Susan Eriksson says she occasionally breaks into song without realizing it. It’s a hazard of the job for the music teacher and co-owner of KinderVillage Music in Cary.
“It’s such a great curriculum,” she said. “The songs stick with you.”
At KinderVillage, trained Kindermusik educators use music and movement to guide children as young as 3 months old in developmentally appropriate classes. KinderVillage was founded by Julia Cobley, who owns the business with her husband, Gerry, Eriksson and Janice Jensen.
The success of the studio depends on its staff, Jensen said.
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“You have to have fabulous teachers who have a passion and love for children,” Jensen said. “The kids come running in here with such enthusiasm.”
On Aug. 30, the studio will mark its 25th anniversary with a joint celebration with Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre, which is celebrating 15 years.
The It’s a Small World event will be geared toward children with an instrument petting zoo, craft stations, face painting and performances from local cultural groups. The event, from 4 to 7 p.m. is free and open to the public. Past graduates of KinderVillage are also scheduled to perform.
Kindermusik classes are based in a whole-child philosophy. The younger students are accompanied by a parent or grandparent, who are an integral part of the class.
“The parent lifts the baby to the music and sings to the baby,” Jensen said. “They get to touch instruments and feel the texture of scarves on their face. There is a tactile component.
“It’s an incredibly rich curriculum. We want to give children a love for music and not make it something to be stressed about.”
Eriksson, who has a background in social work and early childhood development, says the key is flexibility.
“We have to think on our feet,” Eriksson said. “Children have different learning styles, and we have to be able to adapt.”
Jensen teaches piano and composition at the studio, which does not limit instruction to children.
“The adult group classes are so much fun,” she said. “It’s no-stress. The way the book is written, they barely have to practice at home. It offers the therapy of laughter, too.”
The piano room can accommodate group lessons for four to five students, making it ideal for home-schoolers, she said.
Guitar instruction has also been gaining in popularity.
“I call it the ‘Taylor Swift Syndrome,’” Eriksson said. “All the little girls want to play guitar like Taylor.”
KinderVillage representatives are active in the community, volunteering with children at the Governor Morehead School and performing at local events. KinderVillage and Julia Cobley have been recognized with Kindermusik Maestro status since its inception, for both teaching excellence and the scope of the program. Eriksson has been honored as a Maestro in Outreach.
Eriksson and Jensen credit Cobley with setting the stage for KinderVillage’s success.
“Julia is very persuasive,” Eriksson said. “She is all ideas.”
Cobley was given the 2015 Innovation Award for Small Business earlier this year by the Cary Chamber of Commerce.
“Julia has touched so many families over the years,” Jensen said.
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About KinderVillage Music
Location: 2425 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary
Contact: 919-467-4398; info@KinderVillage.com
Hours: Check class schedule. Classes offered Monday through Saturday.