The start of a school year is, at Music Connections, exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. For at least two weeks leading up to the start, my administrator and I often spend 12-14 hours a day preparing. With a small administrative staff of two, we are the “jack of all trades” – janitor, pack mules, authors, marketers, business-planners, bookkeepers, mentors, trainers, call center hosts, social networkers…..it’s exhausting!
And each year we, as a staff (currently of 7), adopt a theme for the year, searching our hearts and minds to set intentions for the year in a way that will best serve our Kindermusik families. This year our theme is “It’s all about…..” or, as each staff reflects for themselves: “What’s it All About ________?” (Ask YOUR parents to sing the popular song from my era “What’s it all about Alfie?”) We dig deep and try to rekindle what it is, for each of us, that fuels the fire of motivation to spend the long hours needed to do all the jobs before us. Some of the recurring filled-in blanks may not be what you’d expect. Yes, we’re “all about” music, of course. But even more, we are “all about” connections and relationships, and, well….kids, of course. With the image of kids comes joy, fun, engagement, and we take time, as we reflect, for a bit of that as well: “We’re all about the kids, ’bout the kids, ’bout the kids, no trouble! We’re sending out our love, but we get it back double! We’re all about the kids, ’bout the kids, no trouble, we’re all about the kids, ’bout the kids!”
To put it boldly, I believe we are the absolute best in early childhood music education. As I begin my 22nd year in Kindermusik, I feel confident in saying that! I want EVERYONE to know about what we do, and HOW we do it. I shared with some of my families this week that there are TWO things that distinguish us from other programs “out there:” First is that we are the only fully researched and ever-developing program; our curriculum was written, originally, not ONLY with musicians, but speech-language pathologists, child psychologists, movement specialists, and early childhood experts, and it is currently taken “back to the drawing board” as new research leads us to grow and change our programming. What we did last year in class, is, frankly, different from what we are doing this year! UNIQUE! Secondly, our extensive, (also constantly evolving) home materials take our program beyond the walls of a once a week experience and into your home seven days per week! At home, with repetition, prompted by music tracks, stories, parent videos, activity ideas, your child begins to recall and extend his classroom learning, and YOU see it! Repetition yields strengthening of neural connections that grow brains, and growing brains and optimizing your little one’s development is what we do. We develop the finest of musicians, but we develop so much more in your little ones along the way.
After all the work on logistics and framing our hearts and minds, the kids arrive in class for another school year, which has just occurred this week. Instantly, all the work is forgotten, and the exhaustion turns to exhilaration as we, together, sing, dance, laugh and love. Love everyday is what we do at Music Connections. And I know of no other “J.O.B.” that can equal it. Blessed to serve children and families. That’s what “it’s all about!”