Kids at a Conference? You Betcha!

The annual CMN conference is a time for learning, for music, for friendship and for families! Members below share their memories and experiences bringing their children to conferences in the past. We look forward to making music with your children in the future too, this October in Mt. Zion, Illinois!

The 2014 Conference
The 2014 Conference

“My daughter who is now in her 30’s and a singer and performer for both adults and families, went to the Conference 2 or 3 times when she was a youngster. One time when she was about 8 she did a Pickleberry Pie radio show with PJ Swift and Monty Harper, along with Lisa Atkinson’s daughter, and some others, and even met one of her idols, Joanie Bartelswho was so sweet and walked around the Walker Creek property holding hands with both girls. 

Then when she was a teen, she got up and sang a song she had written and got a nice ovation from the adults and again met one of her idol’s, Robin Goodrow from The Buster and Me television show. Whenever she went the adults were warm and wonderful to her and she had a great time with all the kids and loved all the multi-part singing.

                                                                                                                       – Pam Donkin

I used to bring my daughter to the New England Conferences, and she loved them.  There was always one strand of workshops that was child friendly, and several of us would bring things like crayons and paper, or other crafty things that the kids would do.  I remember a bunch of them sprawled on the floor coloring and singing along.

                                                                                                                        – Kim Wallach

Picture by Caroline Presnell

“Coming to CMN conferences as a family was immeasurably valuable to our sons and for us….Our sons grew up surrounded by the love, support and inspiration of dozens of the most wonderful “aunts and uncles” we could imagine.  The impact that CMNers had on their lives is evidenced by the fact that one of our sons wrote his main college essay about Bob Blue (a CMN founder and Board member), and both continue to sing and introduce their peers to songs they learned from CMN members.”                                                                                                                                                  – David Heitler-Klevans of Two of a Kind

The Heitler-Klevans family in 1998, photo by Caroline Pressnel
The Heitler-Klevans family in 1998, photo by Caroline Pressnel

“After many years of attending CMN’s conference as a performer I returned last year, after a five year hiatus, as a parent.  I brought my then almost three year old daughter with me.  I was a little nervous about bringing her because she was so LITTLE.  I prepped her by telling her we were going to a place where she could sing and play instruments and where all the adults there would want to sing with her.  In the first ten minutes we were there, three different people approached her and sang with her.  She was amazed.  

By Friday evening’s Round Robin she was so comfortable with everyone she hopped right onstage and crashed Alina Celeste’s song.  She spent all Saturday asking when it would be her turn to “sing all by myself in the microphone”. And on Friday night, my two-year-old kiddo got on stage in front of 200 adults and sang a solo.  I sat in front and tried not to weep too much.

I’ve been coming to CMN for years, and I’d seen the warm welcome kids get there, but experiencing it through my daughter’s eyes was a whole new experience.  She had the time of her life – there was a constant, captive audience who encouraged her, taught her and welcomed her with wide, open arms, and she loved every second of it.

She’s already planning her next Round Robin tune.  :)”

                                                                                                                                  – Marci Bernstein

The Littlest Bernstein, stealing the show from Alina Celeste!
The littlest Bernstein, stealing the show from Alina Celeste!