You don’t want to miss this interview with Ashley Robertson of Mrs. Ashley’s Music Circle!
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I have 3 education degrees from Ball State in Elementary Education, Special Education, and Deaf Education. I taught for 4.5 years prior to staying home with our children and loved managing the classroom. I have two daughters; ages 2.5 and 4.5. My mother is a music educator, so I grew up playing piano, viola, and learning all the insider tips on managing chaos.
What made you want to make music with children?
When my youngest was a couple months old, I researched music class options in our area and was shocked by the prices! I feel that early access to quality programming should be available to all. It’s not an option for many families when it is $10/class/kid. My husband said, “You could do this!” after attending a free trial class with our daughter. So I did! Using the best songs from my days in the classroom, I teamed up with the Public Library and, after 3 years, outgrew their space. Now I have over 400 followers on Facebook, and host a weekly Music Circle. In December 2016, my Music Circle was named “Best Of Children’s Music Lessons” by Indy’s Best Monthly magazine. In 2015, Indianapolis Moms Blog named Mrs. Ashley’s Music Circle as the #1 Place to Take an Infant in Indianapolis.
Why is it so great?
I have experience as a preschool teacher, so I have a firm grasp on age-appropriateness and a strong belief in play-based learning. I have extensive experience working with students who have special needs. This means I am adept at assessing ability and readiness to scaffold up or down for any skill. I embed early learning concepts from the Indiana Foundations Standards into my fast-paced, interactive teaching. In addition to sing-alongs, I teach school-readiness skills, and I expertly manage transitions in developmentally-appropriate ways. I’m no-nonsense about appropriate behavior so kids feel safe and I’m fun!
What kinds of musical activities do you offer?
Mrs. Ashley’s Music Circle is a 40-minute, fast-paced, interactive music program for kids ages 0-4 and their caregiver. Early learning concepts are embedded and disguised as fun! We meet Tuesdays at 10:30 at Union Jack Pub in Broad Ripple free with donation of pads/tampons/gently used bras for Support the Girls-Indy.
I also teach music for the Early Years class at A Children’s Habitat Montessori once weekly.
What do you love most about making music with children?
I get to dance like a kid again. Being a parent is stressful. Putting on some great music and dancing it out like no one is watching is such great stress relief.
Where can people go to learn more about you?
What is your number one tip for parents about how to use music with their children?
Watch Daniel Tiger and learn the songs. They are such useful parenting tricks to sneak in just before your kid freaks out to potentially change the course of your day.
Thanks so much for the interview, Ashley! I encourage everyone to go check out a Music Circle soon!