Friday, October 16, 2009

Kindermusik's official blog has moved!

The official Kindermusik blog has moved here:

Starting my career at Kindermusik after the infamous Molly McGinn had already left, I never had the pleasure of working with her. Of course, her name is still used around the Kindermusik universe with great reverence. We recently tracked her down and asked for access to this blog so there wouldn't be any confusion about where Kindermusik's "official" blog lives.

On arriving here I find that Molly had racked up 606 posts in the time she maintained this blog. That's astounding and jaw-droppingly impressive. Some of the content is silly, some informative, some random, some laser focused. All of it's valuable, and I'm glad it lives on on the web.

To keep up with the latest and greatest at Kindermusik and the world of music and childhood development, please come join us at Minds on Music. We'll have contributions from educators, Kindermusik employee-owners, and guest writers. Thanks. Hope to see you there.
Kindermusik International

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Making way for the new

I've been trying to figure out how to write this post for about 4 weeks now. "This post" being my last post to "we are kindermusik" as its official owner. 

February 1 was my last day at Kindermusik. In recent months it's become clear that it was time to move on. The goal, the hope moving forward, is to start my own online media company and pursue the whimsical notions that you instill into a child's heart and mind every day: music. 

However, Careyanne Deyo will pick up where I left off. And if you don't know Careyanne, you will, and you'll come to love her. 

I could talk about her as a colleague, but that wouldn't describe her. You have to describe Caryeanne as a friend. She's the one who always shows up when she says she will. Speaks in a soft, but audible voice, that relaxes the everyday gnashing noises of the world and makes you grateful for the quiet. Her creativity is persistent, and her heart and mind work together for the Kindermusik Educator. She's also a great supporter of the arts, having recently relocated to New York City so that her very talented husband, Tony Deyo, can be closer to the craft and career he loves as comic writer and performer. 

In the coming days, I'll post more information about where you can find the new and improved Kindermusik blog. 

Whether or not it can be dismantled and played like a symphony orchestra .... well. Maybe.

Thank you all for your support, your interest, and what you do every day for Kindermusik, music and education, families and their children. Kindermusik taught me to love music again, and I wouldn't be where I'm going now, if I hadn't experienced it.

Music is happiness.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The safest thing you can do is take risks

Seth Godin shares the importance of taking nurturing curiosity.

Thank you Sean. Via Bob Lefsetz.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Screen shots

Merri asked the other day how to capture the image from the network program. Here are a few directions on taking screen shots from my favorite little birdie, Sean.

on a pc, hit "ctrl" + "print screen", then go into a paint program and
paste it ("ctrl" + "v") into a new file. crop away.

with a mac, hit "command" + "shift" + "4" to get a screenshot cursor, drag
it around the area you want captured, let go (listen for the snapshot sound),
open the "Picture 1.png" file on the desktop and crop away.

Monday, January 28, 2008

What does your social network look like?

Epicurious HTML graph, originally uploaded by Noah Sussman.

I was mesmerized watching this illustration come together. Drop in your blog Url and have fun.

Is there a John Smith in your classroom?

Chicago Theatre #2, originally uploaded by R.A.M.O.N.E..

I've spent several Friday nights listening to the NPR radio program "This American Life." Many times the Chicago-based storytellers have kept me in the car listening for the full hour with a backseat full of melting groceries.

So when I got this email from a producer for the Showtime spin-off of the radio series, I wanted to help.

Producers are looking to do a series of life experience stories on the men named "John Smith."

Specifically, they'd like to know if there is a young John Smith in your Kindermusik classrooms to include in the story.

If there is a John Smith in your classroom, contact "This American Life" producers at 800-463-4505, or email

Here's more from Anna's email:

The idea of the show is to give a sense of what it¹s like to be living and working, growing up and growing old in America right now. We want to do that by talking to people of all different ages who just happen to be named John Smith.

We want to talk about the things that matter most -- jobs, loved
ones, homes, hopes, worries, fears, regrets and so on. We¹d like everyone in the story to be named John Smith because we want the stories to feel universal.

In particular, we're interested in the issues people are facing that are unique to their age. For instance, we'd love to find a young John Smith. Maybe a toddler about to take his first steps, or a child with
his first real bike. Or in the case of Kindermusik, a John Smith learning to speak and sing, move and dance!

To give you a better sense of who we are, here¹s a little background.

"This American Life" is a documentary series that airs on Showtime. The first season in Spring 2007 and we're currently at work on Season 2 which will air later this spring. The series was nominated for three Emmys last year, but it's a spin-off of a public radio program (also called This American Life) that has won most of the major journalism awards in the country, including the Peabody, duPont-Columbia, and Murrow awards.

For more information, please check out the website:

I don't know if there's even a single John Smith in the US who's enrolled in Kindermusik classes, but finding a real, live John Smith is harder than you'd think . . . So, we're trying to make our search as wide as possible!

We'd be thrilled to find a John Smith in the age range of newborn
through 7 years old.

Music is the language of learning

For the last five years, I've been looking for the words to describe why music is such an important presence in a child's early development.

There's the brain research, yes. Compelling, and interesting, however it's really gross to talk about a child's mind in terms of neural networks and neuron firing.

There's the scientific proof, yes. Studies previously performed on Kindermusik students show positive growth in intellectual and self-control behaviors. Still, some educators and experts can't be swayed by even the most convincing studies. I think it's just the way some people are wired.

For me, though, I finally yawped out a Eureka when I realized what preschool teachers have know all along.

Music is inherent to the methods used in early learning. Repetition, rhyme, exposure to patterns, and a variety of sounds are defining qualities of both music and early learning. That's likely why music and language share the same pathways in the brain.

That's why, to a child, music is the language of learning.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Who do you want to Jott?

Sean and I sat in on Seth Godin's web talk yesterday about his new book, Meatball Sundae. He talked about Jott, a web-based service where you call a phone number, leave a message, and the service will type the message, and send it to your email address, or your phone's text inbox.
I set up an account for myself, but had some trouble leaving a message. But, I was calling from my cell phone, which doesn't pick up sounds so well. And, the service is still in Beta.

Educator tip: Still .... there's an option to send your message to multiple addresses, or phone numbers. That's a quick, easy option if you need to send families a quick message, or reminder, when you're on the run. Might be worth playing around with a bit.