Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A New Year ... Perhaps a New Career?








I love the beginning of the New Year - the reflection it invites and the dreams and goals it generates. I feel so fortunate that I focus my time and energy helping Kindermusik educators develop as masterful teachers and successful business owners who make a profound and joyful difference in the lives of children and families in their communities. I reflect on the thousands and thousands of families who sang, danced, cuddled and played in a supportive Kindermusik community this year – a bright spot in the midst of turbulent times. My goals for the coming year are to support current educators in doing their best work and to make becoming a Kindermusik educator easy and rewarding. The world desperately needs and wants the very contribution Kindermusik educators offer: growth, learning, bonding, community, support, and fun. My dream is to change the world….one child, one family, one hug, one song at a time. Kindermusik is my path. I hope it will become yours.


by Carol Penney
Director of Education

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Partnership of Kindermusik Educators = true friendship


The Partnership of Kindermusik Educators or the PKE is not just an educational association that supports your professional goals but a group of individuals that are rooting for your success in business and in life.

Running a Kindermusik business has many facets. Not only are we trying to be the best possible educator we can but we are tasked to be a sales person, a business manager, an accountant, a buyer, a web designer, a marketing department, and more! Having a partnership of educators who understands your challenges, supports your endeavors and celebrates your accomplishments is profound.

Kindermusik Educators do not compete with one another, rather we rejoice in the successes of others. There is plenty of children and families who love them for everyone to thrive, and it feels great to be a part of a larger community of professionals who all share the same goal.

In my community, two educators, Allison and Karla are both expecting babies this winter. Karla, is expecting TWINS! She had to cut back on her teaching hours as her pregnancy progressed, and Allison, stepped in to help finish teaching her final classes before the babies were born. Now, they are both getting support from a third Kindermusik educator, Deb, who will be covering their teaching until they are both ready to return to the class room. Three new Kindermusik babies are snug at home, many families around them continue to receive the benefits of Kindermusik each week and we as a community of educators are uplifted by the cooperation of these three.

There are countless examples of educators sharing their time and talents with their colleagues. There is a website that is based completely on the idea of sharing ideas, tips, hints, material, instruments, and moral support. There is a grass roots association where a new educator can find support locally, on the state, regional and international levels.

The Partnership of Kindermusik Educators has been called many things in the past, but this is the name that truly speaks its mission, to be a PARTNER to all Kindermusik educators around the world.

by: Helen Peterson
Advisor of Communication for The PKE Board


Monday, November 10, 2008

Becoming a Kindermusik educator is well within YOUR reach! – A few more things.




Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been discussing what it takes to become a Kindermusik educator. We’ve already covered the musical must haves, how training works and what it means to operate your own Kindermusik business. Here are a few other things you may not know:

· You must maintain a valid email address and internet access during training and after you begin teaching. This allows you to complete Kindermusik training and fully benefit from the support, personal communication and teaching tools the Kindermusik community provides.
·It’s required that every family enrolled in Kindermusik purchase from you a set of Kindermusik At-Home Materials. You buy the materials from KI and resale them to your participants.
· You must use the Kindermusik materials exclusively for Kindermusik classes. These specially designed lesson plans and recordings are not to be used in other instructional settings.
*You should adhere to your Kindermusik License Agreement. You'll get a copy of this during training but if you would like to read it before hand, let us know. We'll be glad to send you an email copy.

If you're still reading this, you must have what it takes. Owning your own business and doing something you love is only a phone call away. One of our recruiting specialist would love to help you make your dream a reality. Call us today at 888-442-4453.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Becoming a Kindermusik educator is well within YOUR reach! –training and what it means to own your own business.

If you’ve visited the blog lately you know we’ve been doing a little “Q &A.” We want you to know how simple it is to get started with your own Kindermusik business. This week we’re gonna talk about how training works and what having your own business means.

Q: How long is the training and where does it take place?

A: Training is completely online and takes 8 to 10 weeks to complete. If you have the time you can expedite your experience by working ahead. This allows you to complete the training faster so you can get started ASAP. Keep in mind, that in addition to studying and quizzes, there are three chat sessions and one conference call. These events are the only scheduled activities besides your vocal review and are planned and facilitated by your mentor. These meetings usually happen after 9:00 pm EST to accommodate different time zones and attendance is required.

Q: This will be my own business? What does that mean?

A: Kindermusik is a business opportunity. That means this will be your own business. YOU choose when, where, and what you teach. You also choose what to charge and since KI isn’t a franchise we don’t take a percentage of your earnings. But don’t let that idea overwhelm you, there’s a portion of the Fundamentals Training Class refereed to as Business Basics. This portion of class will cover how to get started, set your fees and provides tips and ideas for marketing and running your business successfully

If the opportunity of learning new things and incorporating your love of business and music excites you, call us today. 888-442-4453. We’d love to talk further with you about all the possibilities Kindermusik has for you.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Becoming a Kindermusik educator is well within YOUR reach! – The musical “must haves”


You’ve been to http://www.kindermusik.com/ and are familiar with what Kindermusik is and are aware that you need to complete a training class that cost $399. Now you're wondering “What’s next?” Great question!

We’ll spend the next couple of posts doing a little “Q &A” so you can see how simple it is to get started with your own Kindermusik business.

Let’s start with the musical “must haves.”



Q: I don’t have a music degree. Can I still teach Kindermusik?

A: While a music degree is not required; you must pass a vocal review and feel comfortable enough with your singing abilities that you can lead a class without instrumental music.



Q: OK, what’s a “vocal review?”

A: The vocal review involves you memorizing and singing several assigned songs to your mentor, over the phone in order to become a licensed Kindermusik Educator. We aren’t looking for opera divas but the ability to match pitch and keep a steady rhythm is a necessity.

If you’ve got what it takes or have more questions about what we expect from you musically give us a call. 888-442-4453. We’d love to answer your questions and help you get started today.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Here, There, and Everywhere


Did you know that there are limitless options of locations to hold Kindermusik classes in your community? Unlike franchises or businesses with rigid specifications, each Kindermusik teacher can choose the place or places where they teach.

Possibilities include:

Music/performing arts schools
Dance/music/martial arts studios
Churches/synagogues/temples
Home studios
Enrichment /educational centers
Recreation/community centers
Gyms/fitness centers
Colleges/universities
Assisted living/senior centers
Park programs
Children’s museums
Preschools/daycares
Libraries

Existing businesses are typically receptive to offering their facilities, since they will reap the benefits of new families coming in their doors. This is especially true because many locations cater to school-age children and are vacant during the day. The online Fundamentals of Kindermusik training provides detailed instruction and business tools to find and secure the location that would work best for you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Be Bold... Your Life's Best Work Awaits You!


If you’re reading this blog posting, it most likely means that you’re eager to learn a bit more about Kindermusik and the Kindermusik opportunity. This could be the day that you join thousands of Kindermusik educators all over the globe who transform children’s lives with music each and every day. With our online training program, you’ll find becoming a licensed Kindermusik educator is a breeze – you learn online from home at the times that work best for you – AND – you will have an experienced Kindermusik educator who will mentor you all along the way. We know that being new isn’t always easy, and it is our goal to make it as easy as possible for you as you begin your Kindermusik journey.

Nurturing children with music is a fabulous accomplishment for which our 5,000 educators in the United States and in 63+ other countries are so very proud. I encourage you to join the Kindermusik team today – this is an extraordinary opportunity for you where you can build your own successful Kindermusik program while sharing the gift of music with the children in your area.

Be inspired – take the bold step today in becoming a Kindermusik educator. I know I’ve found my life’s best work here at Kindermusik, and I’m convinced that you will as well.

Musically yours,
Michael Dougherty
Chairman and CEO
Kindermusik International

Monday, September 8, 2008

Kindermusk Is All About Community

We are a global community of educators, parents, and employee-owners who are passionately committed to bringing the gift of music to children world-wide.

2008 is the year we celebrate 30 years of excellence, and sharing this magical, musical learning experience with 1.5 million children and their families in 66 countries.

Teachers from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Philippines, South Korea, Italy, Dubai, and all around the world, will converge on Raleigh, NC the week of November 5th – 8th for the annual Kindermusik convention. It is an experience like none other.

Enjoy the video footage from a previous Kindermusik convention and visit us at kiconvention.blogspot.com to get a feel for the fun, fellowship, and educational opportunities that will be available to all who attend.

Highlights are below:

Connect with educators who share your passion and challenges in reaching and teaching children with music.

Learn from industry experts on best practices in the classroom, customer loyalty, and more!

From Village, to Family Time, to ABC – learn educator’s most successful practices.

Get to know Kindermusik’s fun, friendly, and knowledgeable staff.

Experience the power and joy of hundreds of Kindermusik educators from around the world coming together to celebrate!


… It’s just another great reason to consider becoming a licensed Kindermusik educator today.

video

Monday, August 18, 2008

A Good Beginning Never Ends


A Good Beginning Never Ends

Since this is Kindermusik’s 30th year in business, we are finding a number of parents who took Kindermusik classes themselves as a child. One such parent is Eddie M., a native of Greensboro, NC. He fondly remembers his mom taking him to Kindermusik at Greensboro College in the 1970’s. He learned to read music while participating in the Kindermusik for the Young Child class for 5 to 7 year olds, and went on to play the piano and recorder. More importantly, he gained an overall appreciation for music and its effect on his everyday life and decided that if he ever had kids he would want them to benefit from the Kindermusik experience.

True to his word, years later Eddie enrolled his daughter Madeleine in Kindermusik classes so she could have the same “hands on” experience with music that has stayed with him throughout his life. He kept his glockenspiel and books from his own class, so when Madeleine advanced to the Kindermusik for the Young Child curriculum they were able to play music together. By carrying on this tradition, Eddie is a great example of Kindermusik being a good beginning that never ends.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Joy and Magic Continues


I often think back to a choice I made 26 years ago. I enrolled in the Kindermusik training course and in the Fall of 1982, taught my first Kindermusik class. It changed everything. I had always been passionate about teaching, about children, about music, yet never imagined I could put them together as my vocation. I had enjoyed many jobs such as teaching public and private school, but I never imagined the joy and magic I would experience teaching Kindermusik to preschoolers. 26 years later, I am still passionate about teaching, about children, about music, and I am still reaping the rewards (and hugs) that come with changing the lives of children and families through Kindermusik. My dream is that others can experience the same joy and magic and look forward to 26+ years of a career that’s aligned with passion and makes a huge difference in the world.

Carol Penney
Director of Education
Kindermusik International

Monday, August 11, 2008

Not ready to go back to work?


Before having children you enjoyed your job, you paid a lot for that college education and you were passionate about your career. Now you are a mother and your baby will only be a baby for so long. The question “Do I really want to go back to work?” comes up over and over. That’s a struggle for most mothers. You want a career, you enjoy having adult interaction, you want to continue to pursue the things you love and having a second income is a necessity but, you want the time with your children more. Consider teaching Kindermusik.

Kindermusik enables many women to pursue the musical careers they love and spend precious time with their children. Kindermusik allows you to combine your two passions, music and family and helps you make that extra money you need. With a flexible schedule you create, you are able to make soccer games, trips to the grocery store and have time to spend with your family and friends while having a career you enjoy. If you are interested in teaching music and staying home with your kids, let us know. We would love to help you not have to compromise your career or your time with your babies.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Kindermusik Community



This was an article that was published in the latest issue of E-Notes which is a publication that goes out to all licensed Kindermusik teachers around the world.

Educator Article: A Kindermusik Community by Mary DiCesare

Kindermusik Community

One of the most important things I experienced from this first year of teaching was the beauty of the Kindermusik community created over the course of the semester. Initially, I had prepared a "Class Policies" sheet that included gentle language culled from many other Class Policy forms I had viewed at various websites online. It seemed that all of them included a reference to parents not talking during class. Some were worded more harshly then others, but they all included the "no talking" rule in one form or another. So I included it in mine and was prepared to enforce it as needed.

After three or four classes, however, I soon came to see and appreciate the need to allow a little informality here and there throughout the class for talking, as it was the path to communing and creating a beautiful place to be. I was particularly taken with my Village classes. As I observed the moms bonding, the friendships forming, the laughter, smiles, and overall relaxed atmosphere, I came to appreciate what was happening on many levels. I got to know the parents (and grandparents) in my Village class and began to learn the many different reasons these parents had come to Kindermusik Village. As I learned the different goals and expectations of my parents, I became more aware of my role as facilitator, realizing that there was a careful balance I needed to maintain.

I have many new mothers, with their first baby, who are looking to connect with other mothers. I hear them talking with the more experienced moms about bits of behavior that puzzle them or health related topics, only to be reassured that that's normal, or to be given a piece of advice to try. I hear these same new mothers relating with the other new mothers about how hard it is to be at home alone with an infant all day, or how hard it is to get out of the house and get anywhere on time.

Several of my new moms work at a local bio-tech company known for its long hours, but flexibility for family. I had these new mothers join during their maternity leave and then continue with me after they had gone back to work, having made arrangements to take this morning hour as their "lunch" hour to attend Village with their infant. I see how valuable and meaningful this 45-minute class is for them to be with their baby for this precious bonding time. I also see how eager they are to connect with other moms who have same age children. This is an opportunity for them to leave the very "adults only" work world and be part of the very child-centered stay-at-home moms' world.

I have many stay-at-home moms. Several attend with friends they are already very familiar with and they look forward to seeing each other each week. Often these moms have several children and are running in many directions each day, making it hard to always see their friends. This class gives them that time to look forward to. These same moms find it hard to get "uninterrupted" bonding time with their new infant because so often schedules and activities are based upon the older siblings, and the newest family addition gets taken along to the older siblings sports, music, scouts, etc. These moms are really happy to find a special activity appropriate for their new baby and that one-on-one time they have been craving with this infant.

One of my moms last year had four children, the last two being twins. She told me that someone had given her advice while she was still pregnant to be sure to schedule one activity alone with each twin. One of the activities she chose was Village. The first 8-week session she brought one of her twin boys. The second 8-week session she brought the other twin, so that they both enjoyed the benefits of Kindermusik. While she was telling me this story, another mother joined in to tell her that she also had twins, now full grown, and that that was wonderful advice, encouraging her to continue giving each of the twins his own one-on-one time with mommy.

I also had new moms who had recently moved to the neighborhood and were able to make new friends in my classes. I watched as week after week they grew to know each other and began making plans to get together outside of class. Having moved myself to California from New York, and having my first child that first year here, I could really appreciate those connections that were happening.

There was only one time when I felt the need to include a note in my weekly e-newsletter reminding parents to be sensitive to talking so that everyone is able to participate in singing and are able to hear the Foundations of Learning. It was during this class that I became aware of the community we had created. Rather than be upset that too much talking was going on, it made me aware of how much these parents were enjoying themselves! However, I did see one or two of the newer moms straining to hear my FOLs so I felt the need for a reminder. It seemed to do the trick. Usually, though, the chatter occurs at the start and end of class, and during transitions such as object exploration or instrument play.

Overall, I feel the experiences of my first Village classes have made me more aware of my role as facilitator to create a well-balanced environment where one-on-one bonding time is respected and protected, while still fulfilling the adults' need for support and friendship. Getting to know parents on a personal level, and utilizing the new Kindermusik Loyalty Survey, will provide me with candid on-going feedback as that classroom experience will change with each new class semester. Using both approaches provides parents the opportunity to give me direct feedback face-to-face, or anonymously through the survey.

I am located in an area where Word-of-Mouth has an enormous impact on local business. Knowing what my parents want and using their feedback to improve my own skills as a facilitator will help me to grow professionally, retain families, and gain a competitive edge through referrals.

Monday, August 4, 2008

BUREAUCRATIC BURNOUT!

Every day, our team has the privilege of speaking with women and men from all over the country who have a great degree of frustration because they are unable to use the gifts and talents that they have to share their passion and love of music with the children in their public school classrooms. Too much of their time is spent with designing lesson plans, monitoring test scores, classroom assessments, and shuffling the many mounds of paperwork required by their districts.

They chose a teaching career so that they could open a magical window of discovery for the children using music as the vehicle. What they find disappointing is that too little time is being spent in actually teaching and sharing this gift.

With Kindermusik, teachers have the opportunity to captivate the children and affirm their parents - with the extraordinary power of music.

In fact, Shawna Gordon of Lincoln, NE says "I am passionate about the power of music in a child's life. I believe I can make a difference with the children I reach by offering them an enriching and loving learning environment."

Few jobs will give you this kind of satisfaction.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Changing Lives with the Power of Music

For 30 years, Kindermusik has helped over a million children and their families discover how music can enrich their lives and lay the foundation for a lifetime love of learning. But the children, parents and teachers will sum it up in one word: Fun!



Babies as young as three months smile and babble as their parents rock and sway with them to the beat of the music. Toddlers light up as they guess the animals they hear on a recording and then proudly do their own imitations. And pre-schoolers giggle with delight as they flap their arms, pretending to be birds. From birth to seven years of age, children can grow with Kindermusik without the pressure to perform, just the encouragement to explore, express and discover.



Recognizing the primary role of parents, we involve them at every stage of the child's Kindermusik experience. Home Materials extend the fun and discovery of our classes to foster special times of connecting between parent and child. That's why more families are enrolled in Kindermusik classes than in any other early childhood music program in the world. To meet the growing demand, we're looking for the right people to join us.



Our educators say that teaching Kindermusik classes is the perfect blend of their love of children and their passion for music. Kindermusik educators have an incredible support system which empowers them to do the work they believe in with the freedom of being their own bosses.