Melody Makers was formed by Teresa Russell in 1991 after a friend, who was a daycare worker in another state, moved here and commented on the lack of music in her daycare. Teresa was a music director at a local church and had received a music supply magazine which had many fun music games in it. Coming from a background in writing children’s Sunday School curriculum, that was all it took to get Teresa’s mind going. She developed the first session of curriculum for Melody Makers, teaching the Grand Staff through fun games that were age appropriate for preschool-aged children. She developed a puppet script for a puppet named Wolfgang. He was perfect to teach the children about Wolfgang Mozart and his music. She put the curriculum in a drawer for months.
On the first Sunday in January, 1992, Teresa’s pastor preached on not being afraid to try something new in the New Year. She went out that Monday with Melody Makers brochures she had developed along with the curriculum, to help introduce the program to the day cares. She went to the first school. “Not interested!” Second school, “Not interested!” She was discouraged, but not beaten!! The third school wanted to give it a try!!! The fourth and fifth schools were on board too. Melody Makers was born. Classes began in February of 1992 and have continued with great success to the present day. 7 more units were written to complete a 2 year program teaching music symbols, terms, notes and their values, rests and their values, time signatures, keyboard note names, and instruments in the orchestra through fun music games! Puppet friends in each unit taught the classical composers including Bach, Handel, Strauss, Sousa, Haydn, Beethoven and Tchaikovsky. The children learned basic music education while having so much fun that they didn’t even realize they were learning. Parents were thrilled!
A few years later, a special toddlers curriculum was developed for the younger children using Gigi the Giraffe as the puppet. The toddlers loved Gigi! After the toddler class, they were ready to meet the new composer-based puppets and begin their early music training at the age of 3.
It has been a great joy to see all of the children go through the Melody Makers program and go on to love and enjoy music.