Ms. Clara’s Joyful Learning Center
Ms. Clara’s Mini Musicians
9213 Broadway Ave., Brookfield, IL 60513
Early childhood music and movement school for children from 4 months – kindergarten
Meet “Ms. Clara” D’Onofrio
Established in 2011
To quote Confucius- “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”
I never in a million years dreamed I would be a business owner, but I fell so in love with teaching early childhood music that it became abundantly clear that this was the journey I was going to take.
As a 5th generation musician and the daughter of two symphony musicians, music has always played a huge role in my life. I spent many years as a professional singer before discovering early childhood music education, and my priorities in life shifted overnight. My “stage” moved to the classroom, my “audience” became a room full of enthusiastic and eager young children singing and dancing with me everyday. And it has been more rewarding and fulfilling than any role I have ever performed in any venue.
Over the past 10 years, I have used my expansive musical background and my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Northwestern University to create a curriculum designed to target both musical and non-musical skills. The majority of the songs are originals, and they have all been professionally arranged and recorded. These songs, as well as custom-illustrated lyric booklets, are included in the tuition for the Munchkin, Mini, and Merry Maestros classes.
My goal is to make each and every music class the highlight of both the child and the caregiver’s week, and it is my hope that we are a place where lasting friendships begin. All of our classes include 10 minutes of Community Time in which children can experience open play while adults get to know other caregivers in the community. It brings me such joy to see families in the neighborhood and know that they met in my classes many years earlier.
While joy and community are truly the heart and soul of Ms. Clara’s Mini Musicians, we also pride ourselves on offering music classes with endless developmental benefits for young children. From boosting self-confidence to practicing turn-taking skills to developing intelligent listening skills, your infant, toddler, or preschooler will absolutely thrive in our program. We have a blast singing, dancing with a giant parachute, and playing instruments including the large drum, rhythm sticks, shaker eggs, and the triangle (just to name a few!).
But behind all of the fun, our “secret” goal is education and not simply entertainment. Your child will grow to appreciate music on a deeper level and will develop both musical and non-musical skills that will last a lifetime. Our baby and me classes are highly experiential, allowing children and parents to enjoy music concepts including high and low pitch, loud and soft, fast and slow, etc.
I feel so incredibly blessed to have found a musical career that I truly love. There is no better feeling than to walk into a classroom of 3-year-old children who can barely contain their excitement to sing songs, dance, and make music with me. I leave each and every class feeling energized, full of joy, and profoundly grateful that I get to be a part of these young children’s lives.
Please use these links to learn more about our classes and to watch class videos!