For more than a year, Carol Penney has been sharing her passion with young children and their parents with a monthly “playdate” at John P. Ciener Botanical Garden.
The longtime Kindermusik instructor continued hosting classes and special events like this one even after her retirement, and she recently shared her motivation in an interview with Scope News.
After leading a large group of kids through an action-packed session, Penney reflected on her own lifelong connection with music. Her father was a musician and she went on to become a music major in college.
“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” she added, noting that she expected to become a high school band director.
During her stint at a middle school, however, she realized that many of her students had no basis of knowledge about music, which prompted her to introduce even younger children to its importance. From there, she transitioned to an elementary school and eventually became involved with Kindermusik.
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The program originated in Germany and received some modifications for American kids. Penney became its director of education before entering semi-retirement a few years ago.
“It’s not just for music’s sake that we’re doing this,” she said, stressing that humans are born with an innate sense of melody as evidenced by an ability to recognize their mothers’ voices.
Penney went on to cite the benefits that music can have at the end of life, particularly among individuals with dementia who respond to music even when other stimuli elicit no such response.
She concluded: “Music is amazing because it affects every part of the brain.”
The next Kindermusik event at the botanical garden, 215 S. Main St., will be Feb. 27 at 10:30 a.m. Those interested in attending can click here to register.