Monday, December 19, 2011

Grow your business from home, build with heart

Congratulations Sarah Hames. The Kindermusik Educator has been licensed and teaching since 2001 and the story talks about how Sarah grew the business from her home studio, to a brick and mortar space in Friendswood, Texas. Take a look. For one Kindermusik teacher, giggles and hugs are just part of the job.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Connie Faria is blogging and teaching Kindermusik in the Middle East.

Connie holds a python. Yes. A python.
Connie Faria is putting away the GPS. For good. She's relied on the navigational device "far too much" to get around her new hometown in Abu Dhabi -- about an hour and a half from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The GPS is in the glovebox and the new intuitive Faria Positioning System -- or FPS -- will get her to the grocery store, to the library for story time, to her kid's new playgroups, and to teach Kindermusik.

It's easy to understand why Connie would need a little extra navigational help this year. It's her first time out of the United States. And the first time she's held a python snake (you can watch it here).

"The things I do for my kids!" Connie writes on her blog about the python experience, The Faria Five.

Once the family was settled in their new home, Connie says, she started getting a little antsy. That's one reason she started teaching Kindermusik again.

We talked with Connie, the blogger, mother, and Kindermusik Educator about how she got started teaching, and why she's coming back.

When did you start teaching Kindermusik?

I started taking classes in 2003 when my first child was 5 weeks old and loved it. After two years of classes (all the Village classes and starting on Our Time) - I decided that I could do it too.  I had mentioned it to the Educator and I became a Kindermusik Educator that year. I loved it!

I was teaching out of my home and loved the teaching part, I just didn’t like the marketing and drumming up business part. Teaching at a Montessori School fell in my lap and I taught there until December 2010, until they had some budget cuts and had to reluctantly let me go, which ended up working out since we found out about our move the Middle East in January and life got crazy for a while.

My husband works for the US Government and is currently working at the US Embassy. This is our first time overseas and my first time out of the country.

Musical background

I took piano lessons for 6 years as a child and sang in school choirs but never had any education/training beyond.  I volunteered as a Toddler and Preschool Storytime leader at our local library for 6 years and it was filled with song/rhymes and stories.  I really enjoyed that too, and I am actually starting storytimes at my children’s school in December (we don’t have public libraries here, but their school has a good library that school families can visit).  I have also volunteered in the classroom with both of my children since Kindergarten. But, no formal education/training in teaching (although my mom is a teacher).

Teaching Kindermusik again

After we moved to Abu Dhabi (about 1.5 hours from Dubai) I was busy with getting settled and figuring out how to live in a new country.  Then…I started getting antsy.  I made some inquries about Kindermusik and found a local educator ( and approached her about teaching.

I am teaching at preschool and my classes are ages 2-4 with several kids that barely understand English, but they respond well to music.  I need to modify actions for songs or some of what I say.  We might talk about Yummy Hummus or Yummy Lamb, as opposed to Yummy Apples and Yummy Peanut Butter.  I need to find ways to make things relevant for my audience.

I have taught the same class three times now and it’s always fun to see the kids come out of their shell a little more each time.  The teachers and aides LOVE the class and asked for copies of the lyrics last time so they could learn all the words.

Welcome back to Kindermusik Connie!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Natural Science

Patricia Kuhl is in the news again. The leading expert on language and author of "The Scientist in the Crib" received a French award for her work using highly scientific approaches to understand the highly scientific process babies use to learn language.

Kuhl talks more about it -- in her own endearing words -- in the above TEDTalks video.

Kuhl is a frequent speaker and internationally-recognized expert on the topic (she has her own wiki page for crying out loud). She has a way of making science sensible and relatable. Even still, every time I read a new research report, or discover another story about a scientific breakthrough on child development or parenting, something inside me goes, "Well, duh. Yea."

Some scientists literally go around the world to discover something that in the end, seems like common sense -- in retrospect. Hindsight is 20/20, right? Science and scientists use their intuitive skills to uncover the mystery of intuition.

In Kindermusik training, we learn about the science driving a parent's natural instinct to care for their baby. We also learn about the child's developmental process, so we can match the right activities to nurture and challenge those developmental milestones.

Kindermusik makes the science of parenting, sensible. Natural.

Photo by Motorito
The result for Educators is a deeper understanding of what's happening between a care-giver and a child. It's a beautiful thing to watch grandpa play "Got your nose" with his grandson. And in Kindermusik training, we learn the natural science behind this endearing moment: Grandpa has just doubled the child's chances of learning the word "nose" because he said the word when he grabbed that cute little nose. And sitting in the arms of a loving grandfather, the chances of a child remembering that word just rose exponentially.

Not duh, but "awe." As in "awww, isn't that cute?" And "awe," as in amazing.

Some parents have a "knowing" about their parenting. Some parents want more information. In Kindermusik classes, we nurture both. We can speak to both types of learning parents.

It's a natural science.