Lovingly known as Miss Louise by all and adorably called “Miss Moo-eeze” by some, Louise MacDonald has been bringing Kindermusik into the hearts and lives of children and families in Novia Scotia since 2003 when she became a licensed educator. She started her own Kindermusik business in the basement of her home 2005, but quickly outgrew the space. The name Joyful Sounds Music Studio was born in 2011, and her permanent studio location was developed in 2013. We join with Louise in celebrating a large expansion that she is opening in September of 2017!
TC: Why did you first open your studio business?
LM: I have always been passionate about sharing my love of music with others. I know the positive impact music teachers had on my life as a child and youth, and I knew there was a need in the community and the timing felt right. I left my permanent teaching position as a public school music teacher and took a leap of faith, and I have never looked back.
TC: What’s something new and exciting that’s happening with your business, or a goal you have set for your business?
LM: Our studio is going through a massive growth year. We have just taken on 2000 extra square feet in our current commercial location. We will be offering more classes and lessons than ever before, and growing our incredible team. Everything is slated to be up and running in September, so we’ve got a very busy summer ahead of us!
TC: You are active not only in your own local community, but also in the Kindermusik educator community as well. Tell us a little about your involvement in both.
LM: I am currently sitting on the PKE Board (new name to be announced at conference!), I Lead the Children’s Liturgy program at my church, I volunteer at school when I can.
TC: If you could share one tip with a new Kindermusik educator, what would it be?
LM: Be Yourself! Know from the beginning WHY you are teaching Kindermusik, and then share that passion. Make every class a memorable one. Prep, prep, prep – it makes you the BEST educator!
TC: Without a doubt, you have taken your own advice to heart!
TC: This is always such a fun question to ask since we Kindermusik educators have 1000 (or more!) songs in our heads. What’s your favorite Kindermusik song to sing?
LM: My all-time favorite is Butterfly Wings. Right now at home, it’s the Hello-Lah song since my two-year old is obsessed with it.
TC: So now I have to know this, too. What is your favorite Kindermusik dance to lead?!
LM: Definitely Sail Away and Mama Paquita!
TC: What do you love most about being a Kindermusik educator?
LM: That my cheeks get sore from smiling when I am teaching. There is so much joy in every single class. I am so blessed to do what I do.
TC: If you had to name just one secret to your success in the Kindermusik classroom, what would it be?
LM: I find that when I am the best prepared for teaching the class, when my lesson plan is ready and my props are organized, then the magic can happen because I can be truly present with the children and the families. We can enjoy the time together playing, dancing and singing.
TC: I learn so much when I ask this question, so I hope you don’t mind. How do your Kindermusik or families describe you?
LM: Joyful, Special, Engaging, Personal, Caring, Amazing, Friendly, Loving.
TC: I couldn’t agree more!
TC: Describe some of the ways your experiences with your Kindermusik families have impacted you as an individual and a teacher.
LM: There have been many amazing families over the years that have impacted me as a teacher. I have received the most amazing cards and letters reminding me that what we are doing is making a difference in these families. I have seen families go through hard times, beautiful times, and I am blessed to be able to provide a place for them to have a musical outlet and community feeling.
TC: What do you feel has made your studio business such a success?
LM: I think my amazing team of educators and staff, and our dedication to putting the families first has made us a success. We are committed to valuing each student, to nurturing them as musicians and people, and igniting the passion of music in their bodies. We hear time and again that we are personal, caring and providing high quality music education to our community.
TC: When you’re not at the studio, what are some of your hobbies?
LM: I love to go camping with my family and spend time at the beach. Our summer is short and we try to make the most of it. In the winter, I love playing ice hockey on a local women’s team (yes, typical Canadian!). Right now with three small children, that’s about all the time I get for hobbies, and that’s perfectly okay. My husband V.J. and I are enjoying watching our children Cormac 8, Breton 5 and Flora 2 grow into sweet people. It is a beautiful life.
TC: What is your favorite inspirational quote?
LM: I’m not sure it’s very inspirational, but it certainly has kept me grounded for many years now. “Worries are like bedcrumbs – the more you wiggle, the more they scratch.”
TC: What’s something about being in the Kindermusik classroom that’s especially touching for you as a Kindermusik teacher?
LM: The most touching for me is every time a baby takes their first steps at Kindermusik class. I absolutely LOVE watching the parent experience that moment for the first time, and the celebration from the class that then happens. It never gets old. Being a part of the milestones that occur each week – from a child rolling over to a child learning how to play a tune on the glockenspiel. The learning that goes on fills my soul.
Shared by Theresa Case who has an award-winning Kindermusik program at Piano Central Studios in Greenville, South Carolina.