Thanks for the reminder!

I've been teaching for over 15 years now. It's a challenge. There are different learning styles to consider, various levels of understanding, and the challenge of keeping things interesting for my students. It's easy to get burnt out and forget that teaching offers so many rewards too. I love it when a student gains something from their studies that they would never have understood without my help. I love seeing the look of wonder and amazement in a young child's eyes as they open their mind to new concepts and ideas. It's amazing to think that I may play some small role in helping to form tomorrow's memorable, world changers.

During my time in the classroom, I am usually so consumed with my work that I don't get the chance to reflect on the learning as it takes place. This week, however, I was afforded a unique glance at that process. A mom in one of my Kindermusik classes graciously agreed to snap some photos during class while I taught. I sat and studied the photos when I got home, and I found myself thinking- thinking about the impact we have on others when we are completely unaware, thinking about how much thanks I owe to those who taught me and those who have taught my children, and thinking about how special my students are to me. I hope you take the time this week to thank those who have had a positive influence in your life and helped to shape the person you have become!

Meet me in Kindermusik!

I was sitting in traffic the other day, and I began to think about the car in front of me at the light. She was a single mom with two daughters. One daughter attended Randall Middle School . She enjoyed yoga and long distance running, and she lived in Fish Hawk Ranch. I knew all of this not from personal knowledge, but simply by reading all of the magnets and stickers on the back of her car. We are definitely a society that likes to connect with others through labels and interests. How else do you account for the massive success of websites like Pinterest, Meetup, and the like?
Connecting with those around us and feeling a part of something are important to your little ones as well. In fact, the Institute for Early Childhood Education and Research states, "a body of research has been building to suggest that there is a strong link between young children's socioemotional competence and their chances of early school success (Raver, 2002). In fact, studies demonstrated that social emotional knowledge has a critical role in improving children's academic performance and life long learning (Zins, Bloodworth, Weissberg, & Walberg, 2004)." As a parent, I tend to focus on activities that I believe will enhance academic success for my children. It's nice to be reminded that having fun in a group setting is important for their academic success as well! What kind of social activities have you enjoyed lately with your children? We are now enrolling in our Kindermusik classes! Click here for a free preview pass.

Featured Artist - Mister G

Mister G
After 20 years as a critically acclaimed singer/songwriter playing for grown-ups, Ben Gundersheimer (aka Mister G) burst onto the children's music scene with his debut CD, "Pizza for Breakfast." A former classroom teacher with a Masters in Education, Ben was dubbed Mister G by his elementary school students. His recent bilingual CD, "BUGS," has garnered rave reviews from music critics, educators, and national media.

Several of Mister G's environmentally-themed songs, "Mister Chubby Pants" and "Squirrels," have been made into videos. "Squirrels" was recently featured on national television,along with "Vamos a la Playa," which was filmed on location in Mexico and Colombia and highlighted as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Over the past several years, Mister G has performed for children in the US, Europe and Latin America. He's played to packed audiences in settings as diverse as the Children's Museum of Manhattan, the Coolidge Corner Theater, Horizons for Homeless Children, and
Atitlan Multicultural Academy in Guatemala. A riveting performer equally capable of captivating a 1000 people in a large theater or writing songs with a class of first-grade students, Mister G is a unique figure in the children's music world.

Featured Artist - Janie Next Door

Janie Next Door
is also known as musician, entertainer, singer, songwriter, Jane Christison. A graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, Jane is known for her Music With A Smile®, playing and singing many styles of music. She is the founder/owner of Music With A Smile Productions, LLC, which produces her CD's and videos,

Jane's newest musical venture is performing asJanie Next Door, playing live, Come Sing Along With Janie Next Door performances for children. These upbeat programs are getting rave reviews and include songs from her CD,"Come Sing Along With Janie Next Door," as well as some traditional children’s favorites. Audiences find themselves singing along, marching, clapping their hands and joining in on the fun.

Her smile and enthusiasm are contagious. Her original songs are so catchy that they'll stick in your head, and you won't want them to leave. You're sure to enjoy the music of Janie Next Door!