Family friendly music that parents can enjoy as much as kids is hard to find. But Juno nominee Will Stroet, star of Will’s Jams on CBC Kids and Kidoodle TV has been working to create enjoyable music that inspires kids to be active, healthy, creative, and engaged in the world through music. With a passion for education and music, Will left his career as a teacher to pursue music fulltime. Since then he has played over 1,500 shows at major festivals, schools and theatres across Canada, released six albums in both English and French, been nominated for a 2017 Juno award, honored as a part of UBC’s Faculty of Education’s top 100 Alumni, and continues to promote art in youth creativity in British Columbia through ArtStarts in Schools as an artist, educator and board member. Will’s passion for fostering education and youth creativity has recently brought him to China, where he just finished a week-long tour of his new multi-media concert that hopes to teach audiences some basic language through music.
When Will and his wife Kim started their daughter Ella in the Music for Young Children program they knew about the benefits that music has on young brains, but they didn’t realize it would lead to bonds that spans beyond the classroom. Since joining MYC, Will knew the program was impactful for his daughter almost immediately.
“Within a few weeks I was already impressed by the games, little songs and activities they were doing. I could see the building blocks that were being instilled even before they really started learning on the piano itself. The rhymes, games and songs that the kids learn right off the bat makes learning fun.”
Not only was the program fun, but Will gives credit for the program being such a great fit for his daughter because of the great teacher she’s had as well as the connection she has made with peers in the class— particularly her best friend who has progressed through the MYC program with Ella.
Will’s wife and Manager, Kim, enjoys MYC classes because it has given her a reason to start playing piano again. Through MYC’s parent participation method, parents who have stopped playing piano throughout the years have an opportunity to share the joy of improving their musical ability alongside their children.
When asked how they would describe MYC in one word, the Stroet’s all had a different perspective; Will described joy, Kim chose challenging and Ella picked fun. Through parent commitment and involvement, MYC students stay motivated and moving forward in the program. Not only does Will recommend Music for Young Children classes, he warns parents about the challenging nature of music learning. “Music is an incredible gift you can give your child but it takes much more work as a parent than pretty much any other kid’s activity.” Despite Will’s passion as well as experience for teaching and music, Will knew that he wanted music to be a part of his daughter’s life, but he wanted it to be as educational as it was enjoyable.
“My wife and I had heard about the program, and how it was a great introduction to music for young kids. When I was young I played violin but had never learned piano and thought piano would be a great instrument for my kids to start on. As someone who plays music for kids I see how powerful it is and music was always such a big part of my entire life I wanted to give that to my daughter as well. That being said, it is very hard to teach your own kids all kinds of things, but music in particular because of the level of commitment it takes.”
Will uses his music for kids either for fun, or as a vehicle to teach kids about all types of things like imagination, reading and literacy, sports and sportsmanship, art, road safety, and living an active lifestyle. For parents looking to improve their child’s musical IQ Will suggests Music for Young Children. “The material in MYC is great for kids, and effectively teaches the piano and fundamentals of music. My music for kids is different but that is because I write it to serve different purposes, either just for fun or also as a vehicle to teach about other things. The use of melody and rhythm in the MYC curriculum materials is fun and very effective.”
Will and Kim plan to enroll their youngest daughter June into the MYC program as well as continuing private music lessons for their daughter Ella.
Catch Will’s music videos on CBC Kids or Kidoodle TV on demand or weekday mornings at 9:25 AM. You can also find his music on YouTube at www.youtube.com/users/willstroet . Plus follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @WillStroetMusic or online at www.willmusic.com to keep track of his tours, music and articles.