I love what I do.
Helping children Bond with their "tall aSSIStantS" and with each other THROUGH muSic iS my paSSion.
Nicole Rodin JaworSki
Hi! My name is Nicole and I am a musician and mama living in Evanston, IL. I am a trained classical singer with degrees in Vocal Performance from Rice University and the New England Conservatory of Music. After spending years traveling the country singing opera, I returned to the Chicago area and began to explore additional ways to bring joy, healing and growth to others using music. This pursuit led me to a study of music therapy and, once my son was born in 2015, led me towards teaching early childhood music.
I spent 4 years creating and growing the early childhood music program at Evanston's beloved play-space, Gather but sadly, once the pandemic hit, Gather was forced to close. This is when I took the leap to create Jamberry Music. For the last two years, I've been having the time of my life growing my own business and teaching classes in backyards, parks, park districts, synagogues, living rooms and preschools across the North Shore.
When not teaching, I love running, hiking, cooking, playing and exploring with my husband, three young kids and dog.
Judith, an Oklahoma native, has lived in Chicago since the summer of 2018. She holds degrees in Vocal Music Education from Oklahoma State University and Vocal Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She fell in love with early childhood music while working at a daycare, and she finds so much joy in watching children and their grown ups respond to music. She deeply believes in the power of music to change the world by fostering love, empathy, joy, and social connections.
Judith also teaches private voice lessons, performs regularly as a soloist and ensemble singer at St. John Cantius Church, and teaches PK-1st grade music classes with the Chicago Center for Music Education. When she’s not working, you can find her in her vegetable garden, biking on the lakefront or the 606, or spending quality time with her partner and their pet kitty in their Bucktown apartment.
Emma Krause is a current junior at Northwestern University pursuing a bachelor degree in flute performance. She has loved music from a young age and has a passion for working with children. During her time at Northwestern, she has been employed at Jumpstart, an Americorps early childhood education program. She has also worked as an assistant teacher at Life Long Learners Daycare in Downers Grove. Emma enjoys teaching private flute lessons where she witnesses the wonderful impact that studying music can have on students of all ages. When not involved in music, Emma loves spending time outdoors, baking, and playing games with her friends.
Heather, lyric soprano, has been in Chicago for the past 6 years. She teaches early childhood music and private voice lessons while studying to be a board certified music therapist. Heather began studying classical voice at the age of 17 and received a bachelor of music in vocal performance from Ball State University and a masters of music from Belmont University. During her time in Nashville, Heather sang with Nashville Opera Company as well as Nashville Symphony Chorus. Heather has had a wide variety of experiences working with children including nannying full time, teaching music and play class to children ages 0-5, and giving private voice lessons to school age children and teens. Heather believes that every person is born with some level of innate musicality on the inside. She believes in the power of music to inspire, enliven, and heal. Heather is thrilled to be a part of the Jamberry team and to experience and share in the joy of music with children and their caregivers.
Allie is a singer, songwriter, and actor from southern Connecticut. After a childhood filled with singing, dancing, and acting, she graduated with a BFA in musical theatre from Indiana University in 2021. A long time vocalist and actor, Allie also has a passion for teaching young children the joys of music and theatre. While living in CT, they taught various musical theatre and acting classes to children ages four through 17 that concluded each semester with a showcased performance. Allie knows from both personal and observed experience that music can be enjoyed by children of all ages and wishes to impart that same joy onto all of her students.
Allie is a new resident of Chicago and in her free time can be seen playing original music at open mics throughout the city and performing at various regional theatres in surrounding areas. Allie also enjoys reading, crocheting, and cooking delicious meals for their family and friends.
Michael-Ellen (Mikey) Walden is an actor, writer, musician, and teaching artist based in Chicago who hails from Kentucky. They began teaching music classes before they had even graduated middle school and thus discovered their love for teaching artistry early in life. He has always been drawn to the sense of play children have and the way that play frees artistic impulses for people of all ages. They studied theatre and gender studies at Northwestern University, serving as Artistic Director and Music Director of Seesaw Theatre Company and Writing Coordinator for the Waa-Mu Show, before graduating in 2021. They have worked as a teaching artist for ImagineU, Stomp & Shout, Jamberry, and Chicago Children’s Theatre. When he is not teaching, Mikey may be found onstage, often acting in experimental and musical theatre, or working on one of his many writing projects.
At Jamberry Music, we believe that the most important goal of early childhood music is to foster a love of music in our little ones and expose them to some of the many ways they can engage with music. Music is something to be interacted with. Something we can truly experience and live in no matter our talent or experience. In our classes, we introduce children to the language of music while nurturing and encouraging their natural musical tendencies and instincts. All humans are inherently musical and if we encourage that natural tendency from an early age, all children will grow into adults with the ability to participate in our musical culture – whether it be clapping along to a beat, singing along with a simple song, or enjoying the sensitive intricacies of a live concert.
Each class is designed with age-appropriate goals in mind. Through structured group music making, your children will experience positive social interaction and learn basic life skills such as turn-taking, self-regulation and following directions. While many of our goals are social-emotional, we of course have musical goals as well. Children will experience steady beat, the differences between high and low and changes in tempo and dynamics. They also develop fine and gross motor skills using our instruments and guided movement.
At Jamberry Music, our classes are process oriented. There are no wrong notes or rhythms. Participation and engagement in the music looks different for every child. We get deep satisfaction from watching students' confidence grow with each subsequent class; particularly those who start off reticent or shy.
A word on behavior / expectationS
Kids this age are distractible and have lots of energy. It is okay and expected that your child may get up and want to play with a stuffed animal or a truck during class. Generally, the more the adults stay involved, the more likely children are to come back and continue to participate. Also, just because a child may not appear to be listening, does not mean they’re not soaking it all up! Distractibility is age appropriate and not in the least bit discouraging. They are still learning!
What Grown upS are saying
"I love her songs and her smile, Mama!" My children have been attending Nicole's music classes since they were babies. My three year old daughter has grown up with Nicole as her music teacher, and she has been such a wonderful teacher and inspiration for her. Within this time span, I've seen my daughter's love of music, songs and instruments greatly expand. All of Nicole's classes are engaging, fun, heartfelt, and supportive. To me, what sets Nicole's music apart from other music classes is her genuine love for the children. She has an unbelievable connection with them, whether in person or virtually. My children are hooked from the beginning of the class all the way until the end of the class, which is very difficult to do!
- Julie, Evanston
Nicole is incredibly engaging and talented! My 2-year-old is transfixed by Nicole's musical ability and playful interactions during virtual classes. Nicole uses vivid expressions and interactive props to keep children interested and learning. My daughter is learning how to keep a beat, hop like a bunny, and count to 10- all thanks to Nicole! We just love her class.
- Jenna H, Chicago
This class really helped us through a very difficult time and I am sure M will be singing some of these songs forever. You really helped me as a mom feel like I was giving her enrichment if only for that 30 minutes once a week and have truly helped foster her love of music. I really felt like you were part of our bubble getting me through and I can’t thank you enough
- Courtney G, Atlanta
As a mother of three, I’ve been to many music classes geared toward children. Yours is easily the best. My kids have a blast every time, and truly, I do as well. You inspire a love of music and create a bonding experience for the parent/caregiver and child.
Nicole is especially gifted at connecting with children. My two older children who are normally shy and slow to warm, were instantly engaged with her and happily participating
- Annie F, Skokie
I love the variety in Nicole's music class: songs with scarves, instruments for the kiddos and parents, songs where we are up out of our seats marching around, she even has a huge drum that the babies each get a turn sitting on while we all sing and bang! So much fun. But I also love that there are some repeat songs so that I can sing along with my daughter. I've been to classes with new songs each week. Most parents don't know the lyrics and we end up just watching the instructor sing by herself. Lol.
- Liz C, Skokie
Nicole is an amazing music educator on top of having a beautiful voice to listen too. She encourages healthy singing through demonstration of her own flawless technique. My little one is already mimicking the healthy, non-screaming vocal sounds and it’s a joy to listen to.
- Donatta C, Indianapolis