Where Music Begins, Academy of Music, LLC  
Mailing Address:   4307 Valley Avenue, Suite 1, Pleasanton, CA 94566
Phone:  888.896.2066            e-mail:  info@wheremusicbegins.com

Copyright 2011 Where Music Begins, LLC
All rights reserved
News Stories

FOX5 News San Diego - Cathy Hirata, Jaegar Heathman on Simply Music and Autism
April 13, 2010 - Nadine Toren, FOX 5 Reporter

NBC San Diego - Cathy Hirata and Jaegar Heathman on Simply Music and Autism
April 6, 2010 - Rory Devine, NBC Reporter

Documentary Film - Special Circumstanes - Simply Music, Cathy Hirata

Inverview Cathy Hirata Live at PianoSD Discussing Simply Music Piano and Autism
Ric Overton, Cathy Hirata, Jodette Goebel and Jaegar Heathman - April 5, 2010

Bay Area Walk for Autism, June 7, 2008
Alex Bowie - Tri City Voice - June 2008

Best of the East Bay - Kids and Parenting
Diablo Best of the East Bay - July 2006

Silly talk? Baby says no!
Christina Troup - Inside Bay Area - March 20, 2006, Tri-Valley Herald - March 2006,
Hearing Loss News and Reviews -March 2006

Learning to Love Music New Studio Brings Music Education to Special Needs Students
Pleasanton Weekly - Arts & Entertainment - Friday, March 3, 2006

Beyond Baby Mozart : Kid's Music Programs
Joanne Tobias - Diablo Magazine - March 2006


Signing Smart
I recommend Signing Smart! It promotes early communication and developmental learning, and it facilitates spoken
language-from infancy through the preschool years!
-- Dr. Jordan Klein, Pediatrician with Partners in

Signing Smart is an extraordinary tool for opening doors to more productive forms of communication, and for
stimulating cognitive development at an early age. I've noticed increased self - esteem and lower degrees and
frequencies of tantrums in the children who have completed the program.
--Dr. David Barnett, PhD University
of Vermont

Simply Music
When my Kindermusik families need a referral for piano lessons, sign language, or a Pleasanton Kindermusik
class, I feel confident recommending Where Music Begins because I know that the program is committed to quality.
Owner/director Cathy Hirata is an accomplished singer, piano teacher, teacher trainer, and educator who is
completely committed to excellence in music education, as well as inclusive music education for all children. I have
attended several of Cathy's classes as an observer and can personally attest to the high-quality music experience
she provides. --
Lindsay Levin, San Ramon

"Simply Music is simply the best! A great way to learn piano. My daughter has been motivated to learn the piano
since her first lesson and she now likes to make up her own songs. She is now learning how to read music and this
program makes that fun too. Thank you Neil for bringing music into our lives!"  --
Cathy Bolls, Pleasanton

Our daughter, Sara is 6 ½ and has PDD-NOS.  She showed a gift for piano around 4 years old.   I quickly saw that
traditional piano instruction was breaking down the music into its parts and the "music" was essentially
disappearing.  It was becoming another thing in her life to systematize.  Simply Music treats music as a whole...with
hearing, enjoying, and sharing music as the most important goal.  Sara’s piano skills have grown steadily over the
last 2 years and she is beginning to improvise and experiment.  I treasure her joyful expression when she looks for
and hears the applause of an audience!  And, for our family, Simply Music is extra special because Dad and Sara
take lessons together! --
Sue, Mom of Sara

“Let me begin by saying just how thrilled I am with the Simply Music program.  I’m playing better now than I did after
years of traditional lessons.” --
Steve Manual, Executive Producer – Prime Time, Discovery Channel,
Washington, DC

Special Needs...
"My daughter has Downs Syndrome, and while signing had been brought up to us as an option, we had decided
against it because she seemed to be making a number of sounds and we didn't want signing to slow down her
speaking. Our daughter was 12 months old when our case worker brought it up again, and told us about a Signing
Smart Play Class she had found. We decided to give it a try. After only two classes, she began to sign back, and
now -- four weeks later -- she has over 12 signs! Just as amazing to us is the fact that her sound patterns have
increased since she started signing! It's like signing made language that much more tangible and accessible to her
-- she even signs some with her feet! I'm so glad we took a chance on signing, it's really paid off for our family."
Father of a now 14-month-old

"One of our teachers had a student who was prone to serious temper tantrums, was a little on the wild side and
developmentally delayed. She could not speak and had no way to communicate with her parents. It took 2 of us to
teach this class at first as the child would wander around the room and not pay attention, or so we thought. Mom
was very devoted and felt that sign language was her last resort with her child. After 4 classes with us, one day the
child calmly came in the door, walked up to her teacher, signed her name, the word “loves” and pointed to the
teacher. We were shocked. Mom said that suddenly her daughter had picked up about 30 signs and was signing
all the time. Life had dramatically changed for the entire family and it was so fun for them all to be able understand
what their child was thinking."
-- Cathy, Director – Where Music Begins

"Kindermusik is elegant in its integrated approach to a child's development. Physiologically, touch, movement,
rhythm and sound are the keystones to developing a healthy vestibular system and optimizing nervous system and
brain growth. The importance of having families working together, where everyone benefits from the sense of
belonging, gets directly at the heart of what we, as a society, are needing at this time to raise healthy, loving
children and ensure a world of peace. All of this is provided in the Kindermusik program."
-- Carla Hannaford, Ph.D
Where Music Begins, Academy of Music
Bringing Music Into the Lives of All Children