her children to us until they started school, and I have always been grateful to her for sticking with me in those early years.
TC: If you could share one tip with a new Kindermusik educator, what would it be?
VL: Start teaching Kindermusik because you love investing in people. When you feel frustrated by families in your classes, think about how you can change your approach, and as you do, it will change the families and grow your business.
TC: What’s something new and exciting that’s happening with your business, or a goal you have set for your business?
VL: Oooooh right now I am very excited! We have just released our newest program at Hive called ‘Bee-School’ – a Creative alternative to Pre-School’ (all our programs are named to do with Bees). It’s a 3.5 hour drop off program that will include a full Kindermusik class, followed by an art, drama and Spanish class. I can’t wait to see how this goes, and we have loads of interest from the community. We don’t have any half-day childcare centres in our city, and we want to make the arts more accessible to families, so this is an exciting new concept for our community.
TC: What do you love most about being a Kindermusik educator?
VL: I love the sense of satisfaction in working with a child from birth up to school age and watching their talent grow and blossom. It’s exciting to see the potential that develops in each child.
TC: What makes your studio such a special place?
VL: It’s a happy place where every person is valued and treated with kindness and respect, and in return our staff are treated with kindness and respect by each other and by all of the clients. There are very few businesses around where kindness and respect for each other, and care for people over and above profit are normal everyday occurrences.