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November 2009 | Vol. VIII - No. 11




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14-Year-Old Kimberly Makes Music for Needy Kids

TDmonthly Charitable Kid and Schoenhut Bring Children Value


This article is a paid advertorial.

Dozens of special needs and foster children are unexpectedly making music on high-quality toy pianos, thanks to the Schoenhut Piano Company and TDmonthly Magazine's Charitable Kid, 14-year-old Kimberly from South Carolina. The children and their caretakers were the recipients of 20 My First Piano IIs donated to The Washington Center and the Connie Maxwell Children’s Home in the first round of giveaways for TDmonthly's Charitable Kid Contest.

WINNER SPREADS SMILES

Kimberly was thrilled to have the opportunity to help so many other children. She told TDmonthly, "I love giving out the pianos! It feels good to know you helped someone. It is awesome to see the smile on their faces!"

What was most special to her was "the way they thanked me and enjoyed the pianos.” In addition, “all the people they were giving them to were playing the pianos and enjoying them. They were all excited about it!"

"It was wonderful to meet Kimberly," said Tonya Wright of The Washington Center. "She's a very nice young lady."

The Washington Center services special needs and profoundly disabled young people ranging in age from 5 to 21 years. Kimberly donated to the Center 15 of the 100 pianos she will receive from Schoenhut to complete her Charitable Kid mission.

SCHOENHUT DEVELOPS SENSORY SKILLS

"We put the pianos in the music room and the multi-sensory room and put them in the classrooms with the younger children," Wright told TDmonthly. Classroom size varies from six to eight pupils, she said. The pianos are not only used for free-style play but are also being integrated into the curriculum to help the kids improve motor and sensory skills.

During the picture-taking session at The Washington Center, a physical therapist told Kimberly that her students were already using the pianos and “love them!” She also mentioned that she’d transformed the product’s Styrofoam packaging into stands for their other small keyboards, reported Kimberly's mother, Michelle.

Polly Davis, director of volunteer services at the Connie Maxwell Home, said, “Our younger children are loving the small pianos. We only have a few children in this age range, but they are enjoying playing with this unique instrument.”

KIMBERLY GIVES TO OTHER HOMES, AND HER OWN

“Kimberly is proving to be a great ambassador for the Charitable Kids Contest,” lauded Renee Trinca, president of The Schoenhut Piano Company. “The office staff of Schoenhut, my husband Len, and I are thrilled about her first donation of toy pianos, to the Washington Center and Connie Maxwell Children's Home, which will benefit so many young people. The positive comments relayed from the recipients are heart-warming. It is obvious that Kimberly put a lot of thought into her selection, and we eagerly look forward to hearing about her next endeavor.”

Although Kimberly had received her own My First Piano II as a gift for winning TDmonthly’s contest, she proved she was worthy of the honor by giving away her reward to her younger sisters. When she presented Neyland (8), Rebecca (2) and Lydia (1) with the My First Piano II, "they were all excited and played with it.”

Now, when their big sister pounds out tunes on the full-sized piano, “they go over to the little one and play that one,” said Kimberly.

MORE BLESSINGS TO GO AROUND

With 85 more pianos to go, Kimberly has plenty of work ahead, but she’s looking forward to it.

“I could have chosen three or four charities, giving 25 or so to each … but I wanted to touch as many people as possible,” she said, explaining her smaller donations. “God gave me this opportunity for a reason, and I believe it’s so I can share His love through the gift of music! I’ve been blessed to have received this opportunity and I hope that the people receiving the pianos will be blessed as well!”

Here are some of the Schoenhut instruments that can make any child’s heart sing:




MSRP: $59.95
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: January 2005
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



Schoenhut's bright red, wooden, 25-key tabletop is the perfect choice for a toddler's first piano. Both fun and educational, it is an ideal instrument for developing eye-hand coordination and encouraging musical creativity. Chromatically tuned, the lovely chimelike notes are produced by little hammers striking precision-ground, German steel music rods. The tone never changes nor will the piano ever need tuning. Schoenhut's patented Learning System, with its play-by-color teaching method, makes playing simple and fun. A removable color strip fits behind the keys to guide small fingers from chord to chord. The chart also works on adult keyboards, since keys on Schoenhut toy pianos are of corresponding width. This teaches children proper finger placement from the very beginning. The accompanying Songbook contains a collection of familiar tunes. This Learning System has been specially designed to build a child's confidence and develop basic playing skills. It comes in red and white. Launch date: 2005.
- This model was Schoenhut's best seller for 2010. It was also the model given away by TDmonthly's Charitable Kid, Kimberly (then 14) of South Carolina -- 100 times over! As a reward for her charity and careful selection of institutions to receive the toy pianos, Kimberly was given a number of other high-quality Schoenhut instruments, many of which she shared with her younger sisters.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 13823      (added 6/29/2007)
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MSRP: $144.60
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: C1019
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



At 27 inches high, this wooden, lightweight instrument is designed with curved sides with a spacious box, along with a range of 15 notes (from C to C), permitting a wide variety of music in melodic tones. Fully tunable by using the wrench to adjust zither pins.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 14930      (added 8/29/2007)
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MSRP: $129.99
Age Range: 3 and up
Launch Date: February 2008
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys
Wooden Toys
Preschool



This versatile little piano grows with the child. The main unit, decorated with a whimsical animal's head, is perfect for toddlers because it sits safely and squarely on the floor within easy reach of little hands. Later on, the sides with the animal's body can be attached, conveniently raising the piano to a comfortable height for an older child seated at the bench. Included is Schoenhut's® Learning System, with a removable color-coordinated strip that fits behind the keys to guide small fingers from chord to chord. The accompanying songbook contains a collection of familiar tunes. Schoenhut toy pianos are famous for their lovely chime-like tones. The keys are spaced correctly for a full-sized piano, which teaches proper finger placement and affords an easy transition to a large piano.The piano is 19-3/4" H x 16" W x 10-3/4" D and the bench measures 8" H x 8" D x 11" W. This product weighs 17 lbs. Launch date: February 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 17658      (added 2/25/2008)
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MSRP: $115.99
Age Range: 6 and up
SKU or Item #: 609C
Launch Date: August 2009
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Music
Electronics
Musical Toys



This could be a first guitar for kids and a travel guitar for players of all ages. It includes eight dot position inlays, 1/4 pin pickup, and a silkscreen logo. No assembly is required. Launch date: August 2009.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 24237      (added 6/29/2009)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
MSRP: $39.95
Age Range: 7 to 10
Launch Date: December 2008
Gender: Girls
Category: Music
Musical Toys
Educational



Kids can celebrate the magic of music with this handcrafted guitar that can be used for guitar classes, private lessons and study, or for play in a child's first “amateur band.”  A quality instrument is always beneficial when beginning the study of music, especially when the student is young. "This guitar is easy to play, tunable, and will help to keep a child pursuing one of the most rewarding pastimes in history: making music," Manager Kristy Schaffer of Schoenhut told TDmonthly. Launch date: December 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 21178      (added 10/31/2008)
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MSRP: $9.95
Age Range: 3 and up
SKU or Item #: C1011
Launch Date: October 2008
Gender: Both
Category: Musical Toys
Wooden Toys
Developmental Toys



Kids can play simple tunes on this durable, wooden instrument by just covering different holes to play various notes. It's an excellent instrument to add to a child's band. Launch date: October 2008.
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 20166      (added 8/21/2008)
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Wholesale Price: (Log in to view)
Age Range: 5 and up
Launch Date: January 2007
Gender: Boys And Girls
Category: Musical Toys



This dynamic, new line of 44-key baby grand and upright pianos, launched to coincide with Schoenhut’s 135th anniversary, features true piano sound … without the use of electronics. The mid-sized piano is less intimidating for small children who want to learn to play the piano. This line is not intended to replace Schoenhut’s vintage models that feature chime-like tones, such as those originally developed by Albert Schoenhut in 1872. Rather, the introduction is in response to requests from customers for a “new” sound. It’s available in black, white or red. Launch date: January 2007.
— If parents wish to start their kids on the piano before they’re ready for the real baby grand, this stunningly beautiful instrument with authentic piano sound is the way to go. It received a TDmonthly Top Toy 2007 award for innovation in mechanics and design within the category of musical instruments for children, as well as its ability to grace any space while furthering a young child’s music education.

Past Videos:
Toy Fair 2007
ToyDirectory Product ID#: 11647      (added 2/26/2007)
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Alison MarekWriter's Bio: ALISON MAREK is an award-winning writer, director and cartoonist whose work has been published by Fairchild Publications and DC Comics (Piranha Press), broadcast on Showtime and other cable networks, and viewed worldwide in film festivals. See her short films and print work on www.alisonmarek.com. Watch her nefarious villains in the web series www.MuggsMovers.com. Get inspired by her cartoons "Daily ARFFirmations to Unleash Your Inner Fido" at www.ARFFirmations.com. Phew! And then ...  Read more articles by this author

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