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Playtime fun through music brought joy to kids and adults

Music teacher Kristen Izenbart reminisces about the Music for Minors program offered through the Homewood-Flossmoor Park District. Her article is part of the Chronicle’s series celebrating the district’s 50th anniversary. It first appeared in the January 1 print edition.

  Kristin Izenbart leading a Music for Minors class.
  (Provided photo)

While we have had many wonderful family times at so many of the awesome parks in Homewood and Flossmoor, by far the greatest joy has been sharing music with so many of the babies and toddlers in this community through the Music for Minors program I taught starting in 1994. 

This an early childhood music program is based on the concept that children need to experience music in their bodies through movement, song and creative play before learning to read or write music.  So, we used small percussion instruments like bells, triangles, hand drums and maracas as well as a wide variety of props like scarves and puppets to engage the children’s minds and bodies in making music.

My years with the park district gave me the chance to make friends and watch new parents meet up and develop lifelong friendships.  


Some of my students have gone on to be wonderful musicians at Parker Junior High, James Hart School, Homewood-Flossmoor and Marian Catholic High Schools. It is so fun to run into them again and hear their stories of today and memories of our times together in Music for Minors.

This is even more special to me because in summer 2018 I taught my last Music for Minors class (for now). I’m now teaching in the classroom full time. 

I miss my students, their parents (and sometimes grandparents or nannies) and the wonderful staff at the Irwin Center. I’m grateful for Shannon Ollison, my supervisor, and the host of other supervisors I’ve had through the years who always worked to make sure I had what I needed to keep the program going.

I’m grateful to the people in the community who have made music a priority for their kids, signing up year after year.

And I’m indebted to those who, when the 42-inch Gathering Drum sounded it’s last beats, rallied behind me generously contributing so it could be replaced.

It’s been a good run and I’m thankful to have been a part of this park district and community!

Kristin Izenbart, a trained musician and teacher, offered her Music for Minors program for very young children for 24 years at the Irwin Community Center. Today she teaches music to pre-kindergarten to second graders at Crown Point Christian School.

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