EARLY CHILDHOOD MUSIC AND OUTREACH AND WELLNESS PROGRAMMING
Donna Linklater was born in Winnipeg, spent her childhood in several towns in northern Manitoba, and moved back to Winnipeg for high school. From there, she attended Brandon University and graduated with a Bachelor of Music with a major in applied voice. After graduation, Donna moved to Toronto, where she discovered her love of teaching early childhood music as well as writing, recording, and performing her songs in the indie music circuit. She also worked as a group facilitator for the Canadian Mental Health Association, where she incorporated music and self-care strategies for adults with lived experience in the mental healthcare system. Donna returned to school at George Brown College to complete her early childhood education diploma. She then transferred to Toronto Metropolitan University, where she is now wrapping up a BA in their online Disability Studies program. Donna is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Winnipeg.
What is your education and experience?
B.Mus (applied voice), ECE dip; BA disability studies (candidate), certified in RCM early childhood music, Kodaly and Orff; 15+ years teaching early childhood music
What made you decide to study music?
I decided to study music because it is a powerful tool for expression and transformation and should be available to everyone.
Tell us about one of your fondest musical memories.
When I was a little girl, I loved laying on my back next to our piano while my mother practiced. My favourite piece was Beethoven’s “Waldstein” Sonata and I used to hum along quietly while she played.
How are your lessons unique?
I believe that the most important thing for a child to take away from a music class is that it’s fun! I also love using music from all genres, and believe in fostering an environment where everyone feels empowered to create.
What’s your favourite part about teaching?
My favourite part of teaching is building relationships with people and learning new ways of thinking about music from my students.
What would you say to someone who is interested in studying music?
I know that sometimes society gives discouraging messages to people about who should or shouldn’t be performing music, but everyone has musical ability and should be allowed to pursue their dreams.