Vanessa Heilman

Music has been a constant in my life, at times background, at others foreground, but always there. The foundation was laid for me with my mother’s nightly lullaby ritual, Rafi sing-a-longs in the car on family vacations, and sounds of folk classics from my parents’ vinyl collection. From there, it was in me; whether singing, listening, dancing, writing, playing, recording, performing or teaching, I cannot imagine life without music.

I studied Theatre at The University of Southern California and The British American Dramatic Academy in London. Post-collegiately, I entertained a career in education, and taught pre-kindergarten in the Dallas area before moving to New York. In New York, I worked at a private preschool where I designed a drama program called,“First Stage”. I also lead the after-school program there, and infused both endeavors with holistic musical experience. During this time, I attended The Diller-Quiale School of Music Teacher Training Institute, and received certification in Early Childhood Music, Level 1. Always wanting to make and share music with others, I find that Music Together® is a very natural fit for me...

I discovered Heartsong shortly after moving to Austin in 2006, and have never felt more at home. The first time I observed a class, it actually brought tears to my eyes! I took Music Together teacher training in the fall of 2007 and Level 1 Certification in the summer of 2009.  I could not be more proud and excited to be a part of this beautiful program!


Testimonials

"Vanessa was extremely warm and welcoming. Class was such a joy each time."

"Vanessa is a wonderful teacher and I feel so fortunate that she was my daughter's FIRST teacher! From very early on, my kid knew she was running the class, and her voice stood out to my daughter, who was always in rapt attention when Vanessa was singing. It was so nice to see her being so attentive and interested in what Vanessa was doing."

"We couldn't love Vanessa more! She is loving, patient and such a strong teacher. Our girls have flourished in her class and we are such believers in the program and the philosophy behind the teachings. Thank you for bringing this program to our family!"

"Vanessa took time to get to know the babies and the moms. It was easy to talk with her after class about life/mom stuff. She was great with the babies in class and extremely knowledgeable about development and music." 

"Vanessa is total perfection. She lifts the class to a new level somehow, and suddenly we are all harmonizing, smiling and dancing. We love her!"

"Vanessa consistently came in with a great attitude, supreme patience, and tried to create a different mood and perform the songs in a variety of ways. It was refreshing that class wasn't always the same."  

"We absolutely adore Vanessa! She is understanding, kind, giving, a gentle soul, a great singer, engaging with the parents and children, and most of all fun!" 

"Vanessa was great. She was always engaged with the babies and had good energy. I really appreciated the information that she sprinkled in regarding child development and the science behind the music and activities." 

 "Vanessa is wonderful, patient, caring, sensitive...I could go on and on. Most of all, though, she's authentic, which I so appreciate. I never feel she is falsely enthusiastic or condescending to the children. She meets my daughter where she is, time and time again. I am consistently amazed at her ability to reach and empower the very different temperaments in class. I am so impressed."

"Vanessa is an incredible person and teacher. She is not only enthusiastic about the music but about the relationships with her students and their parents as well. The class has a wonderful easy flow about it every time and the kids always get a well-rounded musical experience. We love her!"

"Vanessa is a shining star. She effortlessly teaches, involves and entertains everyone in our class. My family and I have been drawn to her musical and personal charisma from the beginning. Our 9 month old grandson glues his eyes to Vanessa the minute we walk in the door and he watches like a hawk and participates both at home and during class."

"Vanessa is a unique music teacher.  She openly shares her love of music with all the families and friends who attend her classes.  She is innovative, loving and kind, makes everyone feel special, and teaches us how to share our love of music with others."

"Vanessa is so great. She is the perfect balance of a focused music teacher with a laid-back comfortable style. It works really well with my personality. She's serious about what she's doing without being too intense. Her classes are always welcoming and comfortable."

"Vanessa is amazing. Her class has an incredible flow to it. My son looks forward to seeing Vanessa all week! I believe that her openness and creativeness in class has played a part in my sons, and my, readiness to move to the beat as soon as he hear hears music. He also sings constantly, making up verses and using 'vocables'."

"Vanessa is fantastic! She paces the class well, so nothing feels rushed and one song/activity flows easily into the next. There's no 'dead space'. Vanessa is always upbeat and it seems like she's having a great time, too. She's wonderful with the kids and handles 'challenges' (crabby or excessively shy kids) beautifully."

“Vanessa is wonderful as always. She has great energy and brings excitement to the songs we sing and listen to over an over. She is always happy to see us and takes time to talk about our musical stories from home; the music and school are wonderful but our relationship with Vanessa is what keeps us coming back each time for 6 semesters now.”

"My daughter has been going to Heartsong since she was an infant and now my son who is 9 months old has joined us since he was only a few weeks old. I can already see how he has developed a love for music. We always have to have the CD's playing in the car.  My daughter is a shy little girl but she shines when she knows we are on our way to see Miss Vanessa.  We love, love, love Vanessa.  She is by far a huge asset to Heartsong. We plan on taking classes for many years to come. Thank you Vanessa, you are the best."

“We have been taking Music Together with Vanessa for a year and a half and absolutely love her. She is fabulous at what she does and has made a huge impact on our daughter. When I ask my daughter if she wants to go see Miss Vanessa she starts tapping her legs and says "Yay" with a huge smile on her face. It warms my heart to see they way she loves Vanessa.”