#YouTheMom: Jeannie Castillo of Kindermusik
When Jeannie Castillo started Kindermusik in the Philippines more than ten years ago, she did not expect how warmly it will be received by Filipino families and how it would affect the very fabric of her own family's life.
"It really is such a blessing to look back and reflect on how much we’ve grown," says Jeannie.
"I have always felt a deep passion for what I feel I’m called to do, and have had a very clear vision for how I’ve wanted to fulfill this mission. In so many ways, I’m completely amazed and humbled by the support we’ve received from the community. I’m also very grateful for the awesome team of friends and teachers whom I’m blessed to work with. Our tireless dedication and hard work over the years have really produced such great fruit. It’s completely heartwarming to know that truly, when you do what you love, you can make great things happen."
Jeannie takes the lead
Jeannie with Kindermusik teachers and students
Fulfillment and recognition
Their efforts have not gone unnoticed. Kindermusik Philippines was recently recognized as the #1 Kindermusik Program in the World by Kindermusik International. It excelled over 5,000 programs in more than 70 countries. This year, it was also awarded with the first master franchise for Kindermusik in the world. Jeannie now also serves as the international lead franchise trainer for Kindermusik globally.
"It’s an honor to be able to represent the Philippines in this way. Sharing stories of how we have been able to create a successful program here in our part of the world makes me proud to be a Filipino,” she says.
But while these accolades certainly bring much honor, Jeannie is most proud of the everyday rewards that running a family-oriented organization creates. She says, “What makes my heart smile the most will always be when I get to see a child and parent truly connect through music. Witnessing families coming together for a dance, an embrace, a shared song is what fills my heart to overflowing. To hear real stories from parents on how Kindermusik has had an impact on their child’s learning and growing up years is the best kind of validation, knowing that our life’s work is truly making a difference.”
Music at the heart of the family
Suffice it to say that Jeannie's family has grown with Kindermusik as well. Her two sons, Jamie, 17 and Jack, 8, are both proud Kindermusik graduates. With her husband Jaime, they have created a family business that has allowed them to balance their schedules and alternate working from home. At any given time, at least one of them is home with the kids.
Jeannie explains, “Creating a nurturing, supportive family environment for my kids to grow up in was one of my main motivations in starting Kindermusik. Years later, it’s really been such a blessing for them to grow up in a musical, joyful way. Our home is filled with lots of love and joy, and I am so grateful to have such a wonderful husband who supports me through everything.”
Of course, singing and dancing are one of the ways that they bond and celebrate as a family. Music, Jeannie believes, has helped seal their family relationship, so much so that the boys share everything with them. She says, “They feel free to come to both me and my husband Jaime, with anything and everything that is on their minds and hearts."
Jeannie's dreams for her children are simple: She wants them to grow up happy, loved, and fulfilled as individuals, and to inspire and help others through love and goodness.
She says, “I believe that we all have a purpose in life, and my role as a parent is to nurture, love, and support my kids so that they may realize this purpose. What’s kind of amazing is that in many ways, my kids have also helped me realize my purpose in life. Without them, I never would have discovered my true mission and calling in life. I have grown into the mother and educator that I am today because of my husband and children. Kindermusik has been such a huge part of our family that both Jamie and Jack can continue to grow being as involved in our family business as they’d like.”
The future of Kindermusik
In ten years, Jeannie sees Kindermusik reaching out to more children as more centers open in more communities and cities throughout the country.
"Kindermusik is quickly becoming a rite of passage for children to experience, as parents continue to seek out the best head start to learning for their little ones, and revel in these early years to really grow and bond in a special way as a family,” she says.
Whatever else the future brings, there are some things that Teacher Jeannie is most certainly sure of: There will be singing and there will be dancing.