All the kids call me Ms. Debbie, ever since I started teaching in 1998. Even my own daughter does sometimes. Although I’m not from the SOUTH, I find it quite endearing. This is a little story of how Ms. Debbie came to be.
Sharing music with my family comes naturally. My mother LOVED to sing, and we sang together in the car, around campfires, and with our old vinyl albums at home. My mom & dad were your typical sock hop teenagers, and I learned to jitterbug, waltz, polka, and two step by the time I was 5 years old. I had to learn quickly so I could keep up with my dad’s feet.
To me, singing and music are a part of everyday life. I love to play the guitar while I sing, and I love to write songs about my family, friends, and issues that are important to me. And I love to learn songs that inspire and create a sense of well being.
My experiences in a variety of choirs, and my interest in psychology, led to a strong belief that music can have such a powerful impact on the lives of people every day. This led to further studies, and my BS degrees in Music Therapy AND Psychology from Utah State University. I initially focused on adolescents and adults, working for years in residential facilities for adults with disabilities.
But when I had my first child in 1995, the focus of my life changed, and I realized that my true calling was with children.
When I discovered Kindermusik, I was ecstatic. Because of the array of quality music, and how the activities are designed to encourage the child development process, I KNEW this was a wonderful opportunity for me and my child. I LOVED adding new songs and new activities to the repertoire of options that I could use with my son. (I had sung all the songs I already knew so much, that I truly needed some new material.)
As I learned more, I came to realize that Kindermusik was THE way to bring what I had learned from Music Therapy, and what Kindermusik has to offer about the power and process of music, to a wider population who can use it every day – families.
I have learned SOO MUCH MORE in the past 10 years of teaching Kindermusik. Kindermusik requires a rigorous training for each educator, and provides ongoing education (almost daily opportunities), and I have learned even more from the children and families in my classes.
I have seen the process of music: (these are just a few examples)
- help a shy child gain confidence, even to the point of becoming class leaders
- help an unstructured child learn to control their actions and be an active part of a structured environment, to take turns, to put their things away, to share with others, and more…
- help a minimally verbal child develop the skills to communicate much more effectively,
- and to help each child connect in new ways to their parents, as well as to others in their Kindermusik “family”.
I am so proud that both my children have been raised in Kindermusik. They are both confident and very musical. I’m such a proud mommy, I just have to share…
My son started Kindermusik when he was 18 months old, and was one of my first graduates from the Kindermusik for the Young Child program. Now he is 16 years old, and is quite proficient on the guitar, finger picking beautiful classical pieces, strumming chords and singing heartily to Bob Marley songs, and now he is learning the Blues. He is not interested in performing, but finds playing music as a way to de-stress from a long day of schoolwork. He likes to create his own melodies, one of which he played at our 25th wedding anniversary celebration !
Of course, my daughter started Kindermusik in utero. At three months, a fetus can hear, and I took full advantage of that, singing, playing the guitar, allowing the classical music to flow through my body. At two years old, she could sing all the words to over 20 songs. Now, at 8 years old, she sings all the time, and she is learning to play the piano. She has amazing audiation skills (picking out songs that she knows) and with the skills she gained in the Young Child program, she is pretty good at sight reading (although it is not her favorite). She likes it best when she has learned a pretty new piece, knows it in her head, and practices just to fine tune the flow and balance.
My husband of 25 years… well, he plays the stereo very well, and he is excellent at hooking up all my sound devices. Everyone has their own talents.
Everything in my life led me to teach Kindermusik, and I LOVE what I do, and I would love to share the power of music with you and your family.