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Meet Kay-Kay Filizzola of Choo Choo Music in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kay-Kay Filizzola.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My passion for music started when I was nine years old. My aunt Susy came to visit my family in Boulder, Colorado; she brought a guitar with her and helped me discover my voice.

She inspired something in me, something I had not fully known was there. I immersed myself in music. I went from singing folk songs, to musical theater songs, and in high school became interested in jazz, neo-soul, and R&B. My love of singing took me to New York City to study vocal performance, and within the first semester at The New School, I met my husband and songwriting partner in crime, Fili. From New York, we went on to study music in Brazil, perform on cruise ships all over the world and finally ended up in Denver, Colorado, where we stayed for two years.

During that time, while pursuing our music careers, performing and writing music, I wanted to find a way to not only help support myself but share my love of music with others. That’s when I started teaching music classes in preschools and quickly discovered a passion for it.

After Denver, Fili and I decided it was time to move to Los Angeles to fully pursue our music careers. It’s been about a year and a half since we moved to Sherman Oaks and it was hands down the best decision we’ve ever made. Once we got here, I started up my preschool music classes, but when COVID-19 shut down all of my preschools, I, like many others, found myself out of a job.

I began transitioning my music program to online Zoom music lessons which ended up being an amazing way to connect and continue sharing the magic of music during a time our young generation was, and still is, going through the challenge of being unable to interact with friends, teachers, and the outside world. That’s how Choo Choo Music was born.

As I began incorporating new, fun and engaging features into my music classes, such as a green screen with backgrounds that match the song’s story, costumes and props, these new online lessons proved to be even more engaging, fun and interactive for the kids. And not only are the lessons a positive experience for the kids, they’re a way for the parents to use that time to either focus on things they need to get done or a fun way to interact and bond with their kiddos doing an activity that promotes growth and learning.

Choo Choo Music allows me to teach children from anywhere in the world; it allows me to spread the magic of music and the joy of being silly to more and more kids. And, it gives those kiddos a place to express themselves, gain confidence, explore their imagination and creativity, learn through songs and images and movement, and— let’s not forget — it gives them a place to shake those sillies out!

Choo Choo Music may have started because the whole world stopped, but after we inevitably recover, Choo Choo Music will continue to bring the joy of music wherever there’s a family in search of a song, a dance, and a smile.

Has it been a smooth road?
Choo Choo Music was created out of an obstacle. Because I wasn’t able to provide my music classes in person, I had to adapt. I had to figure out a way to keep going and keep providing these wonderful kiddos a time to sing and dance and laugh. And, with every new idea, of course there are always challenges along the way as well. As a first-time business owner, every step of the way is a learning experience. From making the website to branding to advertising, I’m learning something new every day. Each new challenge allows me to grow and continue to improve.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Choo Choo Music is an early childhood online music and movement program full of singing, dancing, and being silly. The program is aimed towards kiddos between the ages of 1 and 5 years old, but that doesn’t stop the whole family from joining in on the fun!

Choo Choo Music classes are 30 minutes conducted live through Zoom. The classes are jam-packed with singing, dancing, make believe, household instruments, stuffed animals, and all sorts of fun costumes and props. Each week has a fun and exciting new theme. Themes have included outer space, grandma’s farm, birds and bugs, transportation, Dino Dig, and more. Many of the songs I write specifically for each week’s theme. Between the fun green-screen visuals, storylines, and songs, every class becomes a new adventure for the kiddos to explore. I’m proud to have created an online class that doesn’t feel like it’s online. It’s interactive, it’s adventurous, and it’s full of life!

Each Choo Choo Music class has 7-10 activities. Activities/songs could include a name song, household instruments, singing and dancing with the ukulele, fingerplay/movement songs, etc. Through years of teaching experience, I know what types of songs the kiddos enjoy, I know how to get them laughing and — most importantly — have fun!

Choo Choo Music is a contagious and spirited introduction to the magic that is music. It instills a love of music from an early age and helps kiddos develop their creativity, imagination, and again, gives them the perfect way to shake those sillies out!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I think the most magical part of living in L.A. is how creative and collaborative the city is. L.A. is always hungry for new ideas, with its vast and diverse market. Living here, I’m constantly motivated to create more, write more, sing more; I’m constantly inspired. Since my business is online, I could technically run it from anywhere in the world, yet since I moved here, I’ve felt more creative, I’ve had more ideas spark and I’ve had more inspiration to try something new. I also feel a big sense of community and collaboration here. Since I started Choo Choo Music, so many people from the community have reached out to see how they could help. I feel so grateful to live in a community where people not only want to see others succeed but want to help them get there. I would — 100 percent — encourage anyone with the dream of being an entrepreneur to move here too.

Pricing:

  • Choo Choo Conductor Class (Monday-Friday at 10am or 1pm PST): $30/week OR $100/month
  • All Aboard Class (Mon/Wed/Fri at 10am or 1pm PST): $24/week OR $86/month
  • Fast Track Class (Tues/Thurs at 10am or 1pm PST): $20/week OR $70/month
  • Weekend Travelers Class (Saturdays at 11am PST): $12/week OR $40/month

Contact Info:

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