This is a very challenging time for so many people and so many small businesses. We love supporting local and wanted to do our part in showcasing some fantastic small businesses.
This week we are speaking with Deborah (Mr. Deb) Krol, founder of Tiny Tinkles Music Studio. They are based out of Chilliwack, BC for in-person classes/lessons but they also offer online music lessons and classes.
Deborah is a BC Registered Music Teacher (Piano) and a Certified Music and Movement Teacher. She specializes in baby toddler and preschool music to support early literacy. She prides herself on growing little musicians!
Tiny Tinkles offers in -person and engaging online music classes for all ages including babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their caregivers in-person and online. She has her own Youtube channel where she has a limited number of free videos available and a subscption service that gives you extensive access to their videos (approximatley 80 full HD Video Classes) and a community group for parents.
You can find Tiny Tinkles Music Studio on Instagram , Facebook, Youtube and on the web.
What made you choose this type of business?
First off, let me tell you – I have the BEST job ever! It is absolutely amazing to watch all my little students grow from a few months old, their first smiles, first laughs, and hearing their first words! Watching them take their first steps, learning how to move and sing along with the music and their excitement when they arrive at my studio and know they are here to have fun. I have been a private music teacher (self employed, not in schools) for over 25 years, and in the last 15 years I have specialized in creating classes for ages 0-5. It really is the most rewarding career. Getting to know each family over a the years, and watching them grow. What I have noticed over the past 2 years inside my mall studio is the incredible friendships that have developed in classes that I have put together. Friendships between the children in class, and friendships between all the parents. Knowing that I have made such an impact in my community helps me to know that I am making a big difference in early childhood education through each and every child that walks through my door.
What is your favourite small business (aside from your own)?
My favorite small business has got to be Cream of The Crop Childcare in Chilliwack BC. Ms. Jennifer is a collegue. We have quite an interesting story of how we met! I had been looking for an amazing venue for my music studio, unfortunately it got leased before I had a chance to act on it. When I saw construction going on, I looked up the company who leased it and realized it was a Daycare that specialized in fine arts, Honestly, I felt like someone had stolen my dream!!! A few weeks later I reached out to the owner (Ms. Jennifer) and realized her background and mine were quite similar. We both studied music post secondary, Jennifer was passionate about music and arts education. Jennifer really inspired me within the first conversation we had on the phone, and encouraged me to find a space for my music studio. We were both nominated for business of the year last year, and I was so excited when she won the award, and amazed at our friendship which had grown. Where most people in this industry choose to be competition, we chose to be friends and colleagues and to encourage, share and collaborate. I am grateful for our friendship and for the preschool music teacher position that I have in her beautiful center!
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
You are AMAZING!!! You are capable of more than you ever expected! Put your mind to it, focus, read, gain all the information you can, and DO IT!!!!
If applicable, has your business been negatively affected by COVID19? If so how have you coped?
Covid has been a life changer for me. Because of covid, I had to close my music studio and move what i could into my home. This has caused increased financial hardship on my family and I’ve had to investment a lot of money to teach online – from cameras to computers, hardware and software, sound equipment and compatible instruments…. the list goes on. It has been a very expensive year with very little profit. BUT that is the only negative thing I can say. Well, its been pretty lonely too, when you are used to seeing over 125 kids and their parents every week and you only see 20 at daycare for 30 minutes it is a BIG difference. But those 20 kidlets have sure been happy to see me!!!
I used to teach 19 classes a week in my studio, and 22 private piano students, now I teach 2 classes a week and 5 piano students all online, and soon to be 2 daycares. Yet, my hours of work are the same. I spend a lot of time recording and editing videos, planning classes and writing music. Things are WAY different, but actually, it is kind of a blessing of sorts. It is really rewarding to focus on taking my business into a different direction, and creating my own path forward.
What are your long term business goals?
I have soooooo many creative projects on the go right now! I am using this time wisely to finish creating many of the projects I’ve been working on over the past decade.
First is my Hello Baby Album. I wrote a whole album of baby music during the first two months of quarantine and I’ve been very busy writing it into a teachers curriculum. I hope to have it ready for purchase by the end of October 2020. It is perfect for anyone who would like to teach baby classes – music teachers, community groups, health practitioners, and more. It includes a teachers manual, multiple training videos for each song, and special teacher tracks for in class use. I’ve even started creating the 2nd baby album in this series!
Second is my Preschool Piano Curriculum! I have spent the last 10 years writing the perfect piano curriculum for preschoolers. I am working with an illustrator right now and hope to have the first 3 books in “Tiny Tinkles Little Beginnings – Piano Songs and Stories for Preschoolers” ready for purchase by January 2021. The series offers a visual learning approach that creatively introduces early literacy skills and confidence.
Third is the development of my Sing Me a Story program, we Read a story, we Sing a song, and we Draw a picture. I have been teaching this class in my studio for a number of years and it has been super popular. I am just now bringing the program to YouTube to share with the world as a FREE Class. I have partnered with over 30 authors all over Canada, US, and the UK to feature a reading of their story and create an original song to sing with it. I post a new class almost every week and the feedback has been tremendous! The songs I write for the books are quite easy — I create them with a limited amount of chords so teachers and children can learn to play the songs themselves and continue their learning at home. Over then next couple of months I will be working on creating some tutorial videos to demonstrate how to play the song. It has been an amazing experience and I’ve had the chance to work with some wonderful authors!
What are you most looking forward to with the launch of your new business?
When I think in terms of having published books out there by January 2021, I am over the moon! This has been a dream of mine that I didn’t think would be happening until I retired so I am really glad that I have put so much effort in the past 10 years creating outlines for my preschool piano books. I can’t wait to see classes in action all over the world featuring music from my baby album! There is a lot to look forward to, and honestly – if covid hadn’t have shut my business down I would not be where I have today! Sometimes the unexpected turns out to really inspire you to become what you have always wished to be.️
Thank you to Deb for participating in this week’s Small Business Sunday.
Be sure to check out the FREE music classes offered by Tiny Tinkles Music Studio on their youtube channel. Then if you like what you see you can join their VIP Facebook Group (Just 19.99 per family per month), which includes extensive access to their videos (approximately 80 full HD Video Classes) and a community group for parents. Send ms. Deb and email to join firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are a business owner interested in participating please email email@example.com