Kindermusik by Jan is a family business that’s been running in Burgess Hill since 1998
and continues to offer music and movement classes of the highest quality from 0 – 7 year olds. Run locally in Mid Sussex, BURGESS HILL by Jan and Scott Holt, Kindermusik by Jan offers a unique and wonderful journey over 7 years from introducing first sounds and movements to babies, right through to teaching and developing real musicianship at primary school age.
I discovered Kindermusik in 1991 while being part of an Academy of Performing Arts in Cambridge, Ontario where I was performing and writing musicals. Straight away, I loved the programme. The creative and joyful way music was bring introduced to families in sessions as well as at home was the first thing I recognised. I loved how Kindermusik provided the possibility of a 7 year musical journey where children could have endless opportunities and go on to have a lifelong love of music.
There is not a time I can remember when music wasn’t a part of my life. Whether it was listening to my father play the piano, hearing my mother singing in the kitchen or playing her favourite opera music was always around us. Christmas gatherings were special times. My grandparents would bring the banjo and guitar and we would all sing our favourite songs. I took piano exams up to grade 8 and learned to play guitar but discovered my greatest love was to sing.
When I decided to pursue a career as a Junior school teacher I studied for my degree at Exeter University. I was fortunate enough to receive a scholarship to study voice. In my spare time I was singing as much as possible. This was in the Exeter University Singers and the Gilbert and Sullivan Society as well. When I graduated I took up a teaching post in Surbiton teaching music throughout the school, running recorder groups, choirs and entering local music festivals.
Being a parent of 4 children has been the most important role of my life. Music has brought so much joy into our lives. Something I am very thankful for. Bringing that same joy to other families is what I love most about teaching Kindermusik.
My first memory of enjoying music was at the age of 4. With my brand new guitar I spent numerous hours singing and recording my very limited repertoire. My passion for music has never stopped since. Eventually, I built up to take my Grade 8 piano and theory exams with the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto achieving First Class Honours. Trumpet is another instrument I love to play. In Canada I regularly toured and performed with Concert, Stage, Jazz and Dixieland bands. I have also sung in choirs and have taken leading roles in musical theatre productions.
Studying theatre at York University in Toronto, Ontario and The Academy of Performing Arts in Cambridge, Ontario led me to become a founding member of Theatre & Company. There I was not only acting but was also involved with stage managing and teaching international students.
I have been Jan’s administrator for Kindermusik since she began in 1998. Within five years, I became a Licensed Educator. The training is fantastic as it gives you a real understanding of how children learn best. I love teaching the 3 – 5’s and the 5 – 7’s because the programmes are highly creative. They include a lot of improvisation and give children such a unique start to music and education.
A big thank you to my four children. You have helped give me the experience I need to work with young children!
My love for music started to form at a young age. I was very fortunate to receive a music scholarship at the age of 11 where I took lessons on flute, piano, musicianship and played in orchestras. The scholarship tuition also enabled me to take my Music GCSE 2 years early and I achieved a Grade A. During this time I also started to sing in a youth band which I really enjoyed.
In my gap year I volunteered for 6 months with a charity in Brazil. We worked alongside Brazilian teachers who taught pre-school children living in the favelas. My fondest memories of this time were singing, playing my flute and teaching the children songs. It’s amazing how music can bridge many cultural gaps, enhance lives and build a sense of community.
During my time at University I taught lessons Part-Time at Gymboree, Brighton and after graduating I worked in schools as a Teaching Assistant. Finding ways to bring music into the classroom was my specialty and I also started up a lunchtime music club in one of the schools I worked in.
Nowadays I lead a band of musicians and singers at my church where I play keyboard and sing. I’m also a soprano in an award winning community Gospel choir. Most of my closest friends have young children so it’s always fun to spend time with them and have some spontaneous music sessions!
In this busy, fast paced world I love how Kindermusik classes create an opportunity to capture the attention of children and nurture their creativity. There’s an element of wonder every week and we have so much fun together.