Sawyer partners with hundreds of educators who are stars in their communities. From inspiring class content to engaging teaching style, these educators are known for their enriching activities that empower both children and parents alike.
We got the opportunity to chat with The Music Playhouse of Chicago, which offers online and in-person early childhood music classes with music and curriculum from The Music Class.
I’d love to hear a bit more about you and why you started your business.
I actually bought this business! I started working at The Music Playhouse as a part-time teacher back in 2014, and I fell in love with the curriculum and the students. I had always wanted to run my own music school, so when the owner called me up and offered to sell me the business, I said yes! I couldn’t believe that my dream job just fell in my lap.
Can you describe an inspiring moment you’ve had as an educator?
I have so many. I love that moment when a child makes a discovery; they’ve made a connection, or something clicks, and their eyes light up. I’m thinking of the quiet child who didn’t think she could sing, then six months later she’s performing in the children’s chorus of an opera. I think of the piano student who struggled to learn how to read music and now improvises jazz just for fun. I think of my own son who would belt out whole songs before he could speak full sentences.
What’s the most rewarding thing about teaching children?
The most rewarding thing about teaching children is helping them to discover their talents, helping them achieve success and the happiness and confidence that follows.
What’s one time a child surprised you and made your day?
This has happened several times, but I am still surprised and excited each time! When a child is super quiet and reserved, but then one day suddenly sings out loud and proud! I live for those moments.
On a similar note, what’s the funniest thing a child has done in your class?
Toddlers inventing new dance moves get me every time.
Why is after school enrichment so important for children?
After school enrichment and children’s activities provide specialized experiences that are not always offered in schools, or only offered minimally. It’s also a great chance for a child to explore something new without having to worry about grades.
How do you think children can discover their passions when they’re not in school or your programs?
There are a lot of great resources available online.
What is your favorite Sawyer feature?
I love how user-friendly Sawyer is for myself, my teachers, and for my clients, and how easily it integrates into our website. I also love the Marketplace and how easy it is for new families to find us!
What's one trick you learned from another educator that you still practice?
For piano lessons, using a drum machine instead of a metronome. Metronomes can be anxiety inducing, but drum machines are fun and you still learn to play along with a steady rhythm!
Have you discovered new customers on the Sawyer marketplace?
Oh yes, it’s a fantastic resource.
How do you balance your time between running your business (from an operational perspective) and teaching/connecting with parents and students?
Magic. It is a precarious balance. I would of course prefer to be teaching the classes over sitting in the office, but honestly Sawyer makes it easier to create the right balance and afford me quality time to spend with my students and their families!
How has Sawyer helped your business?
See above! Sawyer helps streamline and automate a lot of processes, which is essential to creating a good balance when running a small business.