After that week of training with master teacher, Linda Robinson, I knew I wanted to teach Kindermusik. I returned to Berry and approached the music department chair, Darwin White. He was willing to sponsor a program. He allowed me to use a room on 3rd floor (now referred to as the Kindermusik room), that was used for several college classes and filled with desks & music stands. I purchased a smathering of essential instruments and was ready to teach. But, I needed students. This was July and I wanted a class in September.
How would I fill a class in such a short amount of time? The answer was at the Child Development Center (CDC) of Berry College. The CDC is a preschool for children ages 3 - 5. I approached Mrs. Chambers, the director of the CDC about the possibility of offering Kindermusik to students at the preschool. She liked the idea, and we formulated a plan. The CDC would transport children on Thursday mornings to the Ford complex and we would have our very first class. There were nine children that were interested in participating. On Thursday mornings, one of the teachers - Mrs. Hoge - would gather children onto the blue Berry van (the children called it the blueberry van!) and drive to Ford. Since parental participation is important in the Kindermusik program we had parents who would join our class at 11:45 for the sharing time.
It was that first year partnership with the CDC that helped the program take-off. The 2nd year I had three of the nine continue and finish the Young Child curriculum. I was able to offer a summer camp the following year and build from there. In 1989 I had one child, but had my 2nd child in 1990. It was a busy year! On a side note, the summer of 1990 I had a teen babysitter that would come to my house and keep Aaron & Alyssa. Alyssa was a nursing infant and didn't like taking a bottle. I would often leave Stephanye with a crying baby and an active toddler. Stephanye is now a seasoned mom and brings her kids to Kindermusik. It's a full circle, and I love it.
The photo here is not from the very beginning, but when we first started offering classes for toddlers. The class was called Kindermusik Beginnings! The boy in the photo, Andrew, is probably a sophomore or junior in high school!