Tag Archives: Kindermusik

Wendy Williams teaching at the SRELC

MAKING CONNECTIONS: Wendy Grace Williams (84C, 90G) is a 2019 recipient of Kindermusik’s “Outreach” award. She is seen here giving a “high-five” to a student at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

Kathryn Nobles teaches Kindermusik

Kathryn Dugger Nobles (82C), right, has been sharing the gift of music with local children and Berry students for 30 years.

Ever wonder about the young children you see walking to and from the Ford Buildings with their parents? No, they aren’t prodigies pursuing Berry degrees – at least not yet – but they are tuning up for success with help from Kathryn Dugger Nobles (82C), Wendy Grace Williams (84C, 90G) and Kindermusik.

This fall marks 30 years since Nobles brought Kindermusik to Berry. What started as a pilot program with nine students from the Berry College Child Development Center has blossomed into multiple classes serving more than 200 children annually at four locations in Rome. Distinguished both by its size and quality of instruction, Berry ranks among the top 25 Kindermusik programs worldwide. In addition, Williams recently received Kindermusik’s “Outreach” award for her work with students at the South Rome Early Learning Center.

On Sept. 14, alumni and friends of the program will join current students and teachers for a special 30th anniversary celebration in Ford Dining Hall. The fun gets underway at 10 a.m. with an “instrument petting zoo” staged by Berry music students and continues through 1 p.m., with activities for the children and a Noon performance by the Viking Drumline. Register online.

Efforts are also underway to name the Kindermusik room in Berry’s newly renovated music department for Nobles, with gifts supporting the ongoing Ford Auditorium renovation and restoration. Visit berry.edu/gift and select “Kathryn Nobles Kindermusik Room Naming” if you wish to contribute.

Originating in Germany in the 1970s, Kindermusik combines a variety of music education methods with the goal of helping children learn. Studying musical concepts helps children gain skills that transfer to other aspects of life. For example, developing steady beat can translate to improved reading fluency, cutting with scissors or even dribbling a basketball.

“Music is such a great avenue for teaching,” Nobles expressed. “It’s universal. You can make music anywhere you go, and there’s not an age limit to it.”

Nobles, who also serves as an adjunct piano instructor for Berry students, has kept up with many of her Kindermusik graduates, proudly noting that some have gone on to careers in music, while others have become organic farmers, doctors or lawyers. Quite a few have returned as parents of children within the program, and some have attended college at Berry.

The program remains a touchstone for many, with families of college-aged children still attending concerts together after meeting through Kindermusik years earlier. And toddlers now in the program continue to wake up and excitedly ask the same question as those who came before them: “Is today a Kindermusik day?”

By student writer Cassie LaJeunesse

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Kathryn NoblesKathryn Dugger Nobles (82C) has been named a Maestro in Outstanding Achievement by Kindermusik International, the world’s leading publisher of music and movement programs for young children. The Maestro Conductor’s Circle represents the top 1 percent of Kindermusik educators worldwide. The longtime Berry faculty member celebrates her 25th anniversary with Kindermusik this fall. As director of Berry’s program, she and her colleagues serve more than 150 families each week with classes for children birth to age 7. They also provide valuable work experience for Berry students, several of whom have made Kindermusik their career.

Nobles’ role as educator extends to her work as adjunct lecturer (piano) in Berry’s fine arts department. Recently, she enjoyed an impromptu reunion with former students and other alumni during a trip to Oregon. Pictured left to right are Rachel Floyd Davis (07C), Michael Smith (04C), Kelly Rusk Smith (06C) and baby Judson, Thomas Clark (05C), Kathryn Nobles, Carrie Nobles (16c), Stephen Williams (86C, 90G), Alyssa Nobles (12C), Beth Dodson Williams (86C, 90G), and Randy Nobles (80C, 85G).

 By Carey Blankenship, philanthropic communications student editorial assistant

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