kiddos and kin

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meet our staff

Shay is also a graduate of the Creative Enterprise Program with Spaceworks, where she took intensive courses in business planning and marketing. Spaceworks is a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber to advocate empty storefronts and vacant space in Tacoma.

Her love of music and teaching has only been eclipsed by one thing- the birth of her daughter. After experiencing for herself the amazing bonding, social, and whole-child learning experience Kindermusik provides, Shay is thrilled to offer classes in the Tacoma area to those of all developmental and musical abilities.

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Kirsten Howard aka Ms. KiKi
Kindermusik Educator

Kirsten (aka Ms. Kiki) was raised in a family of professional Big Band era musicians and Kirsten began singing with her family at the tender age of three.

Kirsten has participated in numerous church musicals, directed children's choirs, directed and choreographed musical performances and dance routines for Community Outreaches, choreographed and performed Disney musical vignettes for sick children at Tacoma General Hospital, performed for numerous Race for a Cure Cancer runs, and continues to provide special music for weddings, funerals and other community events.

Kirsten holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and a Master in Education with emphasis in Reading and Literacy from City University of Seattle. Moreover, Kirsten has dedicated the past 20 years to providing unique adaptive learning strategies to preschool aged and special education students.

She resides in Tacoma, WA. with her husband and twin babies. Kirsten teaches Mixed Age and Level 1 Kindermusik classes at Kiddos and Kin.

Megumi is a board certified music therapist (#09710) and holds her master’s degree in music therapy from Colorado State University. She completed music therapy clinical internship at Poudre Valley Hospital, Fort Collins, CO. She has a wide range of clinical experiences including inpatient/outpatient neurorehabilitation, pediatric outpatient clinic, community outreach groups, nursing homes, special education, and psychiatric settings. She focuses on addressing physical, speech/language, and cognitive rehabilitation goals due to individuals with neurological conditions. These conditions include stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Traumatic Brain Injury, Multiple Sclerosis, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and developmental disabilities such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy.

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Megumi Azekawa, MM, MT-BC
Music Therapist

She is a member of American Music Therapy Association (AMTA) and Music Therapy Association of Washington (MTAW). She actively presents her clinical research at local, regional, and national levels. Her research interests include the use of clinical singing and voice exercises in treating individuals with neurological conditions, music therapy treatment as cognitive training for people with dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease, and music therapy cost-effectiveness analysis. She also shares her music therapy knowledge and insight by hosting the blog, “Musically Thinking”.

Megumi offers private sessions at Kiddos and Kin.

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Heather DeJesus
Kindermusik Educator

Heather DeJesus' love for music began when she was introduced to the flute at a very young age and she attributes her success in high school, college and beyond to her early exposure to music.

From being a first seat band student to being in the first row of the Dave Matthews Band concert, her passion for music and the enrichment it offers in undeniable. As a mother of a student who attended Kindermusik, she has firsthand experience of the many benefits it offers. She is witness to how music stimulates the brain and calms the mind of a young child. With this discovery, she has made it her mission to share and introduce the magic of Kindermusik to all children.

She is a proud mother of two wonderful boys and a beautiful baby girl, and teaches Kindermusik at many private and public schools throughout Pierce County.

Heather teaches our Move & Groove classes at Kiddos and Kin.

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Samitha Hendrickson
Art & Yoga Instructor

An avid traveler, accomplished artist, and certified yoga instructor, Samitha Hendrickson spreads joy and love wherever she goes. Her background as an elementary school teacher meshes perfectly with her passion for the arts.

Samitha has spent three summers teaching art at Kindermusik with Shay and helped bring Y.A.K. camp (Yoga, Art & Kindermusik) to Summers at Kiddos and Kin.

Samitha also hopes to offer a new class here at Kiddos and Kin: Creative Yoga for Kids.