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Maggie Rife

Behind the Music: Interview with Miss Kim

We sat down with our Senior Director of Music, Kim Schiefelbein to learn about the passion, mission and talent Behind the Music at Bubbles Academy!

Maggie Rife

Could you share a bit about your journey prior to joining the team at Bubbles Academy?
Believe it or not, before becoming a mom, myself, and joining the Bubbles Academy music team, I was an opera singer. I have a Bachelor’s degree  in Music with a focus in Voice Performance from Miami University. I received a full scholarship to train under some of  the Metropolitan Opera House’s finest Sopranos including Alma Jean Smith, Joan Marie Moynagh and Leontyne Price. It was an amazing experience and one that that prepared me for performances throughout the city and suburbs of Chicago until settling into motherhood.

After attending many music classes with my daughter, I realized that I could continue to perform and share my love of music by becoming a teacher. The joy of sharing my love of music with children in the classroom has surpassed even my greatest performance. I truly love teaching!

Congrats on celebrating 10 years as an instructor & leader at Bubbles Academy! What keeps you inspired year after year?
Thank you! It definitely doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. I love it
even more if that’s possible. It’s the relationship that I build with both
the grow ups and children that make it so rewarding. To share my love of
music with them and to have used music to help them reach developmental
milestones is such a gift. The relationships I have with all of the
families mean so much to me and they continue to inspire me everyday.

Maggie RifeHow do you develop your innovative curriculum?
We develop the curriculum together as a team. The world is such an exciting new place for children and music is an ideal tool to help them explore and ignite their imagination. Each song we compose is written to inspire them to reach developmental milestones. Whether we are working on tummy time, crawling, fine and gross motor skills or audio development, there is a method and purpose behind the music we use in class. Sometimes new songs are even inspired by watching the children in class and following their cues. We are continuously listening, creating and watching in class to create curriculum to help them reach developmental milestones and to foster their love and enjoyment of music.

What do you look for in a member of the music team at Bubbles Academy?
You can be an incredible performer and singer, but not be a good teacher.
The best teachers are the ones that light up when they are teaching and
interacting with children. That can’t be taught, but it’s definitely the
one quality that all of our teachers have. We all truly love working with
children and are inspired by them.

Do you have a favorite age group to teach?
I love each age group for different reasons. If I can get them to smile at
me, I know I’ve been able to reach them. If I can help them reach a
developmental milestone like rolling, crawling or walking then I know that
the class was a success.


Why is music important for children’s development?
Music ignites all areas of a child’s development including intellectual, social and emotional, fine and gross motor skills and language development. It inspires the body and mind to work together to reach developmental milestones. It helps infants and toddlers begin to learn and make sounds and to begin to express themselves. Children recognize musical tunes long before they recognize words. They begin to mimic sounds and respond with their bodies to the rhythmic repetition of the music. Music is a wonderful tool for laying the foundation of brain development and inspires children to reach developmental milestones.

Any tips for parents on musical activities to do at home?
While I encourage every family to make their home musical with a simple
selection of small instruments, music surrounds us. Find ways to create
music in your home by dancing, singing, clapping and tapping to the sounds
that are all around us. Make music with your children and model for them.
Imitation is the greatest form of learning! Your child learns how to
interact and connect with objects by watching you. Share the joy of music
with them by playing, listening and learning together.


Kim Schiefelbein

You can catch up with Miss Kim in her Meeting Milestones classes, offered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays at Bubbles Academy or off-site for Stroller Fitness!