Louise MacDonald is ABSOLUTELY, 100%, doing EXACTLY what she wanted to do with her life.
Born to a French Acadian Mom and an Irish Dad, music was part of her life from a young age. When it was time to head to university, Louise attended St. FX to study Classical Piano and graduated with her BA Honours in Music. From there, she went on to gain a Bachelor of Music Education from Memorial University in Newfoundland…doing her practicum at MUN’s sister campus in Harlow, England.
Louise taught in the public school system in both Antigonish and Halifax, teaching classroom music, choir, band and step dancing. At the same time, Louise began her teacher training in Kindermusik…with dreams of one day owning a music school of her own.
When I was at X, I did a mini-thesis on preschool music methodologies. I looked at 5 main programs, and when I contacted Kindermusik, I felt instantly connected. Then I sat in on a local class, and I knew – Kindermusik was what I was destined to do! Every step I took from there was intentional – taking business courses on the side, a self-employment program, Kindermusik training – all to be where I am today.
In 2005, Louise’s dreams came true. With the support of her husband, the couple turned the basement of their home in Fall River, Nova Scotia into a music studio. The community completely embraced Louise and her fabulous program, and it wasn’t long before Joyful Sounds Music Studio had outgrown the basement…and Louise was opening new locations and hiring new teachers. Joyful Sounds is now a full music school that offers Kindermusik for 0-7 yr olds, Private Lessons in piano, fiddle, guitar and voice, Beginner and Intermediate Concert Band for homeschooling students, and a Kid’s Chorale for the love of singing. They have 7 talented teachers and support staff, and their studio has been identified by Kindermusik International as a “Maestro Studio.”…meaning that they’ve ranked in the top 1% of Kindermusik studios worldwide!
Louise is running a fabulous business, volunteering wherever and whenever she can, and raising three beautiful children. She has led the choir at her local church, organizes their Children Liturgy program, volunteers at her son’s school, is on the board with Kindermusik International, is a member of the Fall River Area Business Association volunteering with their Annual Tree Lighting Event…and, the joy of all joys…Louise offers a Kindermusik Outreach Program where once a month, she brings her Kindermusik families to Parkstone Enhanced Care to share their love of music with the residents at Parkstone. As Louise says, “it is definitely the highlight of my work and so good for the heart!”
So, how’s this mom getting it all done? Louise has been married to V.J, an Electrical Engineer who teaches at NSCC, since 2003. They have three children Cormac (6), Breton (3) and Flora (11 months)…all three years apart and all born in the month of May! Others would suggest they’re very calm parents…but Louise and VJ feel anything but! They’re busy…finding ways to multi-task with the baby in the mix and enjoying the special moments when they come along. In Louise’s line of work, her classes require a lot of energy…singing, dancing, lots of fun and helping children be the best they can be. From time to time she feels like there’s nothing left in the tank at the end of the day…but a good night’s sleep, and she’s ready to go again!
With the studio open from 8am to 8pm, Louise’s workdays vary. There’s the rush in the morning to get everyone out the door…and she tries to be there to catch the afternoon school bus at least 3 days a week, meaning that she then spends a few late nights teaching in order to juggle it all. Like all working moms, it’s a bit of a task to fit it all in…but she manages to pull it off with a smile on her face.
So is there any “me time”…most definitely! Louise has been playing hockey since she was a young girl and is now part of the Nova Scotia Women’s Hockey League where she continues to play with a great group of women on the weekends. She’s a Habs fan, and Louise and her family enjoy watching the games when they can.
And for fun…Louise and her husband are active, energetic and like to spend time together as a family. They love to go camping where they can bike, walk, swim, have campfires and cook outside…and just spend time away from phones and screens enjoying their children. With roots in Cape Breton…they’re quick to head that way for a family getaway or to Parlee Beach in New Brunswick. This year, they managed to fit in a trip to Florida for a bit of fun in the sun!
As busy as she is, Louise is doing EXACTLY what she intended to do. She’s happy where life has taken her…and looks forward to what’s ahead.
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