At the last Kindermusik Conference, I was fortunate to meet Molly McGuinn, one of the staff at Kindermusik International. I just want to share with you the kind of philosophy and commitment that is prevalent at the headquarters of this company.
Molly has her own BLOG, which I frequent regularly, as it is filled with unique pictures, videos, and brief comments about Kindermusik, community outreach, and other very interesting topics. (If you liked my comments about Dr. John Rosemund, you will love hers.) In a comment on one of her posts, a coworker included an earlier response Molly had made to answer a question, and I had to share it with you. It’s a story, and a philosophy that bears repeating.
“When people ask where I work, I have no problem, in fact I am proud, to say Kindermusik. Then I usually follow it up by saying Kindermusik not only hired me, they “rescued” me.
I spent four years chasing a career in newspapers trying to balance the dream of being a journalist and a singer. It was almost impossible. Newsroom hours never end. There was little to no time for music and my inner creative spirit was withering like a little raisin. But I didn’t want to stop writing for newspapers. I believed and still believe in newspapers and the community purpose they serve. I didn’t think I could ever find a job with as much integrity—until I came to here.
Today, my life is totally different. My creative spirit is steadily recovering. Learning about the philosophies of the Kindermusik classroom has changed my life and I believe we’re changing the lives of the families who enroll in Kindermusik. Where newspapers strive to understand the problems in society that have already begun, Kindermusik strives to undo problems before they start, at the very beginning. We do this by helping families spend more time together, learn to love each other and find a balance in their lives, all through music.
We teach children music so they can become better learners. Not little Mozarts. We teach families how to spend time together. We show them the kind of things that grandparents would have passed onto their grandchildren, such as dancing around the maypole, or singing a song to wash the dishes, fall asleep, or ride an imaginary big, blue boat. So when these children grow into adults, they can use that great musical beginning to soothe and celebrate life when it’s needed most.
The same philosophy is true for this company. We’re all owners. So we treat each other with respect. Every employee has a coach who leads and mentors each one through their jobs. We’re encouraged to think creatively. Join community organizations and volunteer our time to local non-profit groups. We’re not only encouraged, we’re led by example:
• Our CFO started a round table discussion for CFOs in other Triad businesses, so they could discuss ways to stimulate the local economy.
• Our CEO coaches a girl’s soccer team, and is a member of the downtown improvement committee, “Action Greensboro.” He is also known for dressing in odd and often unflattering costumes at each fiscal quarter kick off (think Yul Brenner from the “King and I,” skull cap and all).
• People get pregnant here. In the eight months since I came to Kindermusik, seven women either gave birth or got pregnant. People feel comfortable here about having a family and a career.
Those are just three reasons why I say Kindermusik has changed my life. In other ways, Kindermusik has helped me believe in the possibilities again. You can make a living playing music. You can have a family and a career. You can change the world one child a time. You just have to be willing to sing a little, dance around a maypole, and hold a child in your lap every once in a while.”