The receipt of Covid funding from Creative New Zealand in 2020 has allowed me to develop a kindyRock App which is free to download. This is designed for parents and caregivers of young children 0-6 years old and includes songs, videos and music sessions. Originally created for a Covid world where children may not be able to attend community music groups, the app can be cast to any device. It is categorised into four sections: babies, toddlers, pre-schoolers and young children, and is available now through the Play Store and Apple Store.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
Craig and I are parents to five grown up children and we live in beautiful Kawakawa Bay, south-east of Auckland. We see the family (who live around NZ and Australia) as much as we can and enjoy having two of our grandsons over regularly as they live closeby. Our amazing location means we are able to walk, bike, swim, kayak, paddle board and sail most days. Another way I look after my wellbeing is to write songs, sing and play my ukulele. I also teach the ukulele to a group of enthusiastic locals!
I outsource some of the parts of the business that I find more difficult or just don’t like doing – especially the tech stuff! This frees me up to spend more time in my zone of genius – making music!
The drive: What challenges have you overcome?
I have learned resilience along the way. When I broke my knee in 2007, I had to get up, dust myself off and get stuck into developing a new focus – kindyRock. I have had staff leave, sickness, instrument failure, plus of course Covid-19. I have also had to learn all about the music industry and running a business when my background was being in front of a classroom.
I had big plans to grow my business internationally in 2020 with time booked in Australia and the UK to work with early childhood centres. When Covid-19 disrupted everything, I had to pivot my business and get cracking on applying for funding. This is how the kindyRock App came to be – so I have managed to grow kindyRock‘s international reach without leaving our shores!
For better or worse: What are the pros and cons of running your own business?
I love having the freedom to plan my days and work at home in such a beautiful environment. I can stop and go to for a swim or walk the dog or just sit on the deck and think, pretty much any time I want to. But it can be exhausting running your own business, having to make big decisions, especially when things occasionally go pear shaped. It’s also immensely satisfying to be doing what you love, as a vocation.
Hopes and dreams: What next?
I am working on a project to streamline my membership website so that it is very user friendly for early childhood teachers. We are currently working on resources such as song download bundles and lesson plans so that any teacher, no matter how experienced, can take kindyRock songs and rock their music programme! I want to see 10,000 teachers from around the world in a vibrant community supporting each other with ideas that are fun and easy.
My big, big dream is to be back on the international stage training teachers in large numbers (the bigger the better for me!), sharing why music is so vital for our little ones and sharing how to use music more effectively. Inspiring others to use music to make the world a happier place.