The Long-Lasting Benefits of The Children’s Fund


Below you’ll find oh so many heart-warming stories of the Power of Kindermusik!  If you have a story to share, please email [email protected]


The Long-Lasting Benefits of The Children’s FundThe Children’s Fund has really helped one of my families immensely this fall! They have been financially unable to pay for the Kindermusik experience and thanks to the Children’s Fund both children in one family have grown and benefited so much. Jack is a 6-year-old in Young Child and is so focused on learning the glockenspiel that I actually let him take it home over Thanksgiving. He came back playing lots of imagination-based “songs” for me to hear! (See picture and video of Jack below.)

Little sister Eva (pictured to the right) wants to join me in every class on my lap as we are doing at least one or two songs and instrument plays, and when she is able she will sit with me at storytime.

Here is what mom Melinda has to say on my Facebook page:

My six-year-old son and two-year-old daughter love going to Kindermusik class! It has really helped with my little girl’s speech. Love seeing her during the week repeating what she has learned in class. She has music class with her dolls at home and teaches them! Since we homeschool Kindermusik has been wonderful for my son, too. Love it!”

Rebecca Winslow (pictured below) is a six-year Children’s Fund recipient that graduated last spring. Rebecca has continued to take voice lessons from me at my voice studio. Her musicianship is awesome, and she is still benefiting immensely from the scholarship experience!


To learn more about Kindermusik’s Maestro in Outreach program and how to apply, click here.

Malachi’s Kindermusik Journey

My name is Dee Lancaster and I am a Maestro Educator ending my 13th year of teaching Kindermusik in Cleveland, TN.   I love my job and thank God every day for the beautiful families that have come into my life through Kindermusik.

One of the most rewarding things about my job is getting to know these families and hearing about the difference Kindermusik is making not only in their child’s development but also in their family interactions and relationships. I feel especially blessed to play a part in the lives of families with unique challenges and special needs. I wanted to share a letter with you from one of these families who also happens to be a current recipient of the Carol D. Penney scholarship. The letter is long but so worth the read. It is my great pleasure to introduce you to Malachi.

In February 2013 our lives were dramatically changed by the birth of our son Malachi. While most birth stories are riddled with joy, ours was overshadowed by fear and uncertainty. Our son Malachi was born at just 24 weeks gestation with a birth weight of only 1 pound 12 ounces. Malachi was born without a heartbeat, and after 15 long minutes of CPR he came to life. During that time his brain hemorrhaged internally causing major, irreversible damage. We were given the option to stop lifesaving care and we were told that Malachi would never walk, talk, or breathe on his own. We chose to allow him to fight as long as God saw fit, and I am pleased to tell you that today we have a joyful and happy almost three year old.

As a result of his traumatic birth, Malachi has several medical conditions. In addition to his cerebral palsy, Malachi is legally blind, suffers from severe epilepsy, and has a VP shunt to control his hydrocephalus. He also has multiple orthopedic issues and we are still told that he is not expected to walk, but we continue to hold out hope. To date, Malachi has had 11 surgeries on his eyes, brain, feet, stomach, and heart. These diagnoses require several specialist appointments every week resulting in lots of road trips and unpleasant medical testing.

When we first heard about Kindermusik I was immediately intrigued. Before Malachi’s birth, I always envisioned myself as the type of mother who would have her kids involved in as many activities as possible. I found myself not only mourning the loss of having a “typical” child, but also mourning the loss of being able to experience “typical motherhood”. Due to Malachi’s weakened immune system, he had not been able to be around any children and we were starting to feel very isolated. I decided to take Malachi to a trial Kindermusik class, and what I saw in my son amazed me.

Malachi immediately responded to the stimulus around him with such joy. I was afraid that the excitement would trigger his seizures, but those fears disappeared as I watched him anticipate what we would be doing next. He has always been motivated by music, but even more exciting was to see him react to hearing the other children in the room. The curiosity and excitement in his eyes reassured me that this was something we needed to pursue.

Malachi struggles to maintain an upright sitting position and control his head, but during Kindermusik class he is so excited that he engages those muscles with ease. He gets more of a workout at his weekly Kindermusik class than during his weekly physical therapy sessions! Aside from seeing many physical improvements during our sessions, cognitively Malachi is tracking conversations, learning how to follow directions, and responding when asked questions. It is so refreshing as his mother to find an activity that helps us get closer to so many of our goals for Malachi.

Kindermusik days are something that Malachi looks forward to, and responds with excitement when I tell him that we are going to music class. It is the one weekly appointment in our very busy week that he can’t wait to get to. And I am so thankful that I can brighten up his schedule with something that brings him so much joy. It has certainly been a blessing to our family. There is nothing more heart-warming than hearing your child giggle uncontrollably at the children around him.

We also have been able to incorporate our home materials into our every day. We sing the songs during therapy to keep him engaged and we play the CD in the car on our long car trips. He has the books memorized and smiles with anticipation when we come to his favorite part. Malachi takes a little longer to process things and repetitive things allow him time to catch up with the song. He will even attempt to sing along during many of the songs.

Thanks to Kindermusik and the Carol D. Penney scholarship, I no longer have to mourn over the loss of my “typical motherhood”. In fact, just a few weeks ago we saw one of our classmates out in public. The little boy said hi to Malachi and treated him like a friend. We didn’t have to answer questions about his leg braces, or explain why Malachi didn’t look at him and respond. Kindermusik has brought some much needed normalcy to our world.

Thank you for providing ways for families like mine to participate in your amazing program. There is a sweet little boy in Tennessee who appreciates you more than you know.

If you would like to follow Malachi’s story you can find us on Facebook by searching “Malachi’s Miracles”.

God bless,

Jacob, Leah, and Malachi Carroll

Malachi and his family are a blessing not only to me but also to his classmates. They all love him and ask about him when he is unable to attend. I am filled with joy every time I see his smiling face, his efforts to shake an instrument, his squeals of delight and especially the smile on mom’s face as she watches him and engages him in the activities.

On behalf of Malachi and so many other recipients, I want to personally thank everyone who has contributed to the Carol D. Penney scholarship fund and encourage those who have not yet participated to consider contributing to this worthy cause. Many of these families are underprivileged or have so many financial burdens on them with medical expenses and therapy treatments that without this scholarship it would make it very difficult or even impossible to participate in the Kindermusik program. And thank you, Kindermusik for providing a quality program that is truly making a difference!


To learn more about Kindermusik’s Maestro in Outreach program and how to apply, click here.


Kindermusik IS for Every Child

Nancy Hehemann, Maestro Educator, works with children with all kinds of life challenges. Below is a sampling of how some of her recipients of the Carolyn D Penney Kindermusik Children’s Fund are reaping the benefits of attending Kindermusik classes.

HK is a twin who was born prematurely.  He just turned two and is not yet walking.  Mom is doing Kindermusik with both boys; it’s been beneficial for both, but especially for HK.  He just had a doctor visit and x-rays to make sure nothing is wrong, and reat news … he just needs physical therapy. Last week in class he held my hands and pulled himself up.  Class has helped with his fine and large motor skills.

AH has been with me for a while.  Last year she was diagnosed with diabetes and has had a very difficult time adjusting – they weren’t sure they could do classes. She has really struggled in class and has cried a lot while the family tries to get her levels correct. Grandma/Grandpa bring her to class because both parents work.  Last week she was finally her old self – smiling and dancing for the first time in 2 months!  I’m glad she was able to stick with the class.  Mom had a new baby 2 months ago, too.  So they are all adjusting to that as well.

TK has been with me since he was little.  He is over 3 and still struggling with speech.  Class has been helpful for him.  He’s using his words more and I believe the singing helps.

CK is a new child in my classes.  The family is coming with their son while fostering CK; they come to my evening Family Time class.  I’m helping them out with cost of class so they can use funds for other things with her.  She’s coming out of her shell.

AW did a one time class with me at his child care center during the summer.  He really loved the class.  When mom didn’t register for the school semester, I contacted her.  She said she’s a single mom and no help from the child’s father.  She couldn’t afford child care and extra programs  He’s really come a long way in the 12 week session.

SB has been with me for a while.  She was hospitalized as a baby and very sick.  The pediatrician told parents to keep her away from everyone.  She ended up being speech delayed and had a few issues.  She has apraxia and just began speaking at the end of her last session of Our Time. She’s been in one semester of Imagine That and has made huge strides in her language.  She absolutely loves class and almost cries every week when we do our circle song because she knows the good-bye song is after that.  Her parents tell me that I’m included in her nightly prayers.