Kittyko MEWSletter December 2018

Seasons Greetings, Friends

We've got some exciting mews to share about Kittyko Music. 

Kittyko Radio, The Christmas Episode 

Students worked so hard to put on the best Christmas radio show ever! Click the link to listen to carols, interviews, and the Kittyko Hall of Fame spotlight with former student Lucas Rutten, who is now in his mid-twenties and working with music every day! Be sure to scroll down the page a bit to see photos and read bios of our wonderful musicians. If you have a moment, leave them a kind word or two in the comment section. I would be happy to show them your compliments. :) 

Kittyko Radio Christmas Episode 

Kittyko and Friends TV Program 

Dakota Media Access and I are teaming up to provide a locally produced television program for children. The first episode has been filmed and is currently being edited. Thank you to the students and parents for your participation in episode 1! We sang songs, talked about sunflowers, friendship, and other fun things. Puppets Bailey Bear and Little Freddy (the co-hosts) also interviewed Sara and Emily while they showed us a fabulous slime recipe. I will let you all know when it airs and how to tune in. 

Our second episode will be filmed on Friday, December 28th. That episode will feature our own Kittyko Jam Band performing original songs about counting and rhythm, as well as interviews with kids who like to make cool stuff with LEGOS and create functional DIY crafts. 

The theme of the program is friendship--and that we all have interesting lives and things to share. All abilities are welcome. The format of each episode is that we share 10-15 minutes of music (singing or playing, all abilities welcome)...then host an interview with kids who have something they'd like to share and demonstrate...and we close with another song. It's a blast! 

If your child would like to take part, just let me know. I hope to film at least one episode per month. 

Theme of the Week 

Starting next week, we will explore "Theme of the Week" at lessons. Every week, a new topic will be on the board, such as "Movie Music," "World Music," "Songs by Kids," "Animal Songs," "Grammy Winner Music," etc. Students will be able to pick a topic from within the theme, and we will work on a song in the topic. This will be supplemental--we will still continue to do all the songs, books, and projects that we usually do. :) 

Payment and Venmo 

I welcome checks, cash, or online payment--thank you! I am now available on Venmo as Kittyko Music. Venmo is a fabulous app that many parents prefer for payments because it's easy, quick, and secure. If you'd like to use Venmo, there is no fee (for you or for me), and I keep all transactions set to "private." Here's the link for more info: 

As alwaysthank you for choosing Kittyko Music! If you'd like to chat about lessons or have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out! My number is 701-516-3415, and email is 

Have a great day! 


(Kris Kitko)

Kittyko Newsletter Autumn 2018

Happy Autumn!

I wanted to give you all a quick update on upcoming opportunities.

As you know, I have an open invitation for my students to join me on most community-based events. Here are some coming up:

Dachshund Dash Band and Singers

Join me around 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29, at Bismarck Animal Clinic for a FUN event for Central Dakota Humane Society. Kids are welcome to join me to sing fun, easy songs or play percussion instruments before the Dash--where people bring their dachshunds or dachshund mix to "dash" for a prize! There is NO COST to attend the event (but there is a suggested donation if you want to enter your pet in the Dash). The music starts around 10 and the Dash starts around 11. There will be a large sound system, so we are going all out for this. Come have fun & be a rock star (or just hang out in the background). Students and non-students are welcome to join--if your child is a Kittyko student, let him or her bring a friend!

There will be open mic, tambourine, shakers, drums, hula hoops, and other activities for kids. Please join me!

For more information:


Kittyko Student Mini-Concerts

The annual shows are fun (and are still going to happen this spring)!

But I am adding a new project: Mini-concerts throughout the year featuring 3-4 students per show. The mini-concerts will allow students to play more than one "recital" type of song and will follow a theme. Students will be able to be creative in the music they pick and can play with a friend or relative. For example, I am planning concerts with themes of Halloween, church/hymn/sacred music, Holiday/carols, country music, rock, pop, original compositions, etc.

Mini-concerts will be held in venues around town, such as the Former Governors' Mansion, the library, small shops, churches, etc. The audiences will be smaller with the mini-concerts, which could help children feel more at ease as they learn the gift of sharing music. Family and friends are encouraged to attend. If your child would like to take part, please contact me--I will also be asking every student if she/he would like to participate. 

Kittyko Show on Dakota Media Access Television

This fall I will be creating a TV show for and about local youth. The show will feature music (of course!), interviews, and puppets. There will be opportunities for students to work with the puppets, interview or be interviewed, and edit the footage. The opportunities are at no extra cost to you.

Interview subjects do not need rehearsals, but if a student is interested in puppeteering, interviewing, or editing, we will need to plan for some rehearsal & training time, most of which would be on weekends since I teach evenings during the week. Rehearsal for puppets would be at my basement studio (where we do lessons). Editing training would take place at Dakota Media Access, which is in downtown Bismarck. Editing training would be during the week (info below).

IMPORTANT: Dakota Media Access is open during business hours during the week--which is when either the kids are at school or I'm doing lessons. That means that the only times we can film the show or work on editing is during days off from school between 9 am and 2:30 pm, such as teacher conference days or other days off from school. I will be using the Bismarck/Mandan public school calendars to coordinate the filming schedule with Dakota Media Access.

I plan to reach out to parents via text, email, or phone to see if their child is interested. I will also ask students when I see them if it's something they'd like to do. There is no commitment needed beyond the one show, but if they want to continue to be involved, they are more than welcome!

Gentle Sounds

Our Gentle Sounds project visited St. Vincent's nursing home in August; we played for about 15-20 minutes for residents in the Memory Care wing. Most of these residents cannot attend activities and have limited mobility (most were in a bed or reclining chair). We had a lovely time, and the residents seemed to very much enjoy our visit. They loved the kids!

More Gentle Sounds visits will be scheduled this fall and winter. If your child would like to join us (we sing, play guitar, ukulele, etc.) please let me know. They can bring friends or relatives. No experience is necessary and all abilities are welcome. Lyric and chord sheets will be provided, and they don't need to "know" the songs to sing or play (an instrument or shaker).

Family Businesses

Does your family run or own a business (small or large)? I would like to feature your family's business on a new (free) social media project I am building: Family Business Spotlight. The Spotlight would feature at-a-glance info about your business and any info you'd like to pass along, including specials, promotions, or coupons. I very much appreciate the time and commitment you invest in your child's lessons--and lets's face it--lessons are also a financial investment. As a small token of my appreciation of your commitment (and referrals--thank you!), I would be honored to feature YOUR family's business in a social media promo. The promo could/would include a photo (of your choice), a brief paragraph of info (which you would approve if I wrote it or you could write it), any promo info, a link to your webpages/Facebook, and reviews if you'd like. I would share this on my personal Facebook page & the Kittyko Music Facebook page; I would also include a link to your site from my website, If you'd like your family's business featured, please send an email, text, or call with info or photos you'd like included. I will send a draft your way before publishing. I will also be contacting some of you personally to see if you're interested. 

More Podcasts & Video Games

As you know, last year I produced a podcast (with student guests & co-host) and developed a music computer game/tutorial for my students (which was my master's degree concentration). I will be producing more podcasts and games. One podcast is being editing right now. Watch for announcements!

Podcast #1:



'Tis the season for colds and flu! 

I'd like to kindly ask that if your child is sick, especially if he or she has just come down with something and is coughing, sneezing, has diarrhea or a fever, etc., please keep her or him home to prevent spreading it to me or the others who come for lessons. As much as I'd love to be with them even if they're sniffly, I'd hate to miss lessons with a bug or spread it to other little ones. I do have some students with compromised immune systems, and I want to help keep them healthy, too.  :)

Having said that, I do understand that sometimes a cough can hang on for weeks...that's not so much an issue. It's the acute symptoms that I'd like to prevent from spreading. Thanks for your understanding--I know we're all in on this together and want to be healthy!

Thank You

As always, thank you for sending your child or children to me for lessons. If you every have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via email, text, or phone call: 701-516-3415.

In song,

Kris "Kittyko"

Video Tutorials

Links to free software/downloads:
Tutorials available during lessons

Recording: Audacity
Transcribing: ScoreCloud
Another VERY GOOD transcribing program: MuseScore
Good basic transcribing program: Finale Notepad
Photos for slideshows:
Links to free printable sheet music:

Piano/Guitar--Beginner to advanced intermediate:
All kinds of music and different instruments: ​Music for Music Teachers (it's for everyone!)
600+ free songs & all kinds of stuff (even practice charts for stickers, etc.):
Making Music Fun
Free FIRST page of popular songs (good as a sample to see if it's what you want; can purchase full song for download/printing if desired):
Links for sharing creative projects:
Tutorials available during lessons

Build your own FREE website (easy, web based):


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